Hempfield secures much-needed victory
Impressive performances from running back Joey DeFloria and quarterback Ty George turned out to be more than positive footnotes this time for Hempfield.
A week after the Spartans had two touchdowns called back because of penalties — one was a pass from George to DeFloria — during a loss to McKeesport, Hempfield didn't let Friday's Quad East game at Latrobe get away.
Instead, DeFloria contributed three touchdowns and George two, and Hempfield limited Latrobe to 30 rushing yards to topple the Wildcats, 28-7, to win the first Lincoln Trophy at Latrobe's Memorial Stadium.
“It feels great to have this win, especially coming off last week,” DeFloria said. “We made some mistakes, but to come in here and beat a rival, getting a trophy, it feels great.”
DeFloria finished with 22 carries for 132 yards and two touchdowns, reaching the end zone from 4 and 42 yards. He caught a screen pass and turned it into a 76-yard touchdown from George, who finished 5 of 10 for 110 yards while also running 16 times for 83 yards.
Latrobe quarterback Logan Carns, who had 136 yards and three touchdowns last week, was held to 18 rushing yards while shifting to receiver for much of the game because of what Reitz called a “nicked up” shoulder.
Carns first shifted to wide receiver for three series late in the first half as Latrobe (0-2, 0-2) scored its only touchdown — a 30-yard pass from backup quarterback Craig Stevens to Jacob Puleo. Stevens wound up completing 9 of 19 passes for 101 yards in relief. Isaiah Jones caught five passes for 51 yards.
DeFloria capped an eight-play, 55-yard possession to open the second half for Hempfield with a 5-yard run. He closed his night with a 42-yard burst.
“We made him look like Herschel Walker,” Latrobe coach Ray Reitz said. “He's a great back, don't get me wrong. But we had him several times in the hole and just didn't make plays.”
Hempfield (1-1, 1-1) expanded its lead to 14-0 on a 1-yard run from George with 9 minutes, 20 seconds left in the second quarter.
“We played well last week,” Hempfield coach Rich Bowen said. “We had two touchdowns called back. We didn't overcome that. We needed a big win like this.”