Through the years: Pagano's big plays led Knoch past Kittanning

Knoch's A.J. Pagano (40) races past Kittanning defenders with a punt return on Sept. 9, 1983. The 65-yard scoring run was the final touchdown in a 21-10 Knights road victory.
Knoch's A.J. Pagano (40) races past Kittanning defenders with a punt return on Sept. 9, 1983. The 65-yard scoring run was the final touchdown in a 21-10 Knights road victory.
Photo by Valley News Dispatch Archives
| Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, 12:51 a.m.

Editor's note: Each Friday throughout the high school football season, the Valley News Dispatch will take a look back at the players, coaches and events that are part of local scholastic history.

Preseason favorite Knoch opened Greater Allegheny play with a 21-0 victory at Kittanning on Sept. 9, 1983. A.J. Pagano led the Knights with a 69-yard scoring run and added a 65-yard punt return for another score.

Five years ago

• It took two overtimes for Kittanning and Valley to dent the scoreboard. A 2-yard run by LeBran O'Neal and an extra point by Alexis Classen gave the Vikings a 7-0 win at Red Ullom Field.

• Deer Lakes scored two touchdowns in the final 4:09 to surprise Burrell, 21-20. A 63-yard pass from Geoff Landry to Zac Capan set up the decisive point-after by Troy Szwaczkowski.

10 years ago

• A long Highlands road trip to McGuffey paid dividends as the Golden Rams cruised, 35-14, behind Josh Shelton's three touchdowns.

• Female kicker Brianna Akins booted an extra point with no time left, giving Apollo-Ridge a 21-20 victory over Ellwood City. Jarrod Miller's 3-yard scoring run on the final play of regulation tied the game.

20 years ago

• Highlands ended its 13-game losing streak with a 39-34 victory over Derry. Sam Becker's 10-yard pass to Ed Jenkins with 13 seconds to go was the game-winner. Jenkins now coaches Charleroi.

• Andy Sofish scored all three Riverview touchdowns as the Raiders defeated Apollo-Ridge, 21-13, at Riverside Park.

25 years ago

• Leechburg's defense held Neshannock to 17 rushing yards en route to a 27-7 victory. Eric Cibik scored two Blue Devils touchdowns.

• Fox Chapel rode the Killian brothers to a 35-20 victory over Hopewell. Senior P.J. Killian rushed for 208 yards and four touchdowns, and Todd Killian scored on a 68-yard run.

30 years ago

• Riverview's Fred Soilis ran back an interception 39 yards for a score, and Todd Massack logged two sacks as the Raiders dominated Shady Side Academy, 20-0. Massack is now Riverview's coach.

40 years ago

• Kiski Area won its WPIAL-record 45th straight Foothills Conference game, 14-7, over Latrobe. Vince Woody and Paul Linkes scored touchdowns for the Cavaliers.

• Taking a page from his mentor, former Arnold coach Frank Martin, Burrell coach Frank Solomond rotated quarterbacks Jon Hardy and Danny Harris on almost every play as the Bucs turned back Southmoreland, 21-6, behind two Dave Ross touchdowns.

50 years ago

• Springdale got touchdowns from Ernie Maglisco and Jim Christie, and defensive end John Piemme recorded a safety as the Dynamos shut out Fox Chapel, 16-0.

• Phil Booker scored three touchdowns, and Bobby Koleno added another as Kiski Area beat Perry, 25-7.

75 years ago

• Nick D' Amico and Johnny Kalita scored two touchdowns each as Arnold manhandled East Brady, 36-0, at its field along Orchard Avenue, now known as Leslie Memorial Stadium.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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