Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on October 26, 2002 · Page 17
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 17

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Saturday, October 26, 2002
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,3ttbtana Qiazette LOCAL SPORTS Saturday, October 26, 2002 — Page 17 Apollo-Ridge reaches playoffs PERFECT AGAIN The sign above the team reads, "Never underestimate the heart of a champion," and the Penns Manor girls' volleyball team knows all about that. The Comets wrapped up their second straight unbeaten regular season and Heritiage Conference championship this week. Penns Manor puts its 18-0 record on the line next week in trying to defend its District 6 championship. Team members include, first row from left, Beth Woods, Adelle Alsop, Molly Davis, Alicia Koches, Kelly Wolff, Heather Amick, Kelly Christie and Amy Trexler; second row, Winter Costello, Emily McCombie, Christina Sgriccia, Kari Thachik, Sarah Kirkah, Kendy Shubra, Amanda Coy, Jill Wanchisn, Sara Somogyi and Carly Lester; third row, assistant coach Barb Thornton, Veronica Palmer, Kayla Fatula, Andrea Fletcher, Jenn Witherow, Alyssa Bassaro, Ashley Carley, Paula Polenik, Heather Fetterman, Alicia Lawson, Katy Sleppy and head coach Erika Talmadge; and fourth row, assistant coaches Greg Pack and Janessa Petro. (Bridget Woods photo) Around the area From Staff Reports Indiana Boosters Tournament to start The Indiana Basketball Boosters girls' junior high tournament is set to start on Wednesday and continue through Sunday at Indiana Junior High School. Indiana's eighth-grade team plays host to'DuBois Central Christian at 6 p.m. in Wednesday's opener. Marion Center takes on DuBois Central Christian in a seventh-grade game at 7:15. Thursday's competition includes Indiana (7th) vs. Homer-Center (7th) at 6 p.m. and Marion Center (8th) vs. Homer-Center (8th) at 7:15 p.m. The tournament will wrap up on Sunday. The seventh- and eighth- grade consolation games begin at 10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., respectively, and the championship games follow at 1 p.m. and 2:15 p.m., respectively. Indiana Runners hold Kids' Klassic The Indiana Road Runners Club and the Indiana Mall Association held the annual Kids' Klassic Races at the Indiana Mall recently. The event drew a record number of runners, with 107 taking part in races ranging from a 50-yard sprint to a 1 1 A -mile run. The age-group results follow: Boys 3-under — 1. Ryan Neese; 2. Patrick Daum; 3. Cage Hankinson. Girls 3-under — 1. Taylor Palmer; 2. Kara Gibbon; 3. Lexi Neese. Boys 4— 1. Jake Benhart; 2. Dylan Stapleton; 3. Grant Hess. Girls 4 — 1. Ashley Goodlin; 2. Marissa Clifford; 3. Allison Goodlin. Boys 5-6 — 1. Derek Stapleton; 2. Riley Stapleton; 3. Bo Putt. Girls 5-6—1. Jill Bender; 2. Noel Harde; 3. Lucy Bujdos. Boys 7-8 — 1. Sean Coleman; 2. Jeremy Knesh; 3. Michael Buchanan. Girls 7-8 — 1. Audrey Stapleton; 2. Breanna Rossi; 3. Haley Stapleton. Boys9-10— 1. Nathan Hartle; 2. GabeWolford; 3. David Weaver. Girls 9-10—1. Elizabeth Coleman; 2. Leslie Stapleton; 3. Kathy Short. Boys 11-12 — 1. Dan Sandrowicz; 2. Derek Watson; 3. Kevin Stapleton. Girls 11-12—1. Emily Coleman; 2. Jennifer Beatty; 3. Erin Smyers. Joseph Mazurkiewicz was the youngest boys' runner at 17 months, while Rosa Roman was the youngest girl at 18 months. From Staff Reports 'APOLLO —Apollo-Ridge's string of conference titles ended at two, but the Vikings are going to make their third straight appearance in the WPIAL Class AA football playoffs. The Vikings squeaked into the playoffs Friday night, beating Ford City 11-10 in an Allegheny Conference game. The victory lifted Apollo-Ridge to 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the conference. The Vikings qualified as the 16th and final playoff team, and they will face the top seed, probably either Seton LaSalle or Jeannette, next Friday in a first-round game. Apollo-Ridge finished fourth in the conference behind Burrell, Freeport and Mars. With the change in the qualifying process this year, the Vikings enter the playoffs as a wildcard team. The new selection process includes the top three teams from each of five conferences and one wildcard team from a pool of fourth- place finishers. In the past, the top four teams in each of four conferences automatically qualified for me playoffs. A fifth conference was added this season