North Catholic routs Leechburg, wraps up perfect regular season
TribLIVE Sports Videos
For the first time in 16 years, and only the second time in school history, North Catholic finished the regular season undefeated.
The No. 2 Trojans (9-0, 8-0) secured the feat by defeating Leechburg, 35-14, in Friday's Eastern Conference game.
“That was one of our goals this year, to go undefeated in the regular season,” North Catholic coach Bob Ravenstahl said. “So we accomplished one of those goals.”
While the Trojans' offense came up just short of their 39 points-per-game average, their defense upheld a reputation for stinginess by allowing just 183 yards to the Blue Devils (2-7, 2-6). Most of those yards came against North Cathlolic's second-string defense.
Trojan running back Jerome Turner and wildcat quarterback P.J. Fulmore were too much for the Leechburg defense.
Turner started the scoring with a 23-yard touchdown. The three-play drive covered 45 yards.
Turner finished the night with 77 yards on eight carries.
After a Leechburg three-and-out, Ryan Kirby hit Thadeus Benson for a 12-yard score, making it 14-0 after one quarter. Earlier in the drive, Kirby hit Benson for 23 yards to convert a fourth-and-23.
Both offenses stalled in the second quarter, until North Catholic blocked a Leechburg punt to set the Trojans up at the Blue Devils' 19-yard line.
One play later, Fulmore took a direct snap and dodged right, breaking multiple tackles, for a touchdown.
The Trojans headed off with field with a 21-0 lead at halftime.
Fulmore led the Trojans with 80 yards on 13 carries.
North Catholic held Leechburg to 16 yards in the first half.
West Deer native Maario Latronica of North Catholic opened the second half with a 15-yard touchdown run. After a Leechburg fumble, Turner put the game away when he went in from 10 yards out, this time carrying a pile into the end zone to make it 35-0.
Leechburg refused to go away, though.
Senior Alex Kalmar opened the fourth quarter scoring on a 14-yard run. Kalmar appeared to do a limbo-like move to dodge three Trojans.
Senior Kristopher Smith ended the game with a 26-yard touchdown run. He was the game's leading rusher with 112 yards on 15 carries.
“I give lots of credit to these seniors,” Leechburg coach Mark George said. “They care about this program and wanted to make sure they did everything they could to improve it.
“They really came together this year and never quit.”
R.A. Monti 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.
- Belle Vernon Area takes advantage of Ringgold mistakes
- High school roundup: No. 3 Pine-Richland holds off Seneca Valley
- PIAA votes to expand classifications in football, other sports
- Valley Independent roundup: Bentworth’s Tush scores 6 TDs in win over California
- Freeport takes chances, cashes in during shutout of Highlands
- Clairton uses big second half, key turnover to pull away from Jeannette
- Penn-Trafford QB Laffoon sets career TD pass mark in rout of Hempfield
- Offensive spurt lifts Burrell past Sto-Rox
- After another slow start, Greensburg Central Catholic defeats Leechburg
- South Fayette extends winning streak in dominating fashion
- Norwin takes control in 2nd half, upends Kiski Area