Penn-Trafford rallies from early deficit to beat Latrobe
An early deficit was all it took to awaken Penn-Trafford from a slumber.
Dorian Stevens passed for 127 yards and two touchdowns, and Devin Austin gained 112 yards rushing and scored once to lead the visiting Warriors to a 34-7 Quad East Conference victory over Latrobe on Friday night.
Tom Stinelli had two rushing touchdowns for Penn-Trafford (4-0, 4-1), which rallied from a 7-0, first-quarter deficit.
“We found ourselves in that position, and the kids knew it was time to pull together. Our senior leadership took over,” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said.
Latrobe's Lucas Monteparte capped Latrobe's first possession with a 1-yard run, giving the Wildcats (1-4, 0-4) a 7-0 lead. But it was Penn-Trafford's game after that.
Stevens fired a 19-yard scoring strike to Brian McDonough on Penn-Trafford's next possession to knot the score at 7.
Austin's 37-yard touchdown run near the end of the first quarter gave Penn-Trafford a 14-7 advantage, and the Warriors pulled away on Stinelli's 14-yard touchdown run to make it 21-7 at halftime.
“We score first, and then we don't score again,” said Latrobe coach Ray Reitz, whose Wildcats have lost three in a row in the series with Penn-Trafford. “We're just not making plays. There's opportunities. We're just not making plays.”
Latrobe was hampered by three fumbles — two in the first half on consecutive possessions — that led to three Penn-Trafford scores.
”We've got to have the will to win,” Reitz said. “I'm not sure we've got it. The turnovers hurt us in the first half. There's not much more you can say.”
With Penn-Trafford seemingly in control, Latrobe looked to turn back the Warriors on another scoring drive in the third quarter. Penn-Trafford faced a third-and-35 after being hit with several penalties, but Stevens converted the play with a 39-yard scoring pass to Dom Cima, giving P-T a 28-7 advantage.
“We got smacked in the face there in the beginning of the game,” Ruane said. “You just kind of give them a look in the eye, and they give it back to you, and you hope you're on the same page.”
With Latrobe unable to get untracked offensively, despite quarterback Logan Carns' 136 yards passing on 12 of 18 completions, Penn-Trafford tacked on another score. Stinelli scored on a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Stevens, a first-year senior starter, finished 8 for 16 passing with one interception. Austin topped the 100-yard mark in rushing, despite carrying just nine times.
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-380-5617.