Apollo-Ridge rolls to playoffs
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Apollo-Ridge's sterling defensive performance Friday night was rewarded with a WPIAL playoff berth.
The Vikings held Northgate to minus-33 yards net rushing in the first half and rolled to a 46-6 victory over Northgate before a large homecoming night crowd at Owens Field.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Apollo-Ridge defense and special teams set up three scoring drives in the second period that led to 32 points by halftime.
“They've played well all year,” said Vikings coach John Skiba. “It's not like it's anything new for us. We've played sound defense all year. Coach (Bruce) Yard has a great game plan every week.”
“It's just the unity on defense,” defensive captain Ben Gembella said. “It's like a brotherhood. We're there for the greater good of the team. Coach Yard does a great job. He's like a father to me.”
Jesse Zelonka threw for 141 yards and three touchdowns to Tre' Tipton as the Vikings (4-2, 5-2) secured the 11th WPIAL playoff berth in school history.
Northgate, after winning the season's opener at Riverview, fell to 1-5, 1-6.
Late in the first quarter, Apollo-Ridge's defense stopped Northgate for three straight losses, setting up good field position at the Flames' 35.
On the second play of the second quarter, Zelonka hit Tipton with a touch pass to begin the scoring barrage.
After the next defensive stop, freshman Duane Brown's 57-yard punt return set up a short, 13-yard scoring drive with Lonny Wells tallying from 8 yards out.
Another good defensive effort resulted in a 27-yard field goal by Wells.
After two more Vikings sacks, Brown picked off a pass at the 43 and raced 57 yards for a touchdown to make it 26-0.
“He's a heckuva player,” Skiba said of Wells. “Offense, defense, special teams, he does a lot of things for us. Glad I have him for another three years.”
A Wells sack on fourth down set up a 53-yard drive in 47 seconds, with Tipton snaring a 15-yard pass as time expired in the half.
Tipton capped an eight-play drive after the second-half kickoff with a 12-yard pass from Zelonka to put the PIAA's continuous-clock rules in effect.
Quarterback Johnny Camello's 16-yard scramble accounted for the lone Northgate score.
George Guido is a freelance writer.
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.
- Trib high school rankings for Sunday, Sept. 21
- Carlynton players carry on under new coach
- High school roundup: No. 9 North Allegheny takes down Upper St. Clair
- Brown’s 7 TDs power Apollo-Ridge past Shady Side Academy
- Penn Hills runs past Mt. Lebanon defense
- Seniors lead North Catholic past Brentwood
- Freeport holds on for 28-26 victory over West Shamokin
- No. 5 Highlands uses turnovers to beat No. 7 Kittanning
- High school roundup: Jeannette rolls to victory; Hempfield standout commits to IPFW
- Ringgold rolls over West Mifflin
- Gorman: Rowan’s move hurts area hoops