Apollo-Ridge falls to North Catholic, 40-21
Apollo-Ridge received a rude welcome to the Eastern Conference Friday night with a 40-21 defeat at the hands of North Catholic.
Sophomore P.J. Fulmore led the way for the Trojans (1-0, 1-0) with 265 yards and four touchdowns on 32 carries; 185 of those yards came in the first half. The only thing to slow down Fulmore were cramps midway through the third quarter, after he had already rushed for over 200 yards.
“I really didn't know what I had done until I came out of the game,” Fulmore said. “I knew we could run the ball and I was just following my fullback Frag (Jarred Fragapane) and going through the holes that the line made for me.”
North Catholic led 27-0 with 5:11 to play in the third quarter. After that the game became increasingly ragged and included an ejection of an Apollo-Ridge player.
North Catholic will play at Springdale and Apollo-Ridge (0-1, 0-1) will host Wilkinsburg next week.
Fulmore wasn't the only back in the mix Friday. Fragapane added 52 yards and a touchdown and Jerome Turner had 45 yards and a touchdown on seven rushes.
Junior Jesse Zelonka led Apollo-Ridge with 123 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 17 carries, and completed five of 17 passes for 96 yards with two interceptions.
“We knew that they (North Catholic) would pound away at us,” Apollo-Ridge coach John Skiba said. “I had two defensive linemen who had never played before, I've got young linebackers. At times defensively we will struggle. Offensively, we have some people who can make plays. The job for us now is to find ways to get as many of those people involved.”
The Trojans rushed for 350 yards on 44 attempts, for an average of 7.95 yards per carry.
Fulmore scored on a 31-yard run on the second play of the second quarter to give North Catholic a 13-point lead.
Then the defense got to work with consecutive interceptions of Zelonka. The first was by Josh Churchin and the second by Josh Sharlow. Sharlow's interception with just over three minutes to play in the half.
Fulmore rushed 19 times in the first half and accounted for all but eight yards of North Catholic's offense.
Thomas Zuck is a freelance writer.