North Catholic upsets Rochester to reach semifinals
TribLIVE Sports Videos
P.J. Fulmore scored three second-half touchdowns, including a 45-yard reception from quarterback Adam Sharlow, as No. 6 North Catholic held off No. 3 Rochester, 22-15, in a Class A WPIAL quarterfinal game at Dormont Memorial Stadium.
The upset victory sets up a semifinal showdown with No. 2 Sto-Rox (10-1), which defeated Union, 33-8.
North Catholic (9-2) overcame another strong performance from Rochester's Dante Marsick, who rushed for 140 yards on 24 carries and scored his 32nd touchdown of the season on a 3-yard run in the third quarter.
Marsick added 96 receiving yards on five catches, but Rochester could not keep Fulmore out of the end zone. The sophomore rushed for 103 yards on 21 carries and paced the Trojans with touchdown runs of 20 and 10 yards, along with his TD catch.
“Scoring three touchdowns doesn't mean anything if we do not win,” Fulmore said. “But we won the game, and that is all I care about.”
Looking for their fourth consecutive semifinal appearance, Rochester (9-2) was flagged for nine penalties for 65 yards and committed two costly turnovers that led to 10 North Catholic points.
The Rams pulled to within 22-15 on Ben Richko's 23-yard touchdown pass to Alyjah Elmore. But North Catholic's defense, led by junior defensive end Ryan Long, held Rochester, and the Trojans ran out the clock.
“We knew it would be a tough game,” North Catholic coach Bob Ravenstahl said. “Anytime you play Rochester, you are the underdog. I think we caught them a little off guard.”
The Rams controlled the clock and the yardage for much of the first half but watched as North Catholic built a 3-0 lead behind Mike Tarasovich's 23-yard field goal.
Rochester took more than nine minutes off the clock on 14 consecutive runs to the Trojans' 15-yard line, but the Rams turned the ball over as Richko's short pass fell incomplete. Fulmore made a key play on defense when he intercepted Richko in the end zone to keep the game scoreless.
“I'm proud of my kids,” Rochester coach Gene Matsook said. “We overcame a lot of adversity and kept playing hard. Give credit to North Catholic. They played a good game tonight.”
Brian J. Duermeyer 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.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.