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Kittanning beats GCC, improves to 3-0 for 1st time since '04

Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review - Kittanning's Nick Bower (83) breaks away from a Greensburg Central Catholic defender and runs for a touchdown in the second Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Brian F. Henry  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Kittanning's Nick Bower (83) breaks away from a Greensburg Central Catholic defender and runs for a touchdown in the second Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review - Kittanning's Nick Bower (center) breaks through the Greensburg Central Catholic defense en route to a 58-yard touchdown Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, at Greensburg Central Catholic.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Brian F. Henry  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Kittanning's Nick Bower (center) breaks through the Greensburg Central Catholic defense en route to a 58-yard touchdown Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, at Greensburg Central Catholic.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review - Kittanning's Alek Schaffer catches a third-quarter touchdown pass in front of Greensburg Central Catholic defender Jason Gulding on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, at Greensburg Central Catholic.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Brian F. Henry  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Kittanning's Alek Schaffer catches a third-quarter touchdown pass in front of Greensburg Central Catholic defender Jason Gulding on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, at Greensburg Central Catholic.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review - Greensburg Central Catholic's Tyler Balla (9) rushes 30 yards for a second-quarter touchdown against Kittanning on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, at Greensburg Central Catholic.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Brian F. Henry  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Greensburg Central Catholic's Tyler Balla (9) rushes 30 yards for a second-quarter touchdown against Kittanning on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, at Greensburg Central Catholic.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review - Greensburg Central Catholic's Eddie Kilkeary rushes as Kittanning defender Logan Slagle falls behind during a game on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, at Greensburg Central Catholic.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Brian F. Henry  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Greensburg Central Catholic's Eddie Kilkeary rushes as Kittanning defender Logan Slagle falls behind during a game on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, at Greensburg Central Catholic.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review - Kittanning quarterback Braydon Toy rushes the ball against Greensburg Central Catholic on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Brian F. Henry  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Kittanning quarterback Braydon Toy rushes the ball against Greensburg Central Catholic on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.

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By Mark Katarski
Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, 11:42 p.m.
 

The last time the Kittanning football team started a season so successfully, Braydon Toy and Nick Bowers were in second grade.

In Friday's 18-13 victory over host Greensburg Central Catholic, the aforementioned duo each scored two touchdowns to help give Kittanning its first 3-0 record since 2004.

“We will enjoy this victory for 48 hours, but we ask our players to go 1-0 on each play, and 1-0 each week,” Kittanning coach Frank Fabian said.

Bowers led his team with four catches for 109 yards and 102 rushing yards on 12 attempts. Toy completed 8 of 13 passes for 158 yards and rushed for 59 yards. He also picked off a pass.

Toy's second touchdown pass of the night, a 25-yarder to Alex Schaffer with 57 seconds left in the third quarter, gave the Wildcats an 18-7 lead.

Greensburg Central Catholic, which is 0-3 for the first time since 2002, responded with a 13-play drive capped by Nate Stone's 1-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion attempt failed, cutting the lead to 18-13 with 7:05 to play.

After swapping punts, GCC had one last opportunity to win; it took over at its 28 with just over two minutes to play. Schaffer's interception with less than a minute to go clinched the outcome.

“We are a bit of a bend-but-don't-break defense, but this is a gutsy, resilient bunch,” Fabian said.

GCC amassed 24 first downs and nearly 400 yards of total offense. But four turnovers and 80 penalty yards sabotaged its chances at victory.

“We talked all week long about finishing, especially in the red zone, but had trouble again tonight,” GCC coach Dan Mahoney said.

The Centurions squandered a fine individual effort by running back Tyler Balla, who rushed for a game-high 239 yards on 32 carries. Sophomore Thomas Pellis completed 8 of 19 passes for 127 yards and three interceptions in his first start in place of senior quarterback Chase Keller.

Mark Katarski is a freelance writer.

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