MCCANDLESS TWP — North Catholic wasn't fooling around.
The Trojans scored touchdowns on their first four possessions of the game, earning a 54-6 Big East Conference football win over Burrell Friday night at J.C. Stone Field in North Park.
“It just boils down to the kids,” North Catholic coach Patrick O'Shea said. “They worked so hard this offseason. I thought physically we were really strong on the field tonight.”
Senior quarterback Zack Rocco opened up the scoring early with a 10-yard touchdown run, the beginning of North's 28-point first quarter.
“Rocco didn't play in either of the two scrimmages,” O'Shea said. “I thought he played well ... seems to have his health back so we're happy about that.”
Rocco played only a few snaps into the second quarter before Joey Prentice took over.
Rocco completed 6-of-7 passes for 127 yards.
Burrell didn't get on the scoreboard until late in the second quarter when quarterback Alex Arledge found Seth Fischbach in the endzone for the 6-yard touchdown pass.
“That's a good football team over there,” Burrell coach Shawn Liotta said. “Ranked second in the WPIAL and their ranked top five in the state for a reason.”
The Trojans went on to score 19 points in the second half, on their way to a 48-point victory.
Obviously North Catholic's offense went off, but on the flip side, the defense forced four interceptions from Arledge.
North Catholic junior defensive back Isaiah Jackson had two of those interceptions in the first quarter.
“This is his first year back playing football,” O'Shea said of Jackson. “He's played basketball the past few years. I was excited when he said he was going to play. He's just a raw athlete.”
During the second half, both teams got some good looks at their second-string players, including both backup quarterbacks.
For the Trojans, Prentice went 3-for-5 for 82 yards.
The Bucs saw work from five running backs, while North mixed in eight different runners.
“We got everybody into the game,” Liotta said. “We saw lots of good things. Our kids play hard.”
North Catholic (1-0) will travel to Freeport Friday. The Yellowjackets fell at Derry, 35-27, to open the season.
“They're a blue-collar team,” O'Shea said of Freeport. “We also try to follow the blue-collar work ethic. They're also really good and well- prepared. It's going to be a tough conference this year, I'm telling you.”
Burrell 0 6 0 0 — 6
North Catholic 28 7 13 6 — 54
NC — Zack Rocco 10 run (Will Kunzmann kick), 9:37
NC — Anthony Serventi 5 run (Kunzmann kick), 5:36
NC — Pierce Khoury 10 pass from Rocco (Kunzmann kick), 3:20
NC — Nick Maher 74 pass from Rocco (Kunzmann kick), 1:46
NC — Eamon Straub 24 run (Kunzmann kick), 3:47
B — Seth Fischbach 6 pass from Alex Arledge (kick failed), :37
NC — Joey Prentice 1 run (run failed), 11:02
NC — Tyler Maziarz 54 pass from Prentice (Kunzmann kick), :01
NC — Daniel Long 46 frun (kick blocked), 1:43