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Game of the Week

Lancers fall to Western Beaver

Neshannock (6) vs. Western Beaver (28)
Written: Oct 02, 2010
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By JOE SIMON

j_simon@ncnewsonline.com

Not once this year has Neshannock coach Pat Cuba left the football field upset.

Sure, his team lost a few games this season, but as long as the Lancers executed and didn’t quit, Cuba could deal with the defeat.

He was not a happy man last night.

Neshannock lost a key Big Seven Conference clash with Western Beaver, 28-6.

Cuba said he wasn’t necessarily bothered by the loss — he was disappointed in the effort of his team, especially the defense.

“I told them they need to look in the mirror and re-evaluate what we need to do,” said Cuba of what he told his team after the game. “Tonight’s really the first time I’ve been upset. I haven’t been upset at all — I’ve been very proud of how they’ve played up to this point.”

The root of Cuba’s frustrations centered around tackling, or, better put, a lack thereof. The Lancers (0-3 conference, 2-3 overall) allowed Western Beaver to rush for 264 yards and four touchdowns. Junior Eric Blinn led the Golden Beavers (2-1, 3-2) with 152 yards rushing and a touchdown. He also set up Western Beaver’s first score, which came in the first two minutes of the game, by taking the opening kickoff 65 yards to the Neshannock 25. His shifty moves and elusiveness gave the Lancers trouble all night.

Cuba gave Blinn and the Golden Beavers credit, but he couldn’t look past the poor tackling his team displayed.

“You can’t miss tackles,” he said. “It was a good running game. Don’t get me wrong, they’re good. They’re a good, physical football team, but we’re missing tackles left and right.

“You can’t miss tackles. That’s just a fundamental thing, and it’s something you gotta want to do,” Cuba added. “It’s my fault. I’m not teaching them to tackle well enough, evidently.”

Western Beaver’s R.J. Rock started the scoring after Blinn’s long return. He powered his way in from seven yards out. Blinn, who played quarterback and running back, then flashed his speed by faking a handoff, going around the right end and racing down the sideline for a 75-yard touchdown with 1:09 left in the first quarter.

Neshannock struggled all night to establish a running game, finishing with 53 yards on 28 carries. Part of the reason may have been because the Lancers were without four key starters: lineman Greg Brzoza, running backs/linebackers and brothers tandem Asa Davies and Matt Davies along with running back Leo Pasquarello. The lack of a running game forced the usually run-oriented Lancers to throw more. The Golden Beavers countered by bringing blitzes from all over, which resulted in five sacks.

Cuba refused to blame the injuries, but he admitted the loss of Brzoza, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound Division I prospect, may have taken away from the some of the communication up front.

“I know we have injuries, but you can’t use that as an excuse,” Cuba said. “Some of these guys still stepped up and tried to play.”

The Lancers kept the game close with two goal-line stands when it could have gotten out of hand in the first half. The Golden Beavers, who led 12-0 at the half, didn’t put the game out of reach until late in the third quarter. Zach Perry capped an 11-play, 90-yard drive by bullying his way in from a yard out. After a three-and-out by Neshannock, Dustin Creel sent most of the homecoming crowd packing with a 20-yard TD run that put Western Beaver up 28-0.

Seven different players carried the ball for Western Beaver, which used a lot of misdirection to confuse the Lancers’ defense.

“It’s like the Wildcat,” said Western Beaver coach Matt Gray, referring to an offensive set used in professional football when a running back lines up under center. “We do a lot of faking and keeping and running, and they don’t know whether we’re going inside or outside. It’s worked well for us.”

Neshannock’s score came late in the fourth quarter on a great catch by Nick Graziani. Freshman quarterback David Burkes, who split time with regular starter Michael Sanfilippo, lobbed a deep pass and Graziani jumped up over two defenders, tipped the ball to himself and walked into the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown.

Neshannock returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday at conference rival Union.

