New Castle routs Montour
New Castle (48) vs. Montour (12)
Written: Oct 04, 2008
By JOHN D’ABRUZZO
Everything that wasn’t working for the New Castle High football team earlier in the season came to fruition last night.
The Red Hurricane made big play after big play en route to capturing a 48-12 WPIAL Class AAA Parkway Conference victory over Montour at Taggart Stadium. It was the third consecutive week New Castle knocked off a ranked conference team.
The Spartans (2-1 conference, 4-2 overall) entered the week ranked No. 4 in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Class AAA poll and also were rated seventh in the state rankings by the Harrisburg Patriot-News.
“We’ve been a step away from making the big play,” New Castle coach Frank Bongivengo Jr. said. “When we can put it together, we can play football.”
It didn’t take the ’Canes (3-1, 3-3) long to put things together. Junior wide receiver Jajuan Jay scored on a 60-yard pass from senior quarterback Michael Bongivengo 41 seconds into the game.
“People have been doubting us, but we came out and proved tonight that we can play with anybody in the Parkway,” Jay said. “We made big plays and put points on the board.”
That was a mere coming attraction from New Castle’s offense. It racked up 615 yards of total offense to Montour’s 296.
The quarterback turned in a career performance. He completed 13 of 23 for a 359 yards and five touchdowns.
“Bongivengo is a nice player and he makes plays,” Spartans coach Lou Cerro said of the New Castle coach’s son. “Thank God he’s a senior and we don’t get to see him next year.
“They came to play tonight and he made a difference.”
Bongivengo threw touchdown passes for 60, 82, 50, 31 and 55 yards, respectively.
“We did a lot right tonight,” he said. “We played offense like we know how. Our defense played amazing. It was an all-around team effort.”
Jay led the receiving corps with three touchdowns and 141 yards on three catches. Senior tight end Michael Razzano had four receptions for 54 yards.
“It’s nice because you know you have those athletes out there,” the quarterback said. “You just get them the ball in open space because you know they’re going to make plays.
“And my line was great. They were driving guys into the ground.”
Running backs junior Keith Keene and senior Brandon Burley each scored a pair of touchdowns.
Keene, who ran for 169 yards on 16 carries, scored New Castle’s second touchdown on a 92-yard run. He also got the ’Canes last score of the game on a 55-yard run.
“We have a lot of weapons on our team, especially on offense,” coach Bongivengo said. “What Montour tried to do was stop our run game because we had a lot of success over the last two weeks with it. We stepped up and made a lot of big plays with the passing game.”
Burley got both of his scores in the second quarter and helped put New Castle up 27-6 at the half. His first was on his only rush for 12 yards and his second was on his only reception for 82 yards.
“New Castle came to play tonight,” Cerro said. “They knocked us around a little bit and that’s why we got bombed.
“I told the kids all week not to be worried about their record because they lost to some very good teams and beat some very good teams. They’re on a roll right now.”
New Castle’s offense outshined Montour’s E.J. Banks. The highly-touted senior quarterback, who is a Notre Dame recruit, completed 11 of 22 passes with one touchdown and one interception for 175 yards. He also ran for 74 yards on 14 carries.
“He’s a player. You don’t go to Notre Dame because you’re not any good,” coach Bongivengo said. “Our defense did a great job. They were flying to the ball and they contained him for the most part.”
Banks scored the Spartans’ first touchdown on a 31-yard run early in the first quarter. Montour’s other score came when Banks hit his cousin, Milton Banks, on a 23-yard pass to open the third quarter and to get the Spartans as close as 27-12.
“This was a must-win game right here,” Burley said. “Football is strength, speed and teamwork. Every game we knew we had the strength and speed. Tonight we put the teamwork together, played hard and won.”
MONTOUR NEW CASTLE
16 First downs 21
131 Yards Rushing 269
10 Yards Lost 13
121 Net Rushing 256
22 Passes Attempted 23
11 Passes Completed 13
1 Passes Intercepted 0
175 Yards Passing 359
296 Total Yards 615
1-1 Fumbles-Lost 1-0
6-38 Punts-Average 2-35.5
7-43 Penalties-Yards 5-45
MONTOUR 6 0 6 0 — 12
NEW CASTLE 14 13 14 7 — 48
NEW CASTLE — Jajuan Jay, 60-yard pass from Michael Bongivengo (Bongivengo run).
MONTOUR — E.J. Banks, 31-run (run failed).
NEW CASTLE — Keith Keene, 92-yard run (run failed).
NEW CASTLE — Brandon Burley, 12-yard run (kick failed).
NEW CASTLE — Burley, 82-yard pass from Bongivengo (Jay kick).
MONTOUR — Milton Banks, 23-yard pass from E. Banks (kick failed).
NEW CASTLE — Jay, 50-yard pass from Bongivengo (Jay kick).
NEW CASTLE — Jay, 31-yard pass from Bongivengo (Jay kick).
NEW CASTLE — Keene, 55-yard pass from Bongivengo (Jay kick).