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Game of the Week

Mohawk wins thriller behind McConahy, Barber

Ellwood City (21) vs. Mohawk (24)
Written: Oct 05, 2013
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By Corey J. Corbin

New Castle News

If Mohawk High ultimately makes the playoffs, the Warriors may want to thank Spencer McConahy for getting them there.

The junior defensive back intercepted a Dillon Horgan pass in the end zone on the first play in overtime to set up the game-winning field goal, as Mohawk edged visiting Ellwood City Lincoln 24-21 in a Midwestern Athletic Conference overtime thriller last night.

“When we went into overtime, we knew we were going to win,” McConahy said. “I just made a play on the ball. No one came out for a pass, so I just dropped back. We knew we had to get the win. We just played our hearts out and got the win.”

The Warriors appeared to know the pass was coming.

“That’s the pass play they like to run around the 10 in the games we’ve scouted,” Mohawk coach Joe Lamenza said. “So yeah, we were ready for that. Spencer made a clutch play — that’s what he does.”

Wolverines coach Don Phillips defended his play selection, believing they’d catch Mohawk off guard.

“We’ve done that before in overtime situations and had success with it,” he said. “I really felt since we were running the ball so well we could catch them with that. I thought if we could score, it would give our kids a big lift and we’d go on defense and hold them.”

After McConahy’s defensive heroics, Lamenza wasted little time sending out senior kicker Brock Barber and the field goal unit on first down for the winning 27-yard field goal.

“I thought it gave us the best chance to win the game,” Lamenza said. “Brock Barber has been solid for us. He’s been a nice addition. He hits those all the time in practice.”

The win gives the Warriors (3-2, 3-3) a leg up for the final playoff spot out of the MAC.

“This puts us one step closer to where we want to be,” Lamenza said. “We’re 3-2 in the conference right now. We’re going to get ready for Beaver.”

The Wolverines (2-3, 3-3), on the other hand, now need a little help to get into the playoffs.

“This gives them an edge on us, but it’s not over,” Phillips said. “They have a tough road to hoe, but so do we. We want to battle for as long as we can until it’s official. Right now, it’s not official. The kids are down and they’re frustrated. I’m going to give them some space to let them relax and mull this through. We’ll talk with them and we’ll get through this.”

The game featured controversy right from the start when Mohawk quarterback Gio Menichino appeared to put the Warriors up 7-0 with a 40-yard touchdown run after a fake sent McFarland into the interior of the line and Menichino around left tackle, but an inadvertent whistle stopped the play for a six-yard run.

“It was an inadvertent whistle,” Lamenza said. “The triple option is one of our favorite plays and we rep it every day. Obviously, we don’t want to get a touchdown called back because of an inadvertent whistle, but I’ll take it as a compliment that the ball-handling was good enough to fool the officials.”

Phillips questioned where the officials ultimately spotted the ball.

“The kid was in the backfield when the whistle was blown,” he said. “They said he was up the field. No, he was not. When the whistle blew, he was in their backfield.”

Ellwood took a 14-0 lead midway through on a 49-yard scoring run from Jared Meyers late in the first quarter and followed it with a 33-yard scamper from Nick Ioanilli with 5:19 left in the half, but Mohawk cut the deficit in half on a Jesse Wolfe 1-yard burst 23 seconds before the half.

The Warriors knotted the score at 14 after a Shane McFarland 85-yard punt return in the third quarter set up Chance Frederick’s 1-yard touchdown. Ellwood responded moments later with an 82-yard touchdown from Paul Lutz. McFarland’s 30-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter set up overtime.

McFarland finished the game with 134 yards on 29 carries.

“It was all guys in front of me,” he said of linemen Chase Miller, Tommy Romano, Travis Giardina, Mehmet Iclek, Chad Hogue and tight end Mike Kurtz. “They do a nice job up front of blocking.”

Meyers and Lutz both crossed the century mark for the Wolverines, rushing for168 and 109 yards, respectively. Ellwood City finished with 342 yards on the ground.

“They have three good backs with Meyers being one of the top backs in the league,” McFarland said of Ellwood’s running backs, including Ioanilli. “We knew we had to watch them. Coming in, we knew it was going to be a dogfight. We counted this as a playoff game. We knew we had to finish the game and we did.”

(Email: C_Corbin@ncnewsonline.com)

ELLWOOD CITY MOHAWK

9 First downs 12

344 Yards Rushing 180

2 Yards Lost 10

342 Net Rushing 170

8 Passes Attempted 15

2 Passes Completed 10

2 Passes Intercepted 0

27 Yards Passing 65

369 Total Yards 235

4-2 Fumbles-Lost 1-1

3-39.3 Punts-Average 4-35.5

12-87 Penalties-Yards 2-25

ELLWOOD CITY 7 7 7 0 0 — 21

MOHAWK 0 7 7 7 3 — 24

Scoring plays

ELLWOOD CITY — Jared Meyers, 49-yard run (Seth Mley kick).

ELLWOOD CITY — Nick Ioanilli, 33-yard run (Mley kick).

MOHAWK — Jesse Wolfe, 1-yard run (Brock Barber kick).

MOHAWK — Chance Frederick, 1-yard run (Barber kick).

ELLWOOD CITY — Paul Lutz, 82-yard run (Mley kick).

MOHAWK — Shane McFarland, 30-yard run (Barber kick).

MOHAWK — Barber, 27-yard field goal.
GAME SCOREBOARD
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
Ellwood City 7 7 7 0 0 21
Mohawk 0 7 7 7 3 24
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 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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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