Springdale's offense struggles in loss to North Catholic

| Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, 12:33 a.m.

Springdale fell behind early and couldn't claw back Friday night against North Catholic in a 35-3 loss in a Class A Eastern Conference game at Lt. J.C. Stone Field.

“We knew it was going to be a battle,” Springdale coach Dave Leasure said. “The expectation here is a certain level of play, and we're not meeting it. That's on me.”

North Catholic wasted no time, scoring less than two minutes into the game.

Junior running back Jerome Turner scored from 57 yards out, giving the Class A No. 3 Trojans (2-0, 2-0) the lead.

Turner was filling in for fellow junior P.J. Fulmore, who was out with an ankle injury.

“We have a lot of kids who definitely are stepping up to relieve the starters,” North Catholic coach Bob Ravenstahl said. “We have a lot of depth. The kids are working hard. A couple kids are nicked up. We're just going day-to-day, and the other kids are stepping up.”

The win is Ravenstahl's 50th as a coach. His son, Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl, presented him with the game ball.

“It's no different than the first one,” coach Ravenstahl said. “It's not a big deal. It's about the team. It's not about me.”

Springdale (0-2) responded quickly, recording a field goal by kicker Adam Winklmann from 39 yards out. Winklmann also is a standout on the Springdale soccer team.

Springdale wasn't able to generate much else the rest of the way.

North Catholic extended its lead quickly on a 3-yard Turner plunge for a 14-3 score.

Turner scored twice more: a 4-yard run early in the second quarter and an 8-yarder near the mid point of the third.

“He stepped up last week, and he stepped up this week,” Ravenstahl said. “I'm sure a lot of teams would be happy to have him. I'm just glad he's on my team.”

The Dynamos gained 102 yards but couldn't sustain the long drives they have been known for in the past.

“We're trying to get some of our quicker kids the ball in space,” Leasure said. “We were able to do that some tonight, but we have to continue to improve on it.”

Despite allowing 370 yards, the Springdale defense showed it can get stops and big plays.

Springdale senior defensive back Justin Wilson intercepted North Catholic's Aaron Sharlow near midfield, and senior defensive end Nathan Shaw recovered a fumble inside North Catholic territory.

“We felt, due to (North Catholic's) speed and talent, we had to take some chances. We got burned a couple times with that.” Leasure said. “When we sat back and tried to read and play, they beat us, but they would have to drive the ball we got a couple turnovers. We have to find a happy medium there.”

Dave Yohe is a freelance writer.

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