No. 2 North Catholic, Fulmore edge Avonworth
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Versatile playmaker P.J. Fulmore scored a 1-yard touchdown with 4:08 left in the fourth quarter as No. 2 seed North Catholic came from behind to defeat Eastern Conference foe Avonworth, 14-7, in a Class A quarterfinal at Hampton's Fridley Field.
The victory moved North Catholic (11-0) back into a semifinal matchup with No. 6 Neshannock, which defeated Monessen, 35-6. The Trojans edged the Lancers, 21-14, in Week 8.
Filling in once again for injured quarterback Adam Sharlow, Fulmore made sure North Catholic continued its dominance over Avonworth (9-2).
The Trojans also defeated the Antelopes, 21-12, in Week 6, although Sharlow was the difference maker in that game.
Running the wildcat in the rematch, Fulmore carried the offense, as the Division I prospect rushed 37 times for 175 yards and his fourth-quarter score. The junior also completed 6 of 12 passes for 107 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown to senior Ryan Kirby that gave North Catholic an early 6-0 lead.
“That was a classic North Catholic and Avonworth game,” Trojans coach Bob Ravenstahl said. “(Fulmore) is the real deal.
“I had a gut feeling he would have a big game, and he did.”
The lead stuck for much of four quarters — North Catholic controlled the clock with Fulmore gaining tough yards — until Jamal Hughley's 25-yard touchdown pass from Matt Donovan put Avonworth on top 7-6.
The Trojans responded with an 11-play, 79-yard drive that featured two long third-down conversions, including a 40-yard strike from Fulmore to Kirby, that ended with Fulmore's decisive touchdown.
“This is a tough one to take,” Avonworth coach Duke Johncour said. “(Fulmore) is a heck of an athlete and a whale of a player. He was their one-man show tonight.”
Donovan completed 13 of 22 passes for 119 yards. He also was intercepted in the end zone by the Trojans' Brennan Sefick in the third quarter. That turnover came on the heels of North Catholic's only turnover, as Fulmore was intercepted by Andrew Broadus a drive earlier.
Donovan and the Antelopes had another shot to reclaim the lead, but a last-chance drive that reached midfield stalled after an offensive pass interference penalty and consecutive unsportsmanlike conduct calls flipped field position. Officials moved the ball from North Catholic's side of the field to the Antelope's 8-yard line, and Fulmore and the Trojans were able to run out the clock.
“There's a lot of pressure,” Fulmore said. “But as a competitor, you always want the ball in your hands in the clutch.”
Brian J. Duermeyer 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.
- High school football notebook: WPIAL might welcome another team next year
- HS highlight reel: Hearings scheduled before WPIAL board
- Now in Class A, rivals GCC, Jeannette to battle for 2nd place in Eastern Conference
- H.S. Picks rounding into postseason form
- Charleroi-Cal only 10th game in town
- Latrobe boys soccer team competes in WPIAL playoffs for 1st time in 22 years
- High school football roundup: Fulmore hits career milestone for CWNC
- High school notebook: Plenty to play for in GAC in Week 9
- Charleroi’s Shannon Player of the Week
- Valley News Dispatch Q&A: Ford City’s Zeke Walker
- HS highlight reel: Quite a weekend for Penn-Traffod’s Aunkst