ADAMS TWP — Everybody loves a good redemption game.
North Catholic football got one and then some as the Trojans defeated South Park 28-2 in a WPIAL 3A non-conference game at the Mars Athletic Complex Friday night.
North Catholic's season came to a close last year at the hands of the Eagles in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs, 32-27.
“South Park, their kids, their coaches are just first class,” North Catholic coach Pat O'Shea said. “You don't get that all the time. We told our players all week that this would be a game that the physicality level was going to be up there, and we did good at it, but we're banged up.”
The Trojans opened up the scoring under four minutes into the game off a 37-yard touchdown pass from Joey Prentice to one of his favorite targets Nick Maher.
Of those banged up for North Catholic was running back Kyle Tipinski.
Tipinski missed last week with an ankle injury and struggled this week to gain any kind of momentum as he gained just one yard on seven carries.
“I still don't think he's 100 percent,” O'Shea said. “I think you can see that when he tried to run sometimes – didn't have that burst he usually has.”
Prentice again proved to be the main threat of the North Catholic offense, with a 21-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, followed up by a one-yard touchdown sneak to help the Trojans take a 21-0 advantage into the half.
South Park got its only points of the game early in the third quarter off an Alex Yanity sack of Prentice in his own end zone for a safety.
Throughout the game, one thing was consistent for both teams – penalties.
“There are certainly things we need to clean up from a mental standpoint, but it didn't affect the outcome of the game,” South Park coach Marty Rieck said.
“I always tell the kids it's a vibration you know,” O'Shea said. “You try to get your machine up and working and then you get these vibrations that can really throw you off rhythm.”
The Trojans never fully lost their rhythm though, holding South Park to no offensive points, on their way to a 26-point win.
“Defensively I was very happy with our plan,” Rieck said. “We tried to keep it balanced and a couple different looks we threw at them and I'm happy with how we did with run stopping, but they beat us with a couple plays through the air.”
Coming into Friday night, North Catholic was averaging 51.8 points per game on offense, so holding the Trojans to 28 points is the best effort so far this season.
Next week North Catholic will go on the road for a conference bout against Deer Lakes, who will be desperate for a win after starting the season 0-5.
“We have to get healthy or we're not going to play to our potential,” O'Shea said. “And these guys have to solve some of those vibration issues. Anybody can beat anybody on any given night.”
South Park 0 0 2 0 — 2
North Catholic 7 14 0 7 — 28
NC — Nick Maher 37 pass from Joey Prentice (Ethan Maersico kick), 8:40
NC — Liam Straub 21 pass from Prentice (Marisvo kick), 4:25
NC — Prentice 1 run (Marsico kick), 2:00
SP — Alex Yanity tackled Prentice in end zone for safety, 11:03
NC — Prentice 1 run (Marsico kick), 5:39
Rushing:South Park, Adam Johnson 20-51, Harper Conroy 5-9, Alex Yanity 5-24, Jake Ferency 1-5. North Catholic, Kyle Tipinski 7-1, Liam Straub 1-7, Joey Prentice 10-80, Daniel Long 2-2, Isaiah Jackson 1-4, Jack Fennell 2-5, Pierce Khoury 1-3.
Passing:South Park, Harper Conroy 10-19-94-1. North Catholic, Joe Prentice 7-17-186-1, Carson Laconi 1-1-7-0.
Receiving: South Park, Alex Yanity 3-21, Adam Johnson 2-5, Mason Kasptrack 1-12, Brendan Wood 1-6, Jake Ferency 2-34, Xander Robertshaw 1-13. North Catholic, Nick Maher 3-87, Liam Straub 3-21, Carson Laconi 1-49, Mathias Benson 3-36.