W.BEAVER NESHANNOCK

12 First downs 8

267 Yards Rushing 91

3 Yards Lost 34

264 Net Rushing 57

10 Passes Attempted 13

6 Passes Completed 5

1 Passes Intercepted 2

80 Yards Passing 75

344 Total Yards 132

2-1 Fumbles-Lost 2-1

3-21 Punts-Average 6-33.1

8-55 Penalties-Yards 4-15

W.BEAVER 12 0 16 0 — 28

NESHANNOCK 0 0 0 6 — 6

Scoring plays

WESTERN BEAVER — R.J. Rock, 7-yard run (run failed).

WESTERN BEAVER — Eric Blinn, 75-yard run (run failed).

WESTERN BEAVER — Zach Perry, 1-yard run (Blinn run).

WESTERN BEAVER — Dustin Creel, 20-yard run (Creel, pass from Joe Dawida).

NESHANNOCK — Nick Graziani, 29-yard pass from David Burkes (pass failed).

GAME SCOREBOARD
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
Neshannock 0 0 0 6 0 6
Western Beaver 12 0 16 0 0 28
GAME OF THE WEEK ARCHIVE
One step short 12/3/16 Neshannock season comes to end 11/27/16 The (im)perfect season 11/19/16 WPIAL championship game 11/18/16 New Castle advances to WPIAL Class 4A title game 11/11/16 Neshannock routs Serra Catholic 11/4/16 Neshannock hosts Serra Catholic 11/4/16 Thriller 10/28/16 Union at Shenango 10/28/16 'Canes stumble; playoff berth on line in finale 10/21/16 New Castle hosts Ringgold on Senior Night 10/21/16 Wilmington falls in battle of unbeatens 10/15/16 Wilmington at Hickory 10/13/16 On the defensive 10/8/16 Neshannock hosts Riverside 10/7/16 New Castle struggles in home loss to Mars 9/30/16 New Castle hosts Mars 9/30/16 'Canes hope to even score against Mars 9/30/16 Stayin' alive 9/23/16 Union hosts Western Beaver 9/23/16 Ground assault 9/17/16 Wilmington hosts Sharpsville 9/16/16 Too many mistakes for Laurel 9/10/16 Riverside travels to Laurel 9/9/16 Neshannock routs North Catholic 9/3/16 Canes quipped 8/31/16 A good mix 8/27/16 Black Friday 11/14/15 Wilmington vs. Cambridge Springs 11/13/15 Defense steps up for Lancers 11/7/15 Neshannock vs. Bentworth 11/5/15 No doubt about it 10/31/15 Neshannock vs. Union 10/30/15 Crowning effort 10/24/15 Shenango vs. Riverside 10/23/15 Playoff hopes dashed 10/17/15 Laurel vs. Beaver 10/16/15 A costly brawl 10/10/15 New Castle vs. Central Valley 10/9/15 Inching closer 10/3/15 Union vs. Shenango 10/2/15 'They had us on our heels' 9/26/15 South Side Beaver at Union 9/25/15 Shootout 9/19/15 Neshannock at Riverside 9/18/15 Pivotal 9/13/15 Neshannock, Shenango clash Saturday 9/11/15 Under the weather 9/5/15 New Brighton at Laurel 9/4/15 Heartbreaker 11/15/14 Neshannock vs. Clairton 11/14/14 Weathering the storm 11/8/14 Neshannock vs. Jeannette 11/7/14 Fast and furious 11/1/14 Springdale at Shenango 10/31/14 Opportunity lost 10/25/14 Sharpsville at Wilmington 10/24/14 One for the books 10/18/14 Ellwood City at Laurel 10/17/14 Ground war 10/11/14 Ellwood City at Mohawk 10/10/14 Drenched with happiness 10/4/14 South Side Beaver at Shenango 10/3/14 The perfect storm 9/27/14 Moon at New Castle 9/26/14 Coming up short 9/20/14 West Middlesex at Wilmington 9/19/14 Back in the saddle 9/13/14 Neshannock