Apollo-Ridge tops Northgate on late field goal
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Apollo-Ridge's most impressive win in recent memory came down to the toe of kicker Lonny Wells.
The junior's 19-yard field goal was true as time expired, and it lifted the Vikings to a 20-19 upset of Class A No. 9 Northgate on Friday night in an Eastern Conference clash at Alumni Field in Bellevue.
When asked whether he had any hesitation about Wells going for the field goal, Vikings coach John Skiba answered bluntly.
“No. I've never had him falter,” he said. “He's always so steady with everything he does with us.”
Apollo-Ridge (4-3, 4-2) recovered a fumble with less than two minutes to play. The Vikings needed seven plays to take the clock down to two seconds before calling on Wells.
The Vikings were led by junior quarterback Jesse Zelonka, who gained 128 yards on 22 carries. He completed 7 of 14 passes.
His most important pass — and only scoring throw — came at the midpoint of the fourth quarter with the Vikings trailing, 19-10. Zelonka hit sophomore Alex Smith with a high lob from 26 yards, cutting Northgate's lead to 19-17. Smith caught three passes for 89 yards.
“Jesse did an unbelievable job. From the beginning of the year, against North Catholic to right now, it's like night and day because he's starting to understand it, and he's taking to (the game plan),”Skiba said. “There was so much on his plate, especially when Tre (Tipton) went out.”
Tipton, a sophomore receiver, missed most of the first half and part of the second with a knee injury. Tipton had 30 yards on six carries, including a 9-yard touchdown to open the scoring. The majority of his work came in the second half.
“He's a young kid. It's the first time he's ever been dinged up like that,” Skiba said.
Northgate (5-2, 5-1) came out sluggish in the first quarter, but the return of running back Cody Walter in the second breathed life into the Flames' offensive attack. Walter sat out the first quarter for disciplinary reasons.
“We try to teach these kids life lessons,” Northgate coach T.J. Wiley said. “To his credit, he took it like a man, he sat out, and when he came in, he did give us a spark that we needed.”
Walter rushed for 181 yards on 19 carries and two scores. He also caught a 22-yard scoring pass.
Dave Yohe is a freelance writer.
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.
- Hundreds protest Indiana religious freedom law, say it’s discriminatory against gays
- Pitt notebook: Defense shows up in scrimmage
- Hit sends Penguins’ Letang to hospital
- Downie’s goal, fight spark Penguins to win over Coyotes
- Pirates notebook: Polanco’s power outburst a matter of timing
- Penguins notebook: Johnston stays with team despite mother’s death
- Game Commission to seek license fee increase in 2016-17
- Rogue Catholics in Society of St. Pius X to reopen West End church
- Frye: Big fish come from all over
- Outdoors extra
- Slippery Rock program connects preschoolers with music