North Catholic QB bounces back, keys victory over Avonworth
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Adam Sharlow couldn't let that cost his team a shot at the Eastern Conference title.
Despite botching a punt that went for a loss of 4 yards and led to Avonworth's first score, North Catholic's junior quarterback bounced back in a big way by rushing for a pair of scores to key a 21-12 road win.
No. 2 North Catholic improved to 6-0, 6-0 and seized control of the WPIAL Class A Eastern Conference.
“I was never worried,” Sharlow said. “I know my team inside and out, and I knew we were going to fight through the adversity.
“I knew that we were going to come out on top. We had the heart, we fought through it, and we got the win.”
Sharlow rushed for 90 yards on 25 carries, scoring on runs of 25 and 7 yards. He also completed 8 of 21 passes for 106 yards.
There was no bigger moment for Sharlow, however, than his second touchdown run, when he scored on fourth down to cap a 15-play, 80-yard drive that consumed 9 minutes, 7 seconds.
“A 15-play drive, chewed up nine minutes in the third quarter … that's the way to respond,” Avonworth coach Duke Johncour said.
North Catholic didn't seal the win until Ronnie Meder tipped a pass, and Jarred Fragalpane rumbled 17 yards into the end zone.
“That was the greatest feeling in the world,” Fragalpane said. “I was probably smiling at the 10-yard line.”
Trojans running back P.J. Fulmore returned from an ankle injury that had sidelined him since Week 1 and rushed for 60 yards.
Moses Giles led sixth-ranked Avonworth (5-1, 4-1) with 81 rushing yards. Josh Drwal caught five passes for 52 yards.
To set up Avonworth's first touchdown, Sharlow ran to his right, seemingly thinking about kicking it, running it, then kicking it again, and he flubbed the kick for a punt that netted minus-4 yards.
After a pair of runs, quarterback Matt Donovan found Drwal on a crossing route for a 20-yard touchdown pass a little more than two minutes into the second quarter.
North Catholic answered on its next possession, getting two completions from Sharlow to Meder and a 25-yard scoring run from Sharlow where he absorbed a vicious hit at the line of scrimmage.
Jesse Zubik's weaving, 69-yard kickoff return to open the second half set the stage for a 2-yard run from Giles that pushed Avonworth ahead, 12-7, just 20 seconds into the third quarter.
Avonworth missed a chance to stretch the lead when Cole Pappas' 34-yard field goal midway through the third was tipped and fell short of the uprights.
“We put points up on the board there, it's a whole different story,” Johncour said.
Instead it was Sharlow, looking to make up for an early mistake, who wrote his own story.
“He's a tough runner,” Trojans coach Bob Ravenstahl said. “You saw that tonight.”
Show commenting policy
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.
- Central Catholic wins 5th WPIAL football title
- Thomas Jefferson uses defense, running game to capture WPIAL title
- Aliquippa wins 16th WPIAL title, ends South Fayette’s 44-game winning streak
- Clairton captures 12th WPIAL football championship
- WPIAL Class AAA notes: Title games draw 16,500 to Heinz Field
- WPIAL Class AA notes: South Fayette’s Saxton sets WPIAL finals record
- WPIAL Class AAAA notes: P-T unable to snap playoff skid vs. Central Catholic
- WPIAL Class A notes: Return sparks Clairton for 2nd straight week
- Clairton among greatest WPIAL dynasties; Aliquippa, South Fayette close
- WPIAL Class AAA final preview: Big-play passing attack paying off for defending WPIAL champion Central Valley
- Karns City tops Bedford in state football playoffs