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South Allegheny falls to South Park despite valiant effort

| Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, 1:48 a.m.

It looked like Pat Monroe's South Allegheny squad would finally scale the mountain and earn a hard-fought win. But the harder they pushed the boulder up hill, the heavier it became.

The Gladiators could not overcome three costly turnovers and two penalties that negated two scores in Friday night's 14-3 Homecoming loss to South Park. South Allegheny fell to 0-4 overall, while the visiting Eagles squared their record at 2-2.

“South Park is a complete football team,” Monroe said. “ We fought them. I am proud of our guys. We've got seven guys up front that did not play last year.”

The Gladiators went toe-to-toe with a bigger, stronger football team all evening long and at times, appeared to carry the physicality to the Eagles. But mistakes, especially on offense, cost the Glads dearly.

After an exchange of punts, South Park struck first. Eagles quarterback Nick Scholle hit receiver Mike McLaughlin, who slid past Glads cornerback DaVonte Johnson and into the end zone for a spectacular 32 yard touchdown. Ryan Mino's point after was good, giving the Eagles a 7-0 lead late in the first.

South Park extended its lead to two scores late in the second quarter. Scholle hit Greg Pantuso for a 59-yard play on a screen pass. Two plays later, Scholle scrambled for the end zone but fumbled. However, Eagles offensive lineman Stefan Savic hustled and recovered the ball in the end zone, giving South Park a 14-3 lead.

David Whipkey is a freelance writer.

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