to accommodate more teams in Class AA. Apollo-Ridge continued to showits penchant for winning close games. Coming off a 28-27 overtime tri- umph against Burrell in a must-win game last week, the Vikings again took things down to the wire. Adam Ross broke an 8-8 tie with a 22-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. It was a special-teams letdown that almost doomed the Vikings. Ford City blocked a punt in the last two minutes, setting up me offense with first-and-goal at the 10-yard line. The Apollo-Ridge defense stopped Cyril Haponski a half-yard shy of the goal line to preserve the lead. In last week's victory, the defense made a goal-line stand that forced overtime. But the Vikings were still in trouble with the ball practically resting on the goal. Sure enough, three plays later. Ford City scored a safety, making the game 11-10 with 33 seconds remaining. After delivering the ball back to Ford City on the free kick, the defense held again when Frank Colwell came up with an interception. Colwell scored Apollo-Ridge's touchdown on a 45-yard run in die second quarter. He also caught a two-point pass from Luke Hill that tied the game at 8. Ford City opened in the scoring in the first quarter on Rich Bennett's 1- yard plunge. The teams combined for 333 yards, all of it on the ground. Bennett gained 125 yards on 30 carries. Chucks stall against Tyrone BY NATHAN C. MILLER Gazette Sports Writer PUNXSUTAWNEY — Punxsutawney came up short in a 20-12 loss to District 6 Class AA power Tyrone in a non-league football game at Jack LaMarca Stadium. While Punxsutawney already clinched a District 9 Class AAA playoff berth, the victory was important for Tyrone, which needed a win to maintain its standing in die District 5-6 rankings and clinch a playoff berth. Although Punxsutawney out- gained the Eagles 271-224, the Chucks could not move the ball in critical situations. They failed to convert two fourth-and-short situations and didn't capitalize after three fumble recoveries. "We had our chances, and we just didn't get it done," said Punxsutawney coach Gary Garzoni. "You still gotta get the ball in the end zone. You have to make those third-and- short, those fourth-down-and-a- yard. We go for it, we have to make it." The muddy field conditions and injuries made it difficult for the Chucks offense to move the ball when needed. "The offensive line is still struggling. It was like musical chairs out there. Our right guard got hurt, and we had to move guys around," said Garzoni. "For the field conditions, we did a tremendous job," senior running back Dustin Guidash said after gaining 141 yards on 25 carries. "It was just like skating on ice trying to block. The line did a great job doing that. We just came up short." Tyrone scored in die first quarter on Ben Gummo's 1-yard run and extra-point kick. Punxs'y answered on the next possession, with Guidash scoring on a 7- yard run. Jay Neal's extra-point at : tempt bounced off die right upright, keeping the score 7-6. Tyrone 20, Punxs'y 12 Turning point — Trailing 14-6 in early in the fourth quarter, Punxsutawney fumbled at its own 5-yard line, and Tyrone recovered for a touchdown. Key stats — Punxs'y gained more total ygrds (271-224) and first downs (16-12) than Tyrone. The teams combined for nine fumbles in the second half. Team records — Tyrone 6-3, Punxsutawney 5-4. Quotable — Punxsutawney coach Gary Garzoni: "I'm just disappointed in our effort. When push comes to shove, we just didn't get that effort to get a first down." Next week — Punxs'y plays host to Bradford in the first round of the District 9 Class AAA playoffs Friday. Tyrone extended the lead to 14-6 by halftime. Tommy Growl caught a 10-yard pass from Tyler Mertiff late in the second quarter, and Gummo kicked the point-after. The Chucks dominated time of possession in the third quarter, holding the ball for nearly 10 minutes, but couldn't score. On the first possession, a penalty and a 10-yard sack of quarterback Joe Martin forced Punxs'y to punt. The Chucks got the ball back just two plays later on an fumble, but they turned it over on downs. Another possession stalled at the Eagles' 15 when the Chucks couldn't convert a fourth-and-1. Tyrone turned the crucial play in the fourth quarter, with MaxSoeUner returning a fumble four yards for a touchdown after the ball slipped out of Martin's hand. Punxs'y closed the scoring late in the game on Martin's 25-yard