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Penn-Trafford coasts to victory over Norwin

| Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, 11:08 p.m.
Penn-Trafford quarterback Dorian Stevens eyes the end zone under pressure from Norwin's Cody Sabol (left) and Kyle Baum during their September 7, 2012 contest in North Huntingdon Township. Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review

With both offenses struggling in the first half, it was the Penn-Trafford defense that grabbed control against its biggest rival.

Penn-Trafford scored 17 points in the final 2:36 of the first half to pull away and ruin the home opener for Norwin, 27-7, in a Quad East Conference matchup.

Quarterback Dorian Stevens led Penn-Trafford (1-1, 1-0) with 102 yards on 8-for-12 passing and 50 yards rushing, while running back Devin Austin added 66 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Norwin (0-2, 0-2) was led by running back Zach Tinsley's 72 yards rushing, but the Knights were hurt by five turnovers, two of which were interceptions by Penn-Trafford senior cornerback Dom Cima.

“We need to rely on our defense to keep us in games until our offense gets going,” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said. “Our secondary is the key because we've got a lot of guys returning there.”

The Warriors held a 3-0 lead in the second quarter when a bad snap on a Norwin punt led to Penn-Trafford starting a drive on the Knights' 40-yard line. On the next play, Stevens hit McDonough in the right flat for a catch and run to give his team a 10-0 lead.

The P-T defense came up big on Norwin's next two drives, the first when Cima intercepted a pass by John Driggers and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown.

On Norwin's next possession, Penn-Trafford's Tom Stinelli fell on a fumbled snap by the Knights with 55 seconds left in the half, which led to a 32-yard field goal by Matt Loughnane, his second of the game, on the final play of the half.

“I saw some improvements defensively and offensively, but we did some things that just killed us,” Norwin coach Art Tragesser said. “We had turnovers, a couple blown assignments — things you just can't do.”

“High school football is all about momentum, and turnovers are the key,” Ruane said. “If you give them up, you're in trouble. If you get them, you're in good shape.”

Norwin used three young quarterbacks for the second straight game. Sophomore Driggers got the start, sophomore Sean Bowen also played in the first half, and freshman Nick Amendola, who had the Knights' only touchdown on an 11-yard run, played the second half.

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or mgrubba@tribweb.com.

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