Hempfield hammers Latrobe
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Hempfield fans have had little to cheer about during a current streak of 14 losing seasons.
Could this be the Spartans' year to end the futility?
Joey DeFloria scored three touchdowns — two on long punt returns — and Hempfield won its home opener, steamrolling Latrobe, 43-7, on Friday for its second consecutive lopsided victory in the Quad East Conference to open the season.
“This is great to see,” first-year Hempfield coach Rich Bowen said moments after Hempfield fans stormed the field. “These people are hungry for success. Let's hope we can keep it going.”
DeFloria returned punts of 65 and 85 yards for touchdowns and also scored on a 14-yard run for Hempfield (2-0, 2-0), which was coming off a season-opening, 33-18 upset of then-No. 7 McKeesport last week.
DeFloria's 14-yard touchdown run opened the scoring and gave Hempfield a 7-0, first-quarter lead. The Spartans tacked on a safety, quarterback Ty George's 1-yard touchdown run and DeFloria's 65-yard punt return for another score to seize a 23-0 halftime advantage.
“He's a threat to score anywhere on the field,” Bowen said of DeFloria, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound junior, who opened the third-quarter scoring with an 85-yard punt return for another TD.
DeFloria fielded the kick at the Hempfield 15, sidestepped several Latrobe defenders and broke loose around midfield and raced untouched to the end zone.
“We missed so many tackles,” said Latrobe coach Ray Reitz, whose Wildcats (0-2, 0-2) were outclassed by No. 2 Gateway, 61-6, in their opener a week ago. “I told the kids that we have to look at ourselves.
“I need to look at myself. At some point, when do you stop saying you're a young team? It's about time.”
Skyler Carkuff's 39-yard touchdown run put Hempfield ahead, 37-0, and triggered a running clock entering the fourth quarter, when Latrobe scored its only touchdown on a 22-yard run by Lucas Weltz.
DeLorian Day's 2-yard scoring run in the fourth for Hempfield closed out the scoring.
Hempfield outgained Latrobe, 323-212, and held a 269-161 edge in rushing. George was the Spartans' leading ground-gainer with 80 yards on seven carries. He also was 5 for 9 for 54 yards passing.
Latrobe quarterback Logan Carns, who faced a steady Hempfield pass rush, led the Wildcats with 83 yards rushing on 16 carries.
Bowen — the former Parade All-American quarterback who has revived programs twice at Serra Catholic, his alma mater, and once each at Elizabeth Forward and Yough — is attempting to resurrect a Hempfield program that went 16-51 the past seven seasons. The Spartans were 1-8 in 2011.
“He's doing a nice job here already,” Reitz said. “I've been on the other side of this, too, so I'm not going cry.”
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-380-5617.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- PIAA quarterfinalists Central Valley, Conneaut sharing success after mergers
- WPIAL’s Top 10 football champions of all time
- Thomas Jefferson gridders post 3rd straight 11-1 record
- Brentwood’s Conroy shares top conference award on defense
- Penn Hills relishes conference title, reflects on season
- Pine-Richland’s ‘Neil’ the ram has happy home
- Scoring record within reach for Clairton
- South Fayette, Karns City set for rematch in PIAA quarterfinals
- South Fayette again defeats Aliquippa to defend WPIAL Class AA title
- City rivals Allderdice, Brashear seeking elusive title
- From venues to playoff format, much has changed in 100 years of WPIAL championships