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Game of the Week

Neshannock advances

Neshannock (42) vs. Jefferson-Morgan (14)
Written: Nov 03, 2012
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By Andrew Petyak

New Castle News

Ernie Burkes wanted to rewrite the history books for the Neshannock High football team.

The junior quarterback scored six times as the Lancers stomped Jefferson-Morgan, 42-14, in the first round of the WPIAL Class A playoffs last night.

Neshannock qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2004, and in the process, got its first playoff win in the program’s history. The Lancers will play Monessen on Friday at a time and site to be determined.

“We were out here to get this victory for the whole school district, the whole township, for Neshannock and former athletic director Bob Bleggi,” Neshannock coach Fred Mozzocio said. “We wanted to get a playoff win for everyone in Neshannock, and make them proud. It was just a great performance.”

The Rockets had no answer for Burkes through the air and on the ground in a game that was moved to the field turf of Waynesburg High School because of the muddy conditions after Hurricane Sandy. Burkes began his performance with a run from 26 yards out to give the Lancers the first strike, 6-0.

“Ernie got started early on the ground and we knew we had some mismatches with them in the secondary,” Mozzocio said. “Ernie did a good job delivering the ball.”

Burkes found receiver Alex Welker from the Rockets’ 28 to put Neshannock up 13-0 late in the first quarter.

After a key interception from Neshannock’s Eli Owens, Burkes scored from 35 yards out to make it 20-0. Owens led the rushing attack for the team with 139 yards on 13 carries. Burkes powered his way for 116 yards on nine carries and three touchdowns.

“That definitely comes with the line and our play calling,” Burkes said. “Our line executed and our backs executed. That opened up holes for Eli and me.”

The Lancers looked to score one more time before the half. Burkes found tight end Steve Jeffries for his first career touchdown on a play-action pass to take command at 27-0.

“That was a great catch,” Burkes said. “We ran the draw real well, we faked the play well and he made the catch. Congrats to him on his first (career touchdown).”

The play was not without controversy as fans and coaches were up in arms over the ejection of two players, Neshannock’s Gianni Oliva and Jefferson-Morgan’s Brandon Pelosi. Oliva will be suspended this week against Monessen. Another Jefferson-Morgan player, Jesse Jento, was ejected in the second half for arguing with the officials.

“From what I heard, their guy came at Oliva’s legs and wrapped them up and wouldn’t let them go,” Mozzocio said. “Our guy was kicking him or something to try to get him off his leg. I guess they kicked both players out. We warned our kids about stuff like that and we knew these kids had that type of reputation of this cheap stuff. They started it from the beginning. I felt the officials lost control of it early, and we’re the ones who’ll be punished.”

The Lancers delivered another heavy dose of Burkes in the second half. An 18-yard run from the quarterback made the score 34-0. A rushing touchdown by the Rockets’ Dustin Conti cut the deficit to 34-7. Conti, the star on offense for Jefferson-Morgan, recorded 154 yards on 28 carries with a pair of touchdowns, but failed to make an impact on the game.

“He’s a good player,” Mozzocio said. “We were looking forward to getting our hands on him and we did a good job containing him, obviously.”

Burkes again found Welker from 22 yards out late in the third. A successful two-point conversion pass to Jeffries made the score 42-7, initiating the mercy rule.

Burkes finished with 105 yards through the air. He was six of 11 with one interception.

“I’m sore and tired, but it’s a great victory,” Burkes said. “It’s a great win. I played to win for our team, and we came out with a victory.”

(Email: a_petyak@ncnewsonline.com)

NESHANNOCK JEFFERSON-MORGAN

20 First downs 17

304 Yards Rushing 265

5 Yards Lost 37

299 Net Rushing 228

12 Passes Attempted 11

6 Passes Completed 4

1 Passes Intercepted 1

105 Yards Passing 16

404 Total Yards 244

0-0 Fumbles-Lost 3-0

2-12.5 Punts-Average 5-29.0

8-63 Penalties-Yards 6-51

NESHANNOCK 6 21 7 8 — 42

JEFF.-MORGAN 0 0 7 7 — 14

Scoring plays

NESHANNOCK – Ernie Burkes, 26-yard run (kick failed).

NESHANNOCK – Alex Welker, 22-yard pass from Burkes (Connor Richards kick).

NESHANNOCK – Burkes, 35-yard run (Richards kick).

NESHANNOCK – Steven Jeffries, 1-yard pass from Burkes (Richards kick).

NESHANNOCK – Burkes, 18-yard run (Richards kick).

JEFFERSON-MORGAN – Dustin Conti, 1-yard run (Mateusz Zeglen kick).

NESHANNOCK – Welker, 22-yard pass from Burkes (Jeffries pass from Burkes).

JEFFERSON-MORGAN - Conti, 8-yard run (Zeglen kick).
GAME SCOREBOARD
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
Neshannock 6 21 7 8 0 42
Jefferson-Morgan 0 0 7 7 0 14
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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