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Milestone victory

New Castle (48) vs. Riverside (14)
Written: Sep 10, 2012
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By Ron Poniewasz Jr.

New Castle News

NORTH SEWICKLEY TOWNSHIP — The wait is over for the New Castle High football program.

The Red Hurricane conquered the elements and Riverside last night, posting the program’s 700th victory.

Julian Cox returned from a one-game suspension to account for four touchdowns in New Castle’s historic 48-14 nonconference win over the Panthers.

The win also was Joe Cowart’s first as the ’Canes coach. Cowart, in his first season at the helm, is a 1999 New Castle graduate.

“It’s a weight off my shoulders,” Cowart said of the milestone. “It’s a great feeling. I’m proud of the guys. I’m proud of everything they’ve done.

“Getting the 700th win means the world to me. Just growing up and being a New Castle kid, knowing the tradition and being a part of a family that was a big part of New Castle football my whole life, it’s really a big deal to me. It’s special to me. I was a kid for 600, and I work with people that were on that team. It’s a big deal, not only to me but our community and especially our kids. It has a special place in my heart.”

The teams weren’t sure if they would start promptly at 7 p.m. because of lightning in the area prior to kickoff. But they kicked off at 7 and played until the 4:39 mark of the opening period when lightning again was spotted. The teams were ushered off the field and they waited through a 42-minute delay.


New Castle (1-1) is one of 39 schools around the country to earn 700 football victories.

“We talk about a lot of things, not just the milestone of 700 but the tradition of what New Castle football really is,” Cowart said. “To us, as young men in New Castle, it’s a passage into manhood. You’re a part of something special that thousands of guys have been successful turning from adolescence into men and being a part of a football program that is one of the greatest in the United States of America.

“It’s a big deal and we try to let our kids know how special it is to be a part of something like this.”

’Canes assistant coaches Craig Anderson, Pat Cain, Sam Holmes, Bill Humphrey, Nick Marmo and Tyrone Rice all competed for New Castle when they were in high school.

Jalen Holmes, Sam’s son, rolled up 107 yards and two touchdowns in the win over the Panthers (0-2).

“My dad told me a lot about the program,” Jalen Holmes said. “He told me about Lindy Lauro and how he was a great coach. And he told me he was part of a rich tradition, too.

“There’s not a lot of teams with 700 wins, so I’m glad to be a part of it.”


Jalen Holmes got the ’Canes rolling in the first quarter when he raced 45 yards for a touchdown with 4:56 left. Holmes hurdled Riverside defenders three different times en route to the end zone.

Holmes competes on the track and field team, but doesn’t participate in the hurdle events.

“I knew not to go down,” he said. “I just used the ability that God gave me and leaped over him.

“I don’t know where (those hurdles) came from, it’s just instincts.”

Cowart, who serves as a track coach at New Castle, was impressed by the acrobatic run.

“I think we’re going to have to put him on the hurdles now,” Cowart said with a laugh. “I’ll be honest, I’ve never seen anything like that. The first one, when he went up over a kid, you usually just see a guy fall down after that. He’s athletic enough to get up over a guy. He knows, as a big back, that guys like to go low on him.

“His work in the spring and in the summer has put his body in a position to be a much more athletic guy this year than the last two years. It certainly paid off on that run.”


Cox, a quarterback who transferred from Ellwood City Lincoln, was 9 of 19 for 175 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions after sitting out the opener against Central Valley. He had 87 yards rushing on six carries and a score.

“I feel good. I’m happy to be back here with my team,” Cox said. “We needed this victory and we knew it was going to be big. We came in here and fought hard.”

Said Cowart, “I’m very proud of Julian. He has really worked hard to not only mature as a football player, but as a man. That showed tonight. He’s paid his dues through an adverse situation. He really led us from gun to gun and made some spectacular plays.”

Cox found Malik Hooker on scoring passes of 18 and 53 yards. Hooker hauled in three passes for a team-best 85 yards. He snared a long bomb from Cox on the second score over a Riverside defender, kept his balanced and waltzed into the end zone for a 41-8 advantage in the third period.

“Every time we run a pass play he comes to me and tells me I have to catch this,” Hooker said of Cox. “I don’t want to let my teammates down.

“I’m glad to actually come out and go to war with these guys. I wouldn’t want to go to war with any other team but these guys. I’m having fun playing with these guys.”

With the chase for the milestone over, New Castle can now turn its sights over to Parkway Conference rival Ambridge. The ’Canes host the Bridgers at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Taggart Stadium.

“Now we go into the grind of Parkway Conference football again,” Cowart said. “We have to get better every day. We have seven Friday nights that are guaranteed to us and we have to prepare and be ready for them.”



20 First downs 8

265 Yards Rushing 66

22 Yards Lost 23

243 Net Rushing 43

23 Passes Attempted 12

12 Passes Completed 7

0 Passes Intercepted 0

205 Yards Passing 103

448 Total Yards 146

0-0 Fumbles-Lost 2-2

3-34.7 Punts-Average 6-35.8

10-89 Penalties-Yards 10-75

NEW CASTLE 13 14 14 7 — 48

RIVERSIDE 0 8 0 6 — 14

Scoring plays

NEW CASTLE — Jalen Holmes, 45-yard run (kick failed).

NEW CASTLE — Jake McPhatter, 15-yard pass from Julian Cox (Khalil Huddleston kick).

RIVERSIDE — Aaron Tedys, 38-yard pass from Zach Gould (Dylan Marketich pass from Gould).

NEW CASTLE — Holmes, 17-yard run (kick blocked).

NEW CASTLE — Malik Hooker, 18-yard pass from Cox (Cox run).

NEW CASTLE — Cox, 12-yard run (kick failed).

NEW CASTLE — Hooker, 53-yard pass from Cox (Holmes run).

RIVERSIDE — Kolby Wolf, 8-yard pass from Gould (pass failed).

NEW CASTLE — Ryan Fitzpatrick, 7-yard run (Huddleston kick).

New Castle 13 14 14 7 0 48
Riverside 0 8 0 6 0 14
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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