strike to Andy Snyder. "I'm just disappointed in our effort. When push comes to shove, we just didn't get that effort to get a first down," said Garzoni. "Maybe next week we'll be better than this." Ligonier's Reese tops 1,000 yards By JOE DEEMER Gazette Sports Writer NORTHERN CAMBRIA — If anyone was going to keep area rushing leader Josh Reese of Ligonier Valley from reaching the 1,000-yard plateau, it was the Northern Cambria defense. Reese entered Friday's contest needing 121 yards to reach the mark, and the Colts were allowing an average of only 110.5 rushing yards per game. Reese and the Mounties prevailed, however,-as the senior tailback posted 145 yards on 39 carries to help lift his team to a 10-0 victory in the Heritage Conference finale for both teams. The victory was Ligonier Valley's seventh straight and assured the Mounties of a first-round home game in next weekend's District 6 Class AA playoffs. "Josh really answered the bell for us tonight," said Ligonier Valley coach Ron Baldonieri. "But that's what we ask for, and that's what we expect from him in our system. Our guys up front did a good job controlling the tine of scrimmage for the most part, and Josh is the type of player that can take advantage in that position." Reese's 1,000th yard came on the first carry of the fourth quarter on a 6-yard run. Reese will likely be the only area running back to finish with more than 1,000 yards in regular-season action. Marion Center fullback TheoRapachisnextinline with 727 yards going into today's game against United. "Reese is one heck of a player," said Northern Cambria coach Frank Paronish. "He's patient, he finds the holes, and he hits them hard. I noticed one time tonight that we stuffed him, but his legs were still chopping. He's a very good athlete, and he gets me job done." The cold and wet conditions limited both offenses primarily to the ground game. The Mounties totaled 49 rushing attempts to just four passes. "There really wasn't much else that you could do out there on a night iike tonight," said Baldonieri. "The key is just being able to execute the simple plan. Our guys up front opened up some nice holes, and our backs did a great job taking care of 4 the ball." The Mounties took a 7-0 lead widi 10:35 remaining in the first half on Brian Burkey's 1-yard quarterback keeper. Ligonier's touchdown drive started on the Colts' 20 thanks to a 34-yard punt return from junior Brock Weaver. After a 1-yard run from Reese, Burkey connected with Weaver on an 11-yard pass to put the Mounties at the Colts' 8-yard line. Two Reese rushes set up Burkey's touchdown plunge. Perhaps die most dominating of the Mounties' drives came at the start of die second half. Ligonier Valley started at its own 41 and marched 47 yards to die Colts' 12 to set up Weaver's 29-yard field goal. The drive took 14 plays and just under nine minutes. "That was a really big drive for us," said Baldonieri. "Brock is a great soccer player on a great soccer team. I don't think people know how good our soccer team is. "He brings that added dimension to our team, and we have a lot of confidence in his leg. He did a tremendous job for us tonight." The Colts had a difficult time getting anyming going on offense due in large part to six turnovers. Northern Cambria lost five of six fumbles, and Weaver recorded die game's only interception in Ligonier Valley's Josh Reese will probably be yards in the regular season. the second quarter. Reese and Burkey each came up with a pair of recoveries, and lineman L.C. Tiberi recovered a fumble to end the Colts' last drive. "You can't make mistakes against good teams," said Paronish. "It's as simple as that. Here we are facing a team that's going to the playoffs, and we're taking them down to the wire. "You turn the ball over that many times and you're still in it at the end — that just teils you the quality of team that we have. In the past, our guys might have packed it in, but they were in there !o win it until the end." The Mounties dominated die time of possession in the second half, limiting the Colts to just 12 plays from scrimmage, including only three in the third quarter. Ligonier ran 36 plays in the second half, all of them on the ground. Burkey attempted only four passes and completed two. Both completions were to Weaver, who finished with 21 receiving yards. Leo Magulick led die Colts' on the ground with 43 yards on eight carries. Magulick