’Canes cruise to easy victory
New Castle (47) vs. Riverside (12)
Written: Sep 07, 2013
By Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News
It has been all about mistakes for the New Castle High football team the past two weeks.
Last week, the Red Hurricane made more than its share. Last night, it didn’t.
The ’Canes cut down their penalties from 14 a week ago to 10 and the big plays returned in a 47-12 nonconference win over Riverside.
“We cut out the sins, the self-inflicted negatives,” second-year New Castle coach Joe Cowart said. “For the most part, we still had some pre-snap penalties that we have to get rid of.
“Nothing against Riverside, but first-and-15 against Riverside is different than first-and-15 in the Parkway Conference. Those negatives don’t hurt as bad when we play a team of Riverside’s caliber. We have to cut the negativity out. We have to stop beating ourselves. Tonight, for the most part, the big play was back and a part of our offense. We got the run game going, which was lacking last week.”
Nine of the ’Canes’ penalties came in the first half. One wiped out a long touchdown run by Malik Hooker and another negated a big gainer.
“We hammered them this week about being better in the penalty game. But 10 is better than 14,” Cowart said. “We obviously have to get better. We can’t beat ourselves continuously.”
New Castle (1-1) built a 34-0 halftime lead. Drew Allen returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown to initiate the mercy rule.
The woes continue for the Panthers (0-2). Riverside, a member of the Class AA Midwestern Athletic Conference, dropped its seventh-straight contest. The Panthers’ average margin of defeat in those games is 33.4 points.
Jake McPhatter got the ’Canes on the board with two first-quarter touchdown runs. He plowed in from eight yards out 3:16 into the game and then raced 32 yards with just 12 seconds left in the quarter for a 14-0 advantage.
“My first touchdown, I saw my blocker, Stew Allen, I cut off of him. My whole line, they all just did their job. I saw daylight and I ran through it,” McPhatter said. “The second touchdown, my man Drew Allen, I made a cut off him and that hole was big for me.”
McPhatter scored New Castle’s final touchdown when he got behind the Riverside defense for a 65-yard scoring pass from Julian Cox with 7:37 left in the third quarter.
“When that long pass happened, it was just like we have to just keep pounding them. We wanted to put on a show for the home fans,” McPhatter said.
The ’Canes finished with 411 yards of total offense, 346 came on the ground. Last week, New Castle managed just 122 total yards in a 29-6 loss at Parkway Conference rival Central Valley.
“We improved a whole lot,” McPhatter said. “We had a chip on our shoulder because we didn’t expect to come out and lose to Central Valley like we did last week.
“This whole week of practice, it was just furious. “
The Panthers managed just 44 total yards in the first half against the ’Canes’ starters and finished with 199. Riverside scored both of its touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
“I thought the first (defensive) unit played well,” Cowart said. “We put the second and third units in, there’s too big of a dropoff.
“We need to buck up the depth of our team as a whole. But the first unit played well and kept them off the scoreboard and I was pleased about that.”
Prior to the game, New Castle honored the 40th anniversary of the 1973 WPIAL championship team.
New Castle travels to Ambridge at 7:30 p.m. Friday for a Parkway Conference matchup.
“Ambridge came into this building last year and really handled us,” Cowart said. “We didn’t move the ball offensively. We have a lot going on next week.
“If we want to be thought of as a playoff team, if we think we’re a playoff team, this is our Super Bowl. We have to beat Ambridge. We will have a fistfight on our hands next week at Ambridge.”
RIVERSIDE NEW CASTLE
13 First downs 10
34 Yards Rushing 360
23 Yards Lost 14
11 Net Rushing 346
28 Passes Attempted 4
14 Passes Completed 1
2 Passes Intercepted 0
188 Yards Passing 65
199 Total Yards 411
2-2 Fumbles-Lost 0-0
3-33.6 Punts-Average 2-28.5
6-50 Penalties-Yards 10-99
RIVERSIDE 0 0 0 12 — 12
NEW CASTLE 14 20 13 0 — 47
NEW CASTLE — Jake McPhatter, 8-yard run (Khalil Huddleston kick).
NEW CASTLE — McPhatter, 32-yard run (Huddleston kick).
NEW CASTLE — Julian Cox, 76-yard run (Huddleston kick).
NEW CASTLE — Tevin McCaster, 69-yard run (Huddleston kick).
NEW CASTLE — Stew Allen, 28-yard fumble return (kick blocked).
NEW CASTLE — Drew Allen, 97-yard kickoff return (Huddleston kick).
NEW CASTLE — McPhatter, 65-yard pass from Cox (kick failed).
RIVERSIDE — Zach Gould, 11-yard pass from Jason Dambach (kick blocked).
RIVERSIDE — Marcel Cleckley, 68-yard pass from Dambach (kick failed).