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Game of the Week

West Allegheny rallies in fourth to defeat 'Canes

New Castle (31) vs. West Allegheny (37)
Written: Oct 12, 2013
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By Corey J. Corbin

New Castle News

New Castle had its chances to post a big Parkway Conference victory last night.

Problem is, so did West Allegheny.

The Indians did a better job of capitalizing on those chances, spoiling the Red Hurricane’s Homecoming festivities with a 37-31 victory at Taggart Stadium.

“When the rubber met the road, we had opportunities to put this game away,” New Castle coach Joe Cowart said. “We had opportunities to take two- or three-score leads and we didn’t capitalize on those opportunities.”

After rushing for just 50 yards in the first half, West Allegheny (6-0 conference, 7-0 overall) found bigger running lanes out of its wildcat package in the second half and ended the evening with a 64-40 advantage in offensive plays.

“They had more possessions than we did and it didn’t work out for us,” Cowart said. “It was across the board. We needed to get them off the field on third down and we needed to sustain drives offensively. We struggled in that department all night.

“Those guys practice and work their tails off, too, and they figured us a little bit at halftime. We need to get better and make adjustments. It’s a battle of attrition when you play that team, and we’re a tad thin. They wore us down in the second half, so we have to get in better shape and get our iron men to be iron men when the moment arises.”

With the six-point loss, the ’Canes (4-2, 5-2) will be playing the woulda, coulda, shoulda game after losing a pair of fumbles, watching the Indians recover an onside kick and having an interception returned deep into New Castle territory.

“We had some self-inflicted wounds,” Cowart said. “I thought two good football teams gave it all they possibly had. It stinks that to be on the wrong side of that, but they did what they had to win. That’s what coach (Bob) Palko does over there. They win these types of games. We want to be that. We want to be the big dogs in this league. We have to get seven points better.”

After a D.J. Opsatnik 30-yard field goal put the Indians up 3-0 just over two minutes into the game, New Castle quarterback Julian Cox broke free along the West Allegheny sideline and broke at least three tackles before diving into the end zone for a 63-yard touchdown. Cox put the ’Canes up 13-3 with a 36-yard touchdown run that covered almost as much acreage East to West as it did North to South.

Cox rushed for 125 yards and three scores on 12 rushes, while completing 8-of-16 passes for 169 yards and another touchdown.

“He’s been absolutely dynamic for us all year,” Cowart said. “That was just a glimpse at some of the things that he can do. They sat on him and made better plays on him as the game progressed. I thought he played a good football game.”

West Allegheny scored four of the next five touchdowns with Levar Ware’s 31-yard interception return breaking up the Indians’ scoring spree.

“It was a nice team win,” West Allegheny coach Bob Palko said. “From the standpoint of the fans, it seemed like a good game to be at. They saw one hell of a football game. I always enjoy these kids. They compete. I love these kids. There’s a mutual respect among the teams and the coaches. It says something to come back against a team like New Castle, who has athletes all over the field. To win a game against a team like that at this point in the season is special. It was a nice win.”

New Castle trailed twice by double digits in the second half — 30-19 after Chase Dillon’s one-yard touchdown run and 37-25 after Tory Delmonico’s 46-yard burst — but each time answered with a score of its own.

Delmonico finished with 135 yards rushing and completed his only pass attempt for 28 yards, while Dillon added another 73 yards rushing on 15 totes.

The ’Canes answered Dillon’s score with a 16-yard scoring strike from Cox to Drew Allen and pulled to within 37-31 with under a minute to play on Cox’s quarterback keeper up the gut from one-yard out.

“We need to be better to beat teams like that,” Cowart said. “There’s absolutely no quit in that locker room and that’s what I’m the most proud of. Our boys didn’t hang their heads when things went wrong. We continued to fight and we found ourselves a little bit tonight.”

The ’Canes put up 31 points and 319 yards of total offense against a Indians defense that entered the game allowing a paltry 7.5 points per game.

“That unit was giving up seven and a half points a game coming into tonight and we put up 31 on them,” Cowart said. “They gave up 51 yards to Central Valley — in the game. We scored 31 and that needs to be good enough.”

(Email: ncsports@ncnewsonline.com)

WEST ALLEGHENY NEW CASTLE

14 First downs 5

218 Yards Rushing 161

6 Yards Lost 11

212 Net Rushing 150

18 Passes Attempted 16

11 Passes Completed 8

2 Passes Intercepted 1

169 Yards Passing 169

381 Total Yards 319

2-0 Fumbles-Lost 4-2

2-24.5 Punts-Average 2-34

2-25 Penalties-Yards 7-50

WEST ALLEGHENY 3 7 7 20 — 37

NEW CASTLE 6 13 0 12 — 31

Scoring plays

WEST ALLEGHENY — D.J. Opsatnik, 30-yard field goal.

NEW CASTLE — Julian Cox, 63-yard run (kick failed).

NEW CASTLE — Cox, 36-yard run (Khalil Huddleston kick).

WEST ALLEGHENY — Robert Threet, 10-yard pass from Andrew Koester (Opsatnik kick).

NEW CASTLE — Levar Ware, 31-yard interception return (kick failed).

WEST ALLEGHENY — Tory Delmonico, 1-yard run (Opsatnik kick).

WEST ALLEGHENY — Koester, 1-yard run (pass failed).

WEST ALLEGHENY — Chase Dillon, 1-yard run (Opsatnik kick).

NEW CASTLE — Drew Allen, 16-yard touchdown pass from Cox (run failed).

WEST ALLEGHENY — Delmonico, 1-yard run (Opsatnik kick).

NEW CASTLE — Cox, 1-yard touchdown run (kick failed).

GAME SCOREBOARD
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
New Castle 6 13 0 12 0 31
West Allegheny 3 7 7 20 0 37
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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