also caught a pair of passes for 20 yards. Matt Trybus added 20 yards on nine carries. Quarterback Tim Brawley finished 4-for-ll for31 yards. "I've never seen a team play widi more heart and desire than I did tonight," said Paronish, who is in his first year as head coach. "Our seniors put out a great effort tonight. This was a good Heritage Con- the only area running back to reach 1,000 (Gazette file photo) Ligonier Valley 10, Northern Cambria 0 Turning point — Ligonier Valley place-kicker Brock Weaver capped a 14-play, 9-minute drive with a 29-yard field goal that provided the Mounties with a two-score lead in the third quarter. Key stats — Ligonier tailback Josh Reese became the first area rusher to post 1,000 yards for the season with 145 yards on 39 carries Northern Cambria committed six turnovers, including five fumbles and one interception. Team records — Ligonier Valley 7-2, Northern Cambria 4-5. Quotable — Northern Cambria coach Frank Paronish: "Reese is one heck of a player. He's patient, he finds the holes, and he hits them hard. I noticed one time tonight that we stuffed him, but his legs were still chopping. He's a very good athlete, and he gets the job done." Next week — Ligonier Valley plays in the District 6 Class AA playoffs next week, but pairings have not been set. Northern Cambria travels to Cambria Heights on Friday for the annual Coal Bowl. ference game. We just couldn't gel things moving, but they were playing with heart, and that's so important to me. They're helping move our program forward, and I'm very proud of that." Indians can't catch Foxes on the run Continued from page 15 it was to get the momentum back by coming out and scoring." With the field unfit for running outside, Indiana's offense was reduced to pounding the ball inside and hoping for a long run. "The weadier took us out of a lot of our offense, while Fox Chapel could keep running what they've done aH year," said Zilinskas. "They were playing on the same field, but running side-to-side in our offense was impossible." The Indians did pull close in the third quarter when punter Chad Blystone executed a fake and found receiver Jason Stefanov running free over the middle. The pair connected for 25 yards deep into Foxes territory, setting up three consecutive running plays by fullback Chris Buchanan for the touchdown. Zilinskas called for the on-side kick with his team down 28-20, only to have the Foxes recover at midfield. Though neither team could move in its next two possessions, Fox Chapel kept the field position and finally took advantage. Malyszka was the focus with Serrao out, carrying six times for 46 yards without intervention. Malyszka's 19-yard scoring run around right end came with 5:41 left and all but iced the win. Indiana tried to respond thanks to a 51-yard kickoff return by Blystone. But Malyszka intercepted Shirey on the next play to end any further threat. "We played a good football team," said Massack. "They are building the right things." Indiana did some things right early, victimizing the Foxes' defense. Shirey burst off tackle on a 62-yard tear on the third play. A 33-yard scramble by Shirey set up Tom Tanc- taitor's 20-yard touchdown reception on the veer pass. But after Shirey added a 12-yard run in the second quarter, the Indiana running game fell silent. None of Indiana's second-half running plays gained more than nine yards. "We were concerned about these guys," said Massack. "We had to make some adjustments defensively and stay with it." Fox Chapel scored on its initial three possessions. Malyszka sprinted 45 yards on his second carry and plunged across two plays later to give the guests a 7-6 edge. Serreo came into the game on the next series and ran the ball on 11 consecutive plays spanning two series. A scatback, Serrao avoided tacklers well and scored on a 7-yard run. He then added a 31-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. NOTES: The loss was Indiana's first to Fox Chapel following three wins.... With 168 yards rushing, Indiana's team rushing total stands at 2,066 yards for the season. The team record is 2,220 set in 1982. Zilinskas was openly critical of some behavior issues: "Tonight we played a team that took a lot of cheap shots and there was trash-talking. I am proud of the way we maintained our composure." indianagazette.com The Indiana Gazette on the Internet

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