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Game of the Week

Defense delivers for Neshannock

Neshannock (7) vs. Serra Catholic (0)
Written: Sep 10, 2011
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By RON PONIEWASZ JR.

New Castle News

Defense was strong for the Neshannock High football team last year.

It appears that nothing has changed for the Lancers this season.

Neshannock forced three turnovers and came through with a critical goal-line stand to turn back Serra Catholic 7-0 in nonconference action last night at Bob Bleggi Stadium.

Last week, the Lancers surrendered just six points on a late touchdown against West Shamokin.

“I’m happy with how our defense is playing,” Neshannock coach Pat Cuba said.

The Lancers (2-0) were ranked 11th in the entire district in total yards allowed last year, while allowing just under 17 points a game. Through two games, they’re allowing just 194.5 yards a game, while forcing a total of five turnovers.

“The defense is unbelievable,” Neshannock quarterback Michael Sanfilippo said. “They saved the game for us tonight.”

Sanfilippo, a junior, accounted for the game’s lone score on a 21-yard scoring dash with eight-tenths of a second left in the opening period. He kept the ball on a zone read play, faking a handoff to Kienan Owens and racing in easily for the score.

“That was a read; Michael saw a guy coming and he pulled it in and took it in,” Cuba said. “With Kienan possibly carrying the ball, sometimes that happens. He draws a lot of attention.”

Said Sanfilippo, “I just made the right read and the line blocked really well.”

The Eagles (0-2) threatened right before the half. Serra Catholic marched 39 yards down to the Neshannock 5. On fourth-and-1 from the 5 following a Lancers timeout, Eagles quarterback Trevor Jaworski mishandled the snap and was thrown for a seven-yard loss by a gang of Neshannock defenders with a minute to play.

“(Against Serra Catholic), I said we can bend but we can’t break. You have to make them drive the field and I think we did that,” Cuba said. “I told them during the timeout that you have your backs up against the wall. This is where you find out what you’re made of.

“The kids responded and did a good job.”

Serra Catholic coach Jamie Eckels noted the lost opportunity before the half was huge.

“We didn’t get the snap,” he said. “It’s tough to play quarterback in our offense.”

Neshannock’s defense had to rise up once more late in the game. Serra Catholic took over with four minutes remaining on its own 6. Four plays later, backup quarterback Brett Delo connected with Evan Bauder on a 45-yard pass play.

But Bauder was stripped on his way down and John Conglose scooped up the loose ball on the Neshannock 22. It was the Eagles’ seventh fumble, and third lost.

“That was a culmination of the night,” Eckels said. “We just have to get ourselves ready to play and correct that.”

The Lancers took over and Conglose put the game away when he rumbled 53 yards down to the Serra Catholic 25, helping the hosts kill the clock.

Conglose paced Neshannock with 65 yards rushing on six attempts.

“That’s the best I’ve seen a kid play since I’ve been here, playing from the free safety spot and making plays,” Cuba said of Conglose. “He certainly came up huge late in the game.”

The Lancers registered 163 total yards, including 152 on the ground.

“Our ground game was good in spurts, but it was inconsistent,” Cuba said. “The thing I love about these guys is we didn’t quit.”

Neshannock opens Big Seven Conference action at 7 p.m. Friday when it hosts Sto-Rox.

*****

SERRA CATH. NESHANNOCK

12 First downs 8

179 Yards Rushing 161

11 Yards Lost 9

168 Net Rushing 152

4 Passes Attempted 6

1 Passes Completed 2

0 Passes Intercepted 1

45 Yards Passing 11

224 Total Yards 163

7-3 Fumbles-Lost 2-1

4-36.5 Punts-Average 4-38.2

5-25 Penalties-Yards 3-25

SERRA CATH. 0 0 0 0 —0

NESHANNOCK 7 0 0 0 —0
GAME SCOREBOARD
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
Neshannock 7 0 0 0 0 7
Serra Catholic 0 0 0 0 0 0
GAME OF THE WEEK ARCHIVE
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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