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Game of the Week

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New Castle (7) vs. Central Valley (31)
Written: Sep 01, 2012
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By Ron Poniewasz Jr.

New Castle News

History is on hold for the New Castle High football team.

At least for another week.

Jordan Whitehead rolled up 156 yards rushing with a score and Central Valley capitalized on Red Hurricane miscues for a 31-7 season-opening Parkway Conference win at Taggart Stadium last night.

New Castle was bidding for its 700th career victory.

“I thought they handled that stuff well,” first-year ’Canes coach Joe Cowart said of his team chasing the feat. “I thought, overall, we left a lot of football plays on the field. But we’re enthused by some things we saw. It’s early yet.

“We tell our guys, this season is a marathon. But it’s full of sprints. This was our first sprint and we lost this one. Now we have to gear ourselves up for next week and get better.”

The ’Canes committed two turnovers, both in the first half. The Warriors turned those mistakes into a 14-0 halftime lead.

Central Valley needed just two plays to go 15 yards for the first score, and one play for a nine-yard score.

“I thought at halftime, we left plays out there,” Cowart said. “We gave them two short fields, unfortunately. For us to be a good football team, we have to take care of the ball, just like anyone, and we didn’t do that.”

Despite a 14-point deficit, New Castle had a chance to cut into that margin before the half. The ’Canes marched 79 yards to the Central Valley 1. But on fourth-and-goal, New Castle quarterback Anthony Richards was stuffed at the line on a quarterback and the ’Canes were turned away.

“I thought we let them get a little momentum right before the half,” Warriors coach Mark Lyons said. “Thank God, we had a good defensive stand right before the half. Who knows if they score there, with a little bit of momentum, they will get some confidence for the second half.”

Said Cowart, “It’s a different ballgame if we get in there. But we say as a staff, we can’t chase ghosts. It didn’t happen. We need to, as a group, respond better to being down 14-0 at the half.”

Central Valley took command of the game early in the second half, going 49 yards in eight plays for a score. Randy Keefer’s one-yard plunge gave the Warriors a 21-0 advantage.

“That’s what we want to do,” Lyons said of the second-half start. “We always want to take that second-half kickoff and put a nice drive together. Hopefully impose our will a little bit.”

New Castle allowed 307 total yards, 202 of which came on the ground.

“Our defense was on the field a lot,” Cowart said. “For us to win football games, we need to keep our defense off the field, by maintaining drives on offense. We put those guys in a bad position. I thought their fight and resolve was an A-plus, but the end product, wasn’t good enough.”

Malik Hooker hauled in a 43-yard touchdown pass from Jake McPhatter with 1:12 to go in the third period and Khalil Huddleston’s conversion boot cut the margin to 21-7.

The duo hooked up twice for 77 yards. Hooker finished with the two catches, and McPhatter was 2 of 4 through the air for 77 yards. Both plays were deep balls that Hooker went up and got in traffic.

“Jake is a guy that is so multi-purpose for us,” Cowart said. “This guy has the ability that when we put him anywhere, he’s going to make a play for us.

“The throw and catch to Malik, a couple of them actually, were great ones. I thought Malik Hooker really introduced himself to the Parkway Conference by making some highlight reel plays.”

Anthony Richards, making his first varsity start at quarterback, was 3 of 7 for 32 yards with an interception.

New Castle returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday against Riverside in nonconference action. The ’Canes will be seeking history, and answering the dilemma of who will be under center as well.

“Jake will be in the mix, but we have a couple of other guys coming back that will play quarterback for us, too,” Cowart said. “Pat Minenok has a hamstring (injury), he’s going to be back. Julian Cox’s one-game suspension is over. He’s going to play for us next week. It was going to be two games, but he’s earned his way back for us.

“We’re going to get an extended look at quite a few guys. Jake certainly proved himself to be a valuable asset there. We feel comfortable at that position.”

Cowart said his team won’t overlook the Class AA Panthers.

“I know Riverside traditionally has an excellent and tough football team,” he said. “They are going to give us everything we can handle at their place. Our boys better be geared up to play football. If 700 happens next week, then we’re doing the right thing to make it happen.”

(Email: rponiewasz@ncnewsonline.com)

CENTRAL VALLEY NEW CASTLE

20 First downs 8

224 Yards Rushing 139

22 Yards Lost 26

202 Net Rushing 113

15 Passes Attempted 12

11 Passes Completed 5

1 Passes Intercepted 1

105 Yards Passing 109

307 Total Yards 222

2-1 Fumbles-Lost 1-1

0-0 Punts-Average 3-37

4-47 Penalties-Yards 1-15

CENTRAL VALLEY 7 7 7 10 — 31

NEW CASTLE 0 0 7 0 —7

Scoring plays

CENTRAL VALLEY — Ricky Zuk, 2-yard run (Elliot Taylor kick).

CENTRAL VALLEY — Jordan Whitehead, 9-yard pass from Nate Climo (Taylor kick).

CENTRAL VALLEY — Randy Keefer, 1-yard run (Taylor kick).

NEW CASTLE — Malik Hooker, 43-yard pass from Jake McPhatter (Khalil Huddleston kick).

CENTRAL VALLEY — Robert Foster, 2-yard run (Taylor kick).

CENTRAL VALLEY — Taylor, 26-yard field goal.

GAME SCOREBOARD
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
New Castle 0 0 7 0 0 7
Central Valley 7 7 7 10 0 31
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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