ShareThis Page

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic dominates Clarion in PIAA semifinals

| Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, 4:27 p.m.

DUBOIS — One more win.

That's all that stands between the Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic and a PIAA Class A championship after the Cardinals dismantled District 9 champ Clarion, 39-12, on Saturday afternoon at DuBois' EJ Mansell Stadium.

The Trojans (15-0) controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, outgaining the Bobcats, 378-167. North Catholic's defense forced four turnovers and held Clarion more than 300 yards under its season average (470).

“Our game plan was to run the ball on them and control the clock,” North Catholic coach Bob Ravenstahl said. “Our offensive line did a great job. I've been saying it all year: They are the best offensive line in single-A football. They're the best O-line we've ever had at North Catholic, that's for sure.”

The Bobcats (14-1) played without second-leading rusher Ian Corbett, and Damien Slike, the team's top ball carrier, was limited to six carries for 27 yards before being sidelined at the half.

On the other side of the ball, the Trojans offensive line and ground attack controlled the game, outrushing Clarion, 378-14. Clarion threw for 153 yards, with senior receiver Cody Hearst hauling in eight catches for 109 yards.

After junior quarterback PJ Fulmore threw an interception in the end zone on the game's first possession, North Catholic scored on its next three drives to take a 22-0 lead. The Trojans went into the half ahead 29-6.

Fulmore had touchdowns runs of 1, 5 and 5 yards in the first half, and junior Jerome Turner had a 6-yard score. Turner added a 22-yard TD run in the second half as he led all rushers with 19 carries for 177 yards. Junior Michael Tarasovich booted a 23-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter to secure the trip to Hersheypark Stadium.

Fulmore finished with 20 carries for 109 yards, and freshman Mario Latronica had 16 carries for 92 yards.

“We've been taking it one game at a time, and that's been our goal,” Ravenstahl said. “And we're excited to go to Hershey.”

North Catholic will play Old Forge (14-1), a 26-7 winner against Steeltown-Highspire, for the state title at 1 p.m. Friday.

Chris Wechtenhiser is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.