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Greensburg Central Catholic defense picks apart Riverview

| Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, 10:39 p.m.

Four turnovers and two pick-6s led to a 21-0 win for Greensburg Central Catholic against visiting Riverview on Friday in Class A Eastern Conference Play.

“I'm glad it all came together, especially getting a win at home,” said Greensburg Central Catholic coach Aaron Smetanka, whose team improved to 3-4, 2-2. “It's good for the kids the parents, everyone who has been coming out. ... We've been playing a lot better on the road so far this year.”

Things were good for Riverview early when Devin Binz ran the ball 66 yards to the Centurions' 3-yard line on the first play from scrimmage.

But after three more runs, a timeout and an incomplete pass, Riverview (1-5, 1-5) turned the ball over on downs. It was the theme of the night for the Raiders.

“We turned the ball over way too much, again,” Riverview coach Matt Bonislawski said. “We had the ball inside the 5-yard line three times and got zero (points) out of it, and that's how you do not win football games right there.”

Greensburg Central Catholic's defense dominated. With just over six minutes left in the second quarter, Brando Ciccarelli picked off Jared Massack and returned it 12 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-0. Ciccarelli also recovered a fumble in the second half.

After the Centurions went three-and-out on their opening drive, the Raiders ran two plays before Luke Mazowicki had his second interception of the game — this time taking it back 29 yards for a 21-0 lead.

“Defense did a great job tonight,” Smetanka said. “They ran a lot of different formations, so I put in a lot of time this past week. I even took a day off work this week to make sure the game plan was down and ready to go. I'm glad it all came together.”

Bonislawski said he was encouraged by how Riverview moved the ball but said his offense has been a “turnover machine” this season.

“Just got to keep playing hard,” he said. “We put a couple different packages in there to try and get some things done on offense. I think we moved the ball a little bit, but if you don't score, you're not going to win.”

Greensburg Central Catholic visits Jeannette next week, and Riverview meets Avella on Saturday.

Alec Italiano is a freelance writer.

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