Central Catholic survives Penn-Trafford upset bid
TribLIVE Sports Videos
A first-round playoff victory on the road didn't appear to be enough to please Central Catholic football coach Terry Totten.
But it was. Totten exhaled as time expired with his 11th-seeded Vikings up on sixth-seeded Penn-Trafford by a narrow margin Friday night. Moments earlier, the Warriors were at midfield trying their best to muster another big play and extend their season of surprises.
Luigi Lista-Brinza rushed for 167 yards and scored two touchdowns, and sophomore Joe Tindal intercepted Penn-Trafford quarterback Dorian Stevens' long pass at the Central Catholic 1-yard line with 1:05 left to preserve the Vikings' 30-27 victory.
Central Catholic (8-2) advances to the WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinals next Friday against Upper St. Clair, which beat Kiski Area, 42-0, on Friday.
“My hat's off to Penn-Trafford,” Totten said. “They had a great game plan and rolled out a couple of plays that we just weren't ready for. We were on our heels all night.”
A win is a win, though, and Totten was grateful to escape.
“We'll take it,” he said.
Even after Central Catholic had regained control, Penn-Trafford (7-3) used its timeouts to force the Vikings into a punt. But the Central Catholic defense swarmed around Stevens, who was unable to move the Warriors as time ran out.
Stevens finished 11 for 17 for 197 yards and two touchdowns. One of his passes ignited a razzle-dazzle play that resulted in Dom Cima's 35-yard touchdown run that pulled Penn-Trafford within 17-12.
“We had big play after big play,” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said. “We lost to a great football team that played harder and wanted to win.”
Penn-Trafford led just once, in the first quarter, when Tom Stinelli scored on a 2-yard run to put the Warriors ahead, 6-3, after Central Catholic's Mitchell MacZura kicked a 23-yard field goal on the Vikings' first drive.
Central Catholic went ahead for good on back-to-back touchdown runs of 1 yard by quarterback Joe Consentino and 15 yards by Lista-Brinza, giving the Vikings a 17-6 advantage.
On the final play of the second quarter, Stevens fired a 13-yard strike to Stinelli, who lateraled the ball to Cima at the Central Catholic 35, from where Cima raced into the end zone to cut the Penn-Trafford deficit to five points. Central Catholic regrouped, with Lista-Brinza later racing untouched eight yards into the end zone to put the Vikings back up by double digits, 24-12.
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.