Northgate coach enjoys winning debut in 18-13 victory over Riverview
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Northgate's Brandon LeDonne won't soon forget his first game as a head coach.
A touchdown by Flames running back Alex Marusic with 11 seconds left lifted Northgate to an 18-13 victory over Riverview in the Eastern Conference opener for both teams.
The play culminated a 12-play, 73-yard drive at Oakmont's Riverside Park.
“All of the things we've been preaching to our kids for two months, sticking together, being committed, trusting each other and the coaches, I couldn't be more prouder,” LeDonne said. “We don't have a lot of guys, but everybody played their role and the result was fabulous.”
Riverview took the lead, 13-12, with 11:17 remaining when quarterback Tyler Nigro, with his only pass completion of the day, hit Florida transferee Zach Hanus with a 25-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-7. Nikki Polens kicked the extra point to put the Raiders ahead.
After the Raiders took the lead, a Northgate drive was stopped by an interception by Will Medved at the Riverview 15. But Northgate forced the Raiders to punt, then got a big break.
Keir Barber's punt hit near the Northgate 30 but bounced back toward midfield before it was downed by Riverview at the 43.
Marusic caught a pass from Johnny Camello for 20 yards. Camello completed two other passes — a 10-yarder to Rodney Burrows and 8 yards to Mark Lodge. But the key to the drive was a 1-yard keeper at the Riverview 5. Camello was stood up by the Riverview front line but second effort earned the first down.
Two plays later, Marusic found a slight opening on the left side and slipped into the end zone.
“We made nice plays, we did,” Raiders coach Todd Massack said. “We would make a good play, offensively, then our defense would give up too many yards. We did good things on both sides of the football, but we have to stop making mistakes.”
Some of those good things happened on the game's opening possession, when Riverview drove to the Northgate 7. But a penalty and a loss on a rushing play — Raiders running back Raymar McCombs was stopped by Marusic at the 14 — necessitated a Raiders field goal try.
Polens barely missed a 31-yard field goal attempt when her kick went slightly right.
“We drove the ball down nicely; we had confidence in Nikki, and still do,” Massack said. “I thought it was good, but the officials had a better look at it.”
Jacob Massack's fumble recovery three plays later set up the opening touchdown by Nigro on a 1-yard burst.
Riverview fumbled at its 34 to end its next possession, and the Flames scored when Camello sidestepped several Riverview defenders and ran 13 yards for a touchdown.
After taking the second-half kickoff, Northgate got another break. Romello Snyder caught a tipped pass and broke free on an 87-yard scoring play less than a minute into the third quarter.
Dillon Provenza led Riverview with 71 rushing yards.
The clock was stopped frequently by numerous penalties, and a number of Riverview players sustained leg cramps in a game that lasted three hours and three minutes.
George Guido 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.
- Penguins sign defensive prospect
- Kessel ‘excited’ to be a Penguin
- Liriano, Pirates complete sweep of Tigers
- NHL notebook: St. Louis retires after 16-year career
- Wolf vetoes bill privatizing Pennsylvania’s liquor system
- Hurricanes owner rips Rutherford, Penguins
- Attorney General’s twin sister sued by FBI agent ex-boyfriend
- Youngest champion in tournament history to play for Mt. Lebo clay crown
- Man who threatened to jump from bridge in custody
- Wabash Tunnel to open to inbound, high-occupancy vehicles Saturday night
- Rossi: Wild Wednesday proves Steelers rule