at Riverside 9/12/14 Tough act to follow 9/6/14 New Brighton at Ellwood City 9/5/14 'We will get better' 8/30/14 West Allegheny vs. New Castle 8/29/14 End of the road 11/16/13 Neshannnock vs. North Catholic 11/15/13 'Sharks in a frenzy' 11/9/13 Lancers advance to WPIAL semifinals 11/9/13 Neshannock vs. Monessen 11/8/13 The best defense 11/2/13 Neshannock vs. Brentwood 11/1/13 'We battled to the end' 10/26/13 New Brighton at Mohawk 10/25/13 Costly blunders 10/19/13 Sto-Rox at Laurel 10/18/13 West Allegheny rallies in fourth to defeat 'Canes 10/12/13 West Allegheny at New Castle 10/11/13 Mohawk wins thriller behind McConahy, Barber 10/5/13 Ellwood City at Mohawk 10/4/13 Spartans ride big second half to win over Union 9/28/13 Laurel at Union 9/27/13 Burkes stars as Lancers escape upset bid 9/21/13 Shenango at Neshannock 9/20/13 So close ... 9/13/13 Neshannock at Sto-Rox 9/12/13 Run to glory 9/7/13 Laurel at Neshannock 9/6/13 Dando, Spartans roll over South Side Beaver 9/5/13 South Side Beaver vs. Laurel 8/30/13 Turnovers spell doom for Wilmington in D-10 title game 11/26/12 Wilmington vs. Hickory 11/24/12 Caught in a 'Bear' trap 11/17/12 Neshannock vs. Clairton in WPIAL Class A semifinals 11/15/12 Neshannock advances 11/10/12 Neshannock vs. Monessen 11/9/12 Neshannock vs. Monessen 11/9/12 Neshannock vs. Monessen 11/8/12 Neshannock advances 11/3/12 Neshannock vs. Jefferson-Morgan 11/2/12 Down and out 10/27/12 New Castle at Hopewell 10/26/12 Pugh paces Wilmington to win over Sharon 10/22/12 Wilmington vs. Sharon 10/19/12 Mohawk falls to Beaver 10/13/12 Beaver vs. Mohawk 10/12/12 ‘We tip our hats to them’ 10/8/12 Neshannock at Rochester 10/5/12 Big-play display for Union 9/29/12 Union vs. Laurel 9/28/12 Lancers rout Shenango for fourth win 9/24/12 Blend of old, new sparks Union win 9/22/12 Union hosts Western Beaver 9/21/12 ’Hounds rise up for win over Hickory 9/15/12 Wilmington vs. Hickory 9/14/12 Milestone victory 9/10/12 New Castle at Riverside 9/7/12 699 and counting 9/1/12 New Castle vs. Central Valley 8/31/12 Turnovers lead to season-ending loss for Wilmington 11/21/11 Wilmington vs. General McLane 11/17/11 End of the dream 11/12/11 Ellwood vs. Greensburg Central 11/11/11 Ellwood advances 11/5/11 Ellwood City vs. Freeport 11/4/11 Mixed reviews 10/29/11 New Castle vs. Blackhawk 10/28/11 Wilmington rolls to Region 3 title 10/22/11 Wilmington vs. Sharon 10/21/11 It's Polka time 10/15/11 Ellwood City vs. Laurel 10/14/11 Aliquippa cruises past Ellwood City 10/8/11 Aliquippa vs. Ellwood City 10/7/11 Wilmington holds on for thrilling win over Hickory 10/1/11 Wilmington vs. Hickory 9/30/11 Union pulls away for win over South Side Beaver 9/24/11 South Side Beaver at Union 9/23/11 Big plays spell doom for New Castle 9/17/11 Central Valley vs. New Castle 9/16/11 Defense delivers for Neshannock 9/10/11 Defense delivers for Neshannock 9/10/11 Neshannock vs. Serra Catholic 9/9/11 New Castle suffers disappointing loss in opener 9/3/11 