MCCANDLESS TWP — Zack Rocco's night wasn't exactly going as he had hoped Friday.
At the end of the third quarter, the North Catholic junior had three interceptions in his stat line — one of which was returned by Quaker Valley for a touchdown during the opening round of WPIAL play.
All told, his Trojans team had turned the ball over six times up to that point, and found themselves deadlocked at 17 heading into the final frame.
Facing that, North Catholic coach Patrick O'Shea's message to Rocco and his teammates was perhaps a bit strange.
“I said to Zack … you've got to just keep doing what you're doing,” O'Shea said. “Stay calm.”
Rocco took that advice, scoring from seven yards out with 38 seconds left to give the host Trojans a 31-24 victory over the Quakers at J.C. Stone Field. It capped an overall strange evening of football that saw the teams trade turnovers and the lead throughout.
“I don't even know how weird it was just yet,” O'Shea said of the game, adding he'd have to review the film to remember all of it.
North Catholic plays Derry in the next round.