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Game of the Week

End of the dream

Ellwood City (15) vs. Greensburg Central Catholic (18)
Written: Nov 12, 2011
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By Joe Simon

New Castle News

NEW KENSINGTON — Greensburg Central Catholic coach Muzzy Colosimo couldn’t help but admit it.

Ellwood City Lincoln had the strength of the Centurions’ football team, their powerful rushing attack, figured out.

“They did everything they could to take away our running game,” Colosimo said. “They’d blitz every down. They’d put people in the holes. They’d overload. They studied your film well enough to know what you’re doing. They had us schemed pretty well. But in the film, we saw that we could throw the ball. That was our plan.”

With the game on the line, he went back to the plan, and it led to an 18-15 Greensburg Central Catholic victory over Ellwood City in the WPIAL Class AA quarterfinal last night at Valley High School’s Memorial Stadium.

Centurions quarterback Bobbie Noble threw a near-perfect 16-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Justin Kempka with 2:58 left in the fourth quarter that gave Greensburg Central Catholic (10-1) the lead for good. Ellwood (7-4) had a chance with 2:50 remaining and the ball at its own 18, but the Wolverines struggled to move the ball, gaining one first down before Julian Cox threw an interception on fourth-and-4, sealing the Centurions’ victory.

“The bottom line is we didn’t make enough plays,” said Ellwood coach Don Phillips, who led the Wolverines to their first playoff win since 1987 last week against Freeport. “If we are doing the things that we are supposed to do, and the things that we practiced all week, we would be OK.”

The situation at the end was one Ellwood put itself in — again.

The Wolverines took a 15-10 lead with 5:31 remaining in the fourth quarter on a double pass that went from Julian Cox to Bryan Graebing on a quick hitch route. Graebing caught the ball and launched a 60-yard touchdown to Kyle Crawford, who made a nice grab and broke a tackle to score. But an excessive celebration penalty on Crawford, who threw the ball in the air after scoring, and a big return on the kickoff gave the Centurions the ball at Ellwood’s 46-yard line.

Noble finally found his rhythm on the drive, going 3 of 4 for 47 yards and a touchdown. He also made a key 19-yard pass to Kempka on second-and-20 and ran for nine yards on a fourth-and-2 play. He then threw a strike on a slant pass to Kempka, who reached the ball over the goal line for the TD.

“The throwing game was absolutely ugly going into that last drive,” Colosimo said. “And we went into what we call tango, where we’re in the shotgun, and he (Noble) was able to find a receiver right before he got hit.

“We had planned to be in spread all day, but I’m not comfortable in the spread because I’m not calling the plays. My son calls the plays in the (spread). And he actually called that last touchdown drive.”

Prior to that, the Ellwood defense played well, allowing 44 yards to running back Jordan McCrae, who came in with more than 1,100, and 78 yards passing. The offense did its part as Crawford gave the Wolverines a 9-7 lead with a seven-yard run in the second quarter. It remained 9-7 into the second half, and Crawford again came up big. After getting beat on a deep pass, he caught up to tight end Travis Andring and popped the ball out of his hands. Ellwood recovered at its own 5, but it was on that drive that a crucial mistake occurred.

Ellwood was punting from its own 19, and when Crawford knelt down to catch the snap, the referee said his knee touched, giving Greensburg Central the ball at Ellwood’s 7. While many spectators questioned the call, the defense kept its poise and held Greensburg Central to a 35-yard field goal. Yet, those three points proved crucial considering the final score.

“In my personal opinion, he wasn’t down,” Phillips said of Crawford’s punt. “From my view, it looked like (he might be down), but you could see light underneath there.”

That set the stage for the final six minutes, which included the 60-yard bomb and Noble’s clutch drive.

While some may feel the Wolverines’ season ended a bit prematurely, they did advance to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since a three-year stretch from 1985-87, and made an improbable, 15-point fourth-quarter comeback last week against Freeport. Phillips admitted it was a season to remember.

“I can’t say enough good things about our kids,” he said. “We belonged here. We belonged here, and we know we’re ready to make that next step.”




10 First downs 10

90 Yards Rushing 142

14 Yards Lost 23

76 Net Rushing 119

19 Passes Attempted 13

8 Passes Completed 7

1 Passes Intercepted 1

125 Yards Passing 107

201 Total Yards 226

1-0 Fumbles-Lost 1-0

2-42.5 Punts-Average 4-31.8

3-20 Penalties-Yards 1-5


ELLWOOD CITY 3 6 0 6 — 15

Scoring plays

ELLWOOD CITY — Scott Lewis, 35-yard field goal.

GREENSBURG CENTRAL CATHOLIC — Jordan McCrae, 2-yard run (Benjamin Kisel kick).

ELLWOOD CITY — Kyle Crawford, 7-yard run (kick blocked).

GREENSBURG CENTRAL CATHOLIC — Kisel, 35-yard field goal.

ELLWOOD CITY — Crawford, 60-yard pass from Bryan Graebing (pass failed).

GREENSBURG CENTRAL CATHOLIC — Justin Kempka, 16-yard pass from Bobbie Noble (Zach Guiser, pass from Noble).
Ellwood City 3 6 0 6 0 15
Greensburg Central Catholic 0 7 0 11 0 18
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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