New Castle vs. Butler 9/2/11 Sharon ends Wilmington’s dominance 11/22/10 ‘Underdog’ Greyhounds move on to a rematch with Sharon 11/15/10 Wilmington vs. North East 11/12/10 Tough lesson 11/6/10 WPIAL Playoffs: Ellwood vs. South Fayette 11/5/10 Wolverines earn playoff berth 10/30/10 Riverside at Ellwood City 10/29/10 'Hounds lose heartbreaker 10/23/10 Wilmington at Sharon 10/22/10 Wolverines outlast Spartans 10/16/10 Laurel at Ellwood City 10/15/10 'Canes fall to Parkway foe Hopewell 10/9/10 New Castle to battle Hopewell 10/8/10 Lancers fall to Western Beaver 10/2/10 Western Beaver at Neshannock 10/1/10 Wolverines fall to Beaver 9/25/10 Beaver at Ellwood City 9/24/10 Shenango runs past South Side 9/20/10 Greyhounds lay hammer down on Greenville 9/11/10 Wilmington vs. Greenville 9/10/10 New Castle comes through 9/4/10 New Castle vs. Butler 9/4/10 Memorable run ends for Wilmington football team 12/14/09 Wilmington vs. Greensburg Catholic 12/11/09 Wilmington survives close call against Forest Hills 12/4/09 Wilmington vs. Forest Hills 12/4/09 Wilmington blanks Sharon 11/28/09 Wilmington vs. Sharon 11/27/09 Laurel season ends with setback 11/21/09 Laurel vs. Clairton in WPIAL semifinals 11/20/09 West Allegheny ends New Castle’s season 11/14/09 New Castle vs. West Allegheny 11/13/09 New Castle holds off Greensburg Salem 11/7/09 New Castle at Greensburg Salem 11/6/09 Wilmington routs Slippery Rock 10/30/09 Slippery Rock at Wilmington 10/30/09 Shenango blanks Union 10/24/09 Shenango at Union 10/23/09 Spartans overwhelm Monaca 10/17/09 Monaca at Laurel 10/16/09 Mohawk outlasts Ellwood City 10/10/09 Mohawk at Ellwood City 10/9/09 Rochester turns back Laurel in battle of unbeatens 10/3/09 Laurel at Rochester 10/2/09 Laurel opportunistic against Neshannock 9/26/09 Neshannock at Laurel 9/25/09 New Castle ends streak against Blackhawk 9/19/09 New Castle hosts Blackhawk 9/18/09 New Castle passes test against Indiana 9/12/09 Indiana at New Castle 9/11/09 Ellwood comes up short against Freedom 9/5/09 Freedom at Ellwood 9/4/09 Wilmington wins PIAA title! 12/15/08 'Hounds headed for Hershey 12/6/08 Wilmington vs. Aliquippa 12/5/08 Wilmington holds off Martinsburg Central 11/29/08 Wilmington edges Slippery Rock for District 10 title 11/24/08 "Down and Out" 11/19/08 New Castle outlasts Indiana in quarterfinals 11/8/08 New Castle vs. Indiana 11/7/08 New Castle vs. Indiana 11/6/08 New Castle routs Franklin Regional 11/1/08 Franklin Regional at New Castle 11/1/08 Laurel wins, but not enough 10/25/08 Shenango at Laurel 10/25/08 New Castle routs Ambridge 10/18/08 Ambridge at New Castle 10/18/08 Rochester blanks Neshannock 10/11/08 Wilmington handles Sharon 10/4/08 South Side Beaver blanks Neshannock 9/27/08 Neshannock vs. South Side Beaver 9/27/08 Neshannock holds off Laurel 9/20/08 Rochester blanks Union 9/13/08 Union-Rochester 9/12/08 Mohawk routs New Brighton 9/6/08 Butler outlasts New Castle 8/30/08
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