Northgate wins, ends Springdale's 11-year playoff run
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Even as its season turned sour, Springdale stuck to the gritty, defense-oriented, run-often style that corresponded with the program's emergence as a Class A power during the past decade.
That approach failed to save Springdale from falling out of playoff contention for the first time since 2001 as the Dynamos (2-6, 2-5) lost to host Northgate, 28-14, on Friday night.
The Flames (2-6, 2-5), already out of the postseason picture, took the lead just two minutes into the Eastern Conference game and maintained it the rest of the way to end Springdale's Alle-Kiski Valley-best 11-season playoff-qualifying streak.
“The streak is great, but it's more about tradition and playing the game a certain way,” Springdale coach Dave Leasure said.
“We're still doing that to a point, but we're not where we used to be. Someone has to be accountable for that, and it's usually the guy in charge, me.”
Northgate, which had lost six games in a row, unveiled a play it had saved all fall during its first possession.
On first-and-10 at Springdale's 48, quarterback Johnny Camello tossed a lateral to receiver Rodney Burrows, who turned and threw downfield to Darion Trimmer for a touchdown.
“It was getting to that point in the season where we had to put some things in to give ourselves a chance,” Northgate coach Brandon LeDonne said.
Camello made the offense go for most of the evening, completing 10 of 12 passes for 132 yards.
He threw a 26-yard touchdown on fourth-and-15 with 3:29 left to seal the win, and he also ran for a 22-yard score with 1:23 left in the first half.
“Camello has played well for us the last three weeks ... but it's really been a team effort and guys just grinding it out,” LeDonne said.
Springdale put together several long drives with its ground game.
The Dynamos ran 12 plays on their first possession and held the ball for more than six minutes but came away with no points.
Springdale also had the ball for almost nine minutes in the third quarter, but again, they failed to score.
“We had an advantage up front, and we took advantage of that, to a point,” Leasure said. “They certainly had an advantage at the skill kids, and that was the difference-maker.”
Northgate turnovers set up both of Springdale's touchdowns. Austin Kline's fumble recovery at the Flames' 22 late in the first quarter preceded John Nicholson's 10-yard touchdown run.
Then, late in the third quarter, Joel Wunnenberg returned an interception to Northgate's 45, and 13 plays later, Matt Mikus scored from 4 yards out to cut Springdale's deficit to 22-14.
Springdale freshman quarterback Sam Carey played in place of junior Daniel Franskousky, who was out with concussion symptoms.
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.