Share This Page

Connellsville erupts for 1st victory of season

| Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 11:12 p.m.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Connellsville running back Michael Parlak breaks into the secondary against Norwin on Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in Connellsville.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Connellsville quarterback Jade Maher loses a fumble as Norwin linebacker Corey Chrisman looks to recover during their Sept. 27, 2013, game in Connellsville.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Connellsville linebacker Michael Parlak wraps up Norwin wide receiver Anthony Schiavone during their September 27, 2013 contest in Connellsville.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Connellsville wide receiver Darrell Ross stiff-arms Norwin defensive back Peyton Deri during their September 27, 2013 contest in Connellsville.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Norwin quarterback Nicholas Amendola leaps over Connellsville defensive back Braden Hone during their September 27, 2013 contest in Connellsville.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Norwin wide receiver Jake Kijucaric pulls down a reception as Connellsville linebacker Josh Cree closes in during their September 27, 2013 contest in Connellsville.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Connellsville running back Christopher Russell dives for yardage versus Norwin during their September 27, 2013 contest in Connellsville.

Coming into Friday's homecoming game, the Connellsville football team knew it had to win if it had any hope of getting back in the Quad East playoff chase.

The Falcons were a desperate team — and played like it. They rolled to a 40-14 victory.

“You have to start somewhere, and it was good to start tonight,” Connellsville coach Dave McDonald said. “Nobody is going to feel bad for us and our problems, but we can do something to help ourselves. We played hard.”

Connellsville dominated the ground game. Christopher Russell piled up 129 yards on 29 carries and scored four 1-yard touchdowns.

“Russell ran really hard, and our offensive line did a great job,” McDonald said.

Norwin coach Art Tragesser agreed with McDonald's assessment.

“They did a great job, and we just couldn't stop them,” Tragesser said. “They've played really well. Their record doesn't reflect how well they have played.”

The Falcons (1-4, 1-3) dominated the first quarter. After Russell's first 1-yard scoring run, Connellsville extended its lead when Jade Maher threw a 20-yard TD pass to Caleb Pittsment. Maher completed 10 of 17 passes for 126 yards.

Connellsville's advantage swelled in the second quarter when Russell scored again to make it 20-0.

Before the half ended, the Knights (1-4, 1-4) scored on a quirky play. Norwin quarterback Nicholas Amendola hit Zeke Kijucaric for 28 yards. As he was about to cross the goal line, he fumbled. The ball was scooped up by Jonathan LoChiatic, who scored.

After a Connellsville fumble to start the second half, Amendola completed a drive with a 7-yard touchdown run to make it 20-14. Amendola completed 25 of 35 passes for 237 yards, in addition to his 71 rushing yards.

“He did a nice job,” Tragesser said. “We saw some improvement, and he's only a sophomore.”

The Falcons responded with an 11-play drive that ended with Russell's third touchdown. Michael Parlak ran in a two-point conversion to make it 28-14. Parlak rushed for 110 yards and ended a fourth-quarter Norwin drive with an interception.

“Connellsville came out with a lot more fire, and they took it to us,” Tragesser said.

Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jblack@tribweb.com.

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.