Experienced Franklin Regional handles young Highlands
TribLIVE Sports Videos
With standout running back Dane Brown watching from the press box with an injured ankle, Class AAA No. 6 Franklin Regional showed its depth Friday night in a 35-3 victory over Highlands in a Greater Allegheny Conference game at Golden Rams Stadium.
Quarterback Nico Lodovico threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and reserve running backs Nick Vento, Brett Zanotto and Paul Emanuele combined for 140 yards as the Panthers (2-1, 2-1) cruised after a slow start.
“We have a stable of running backs,” Panthers coach Greg Botta said. “They showed what they can do.”
The Panthers (2-1, 2-1) needed about a quarter to get going. Once they did, Highlands (0-3, 0-3) had no answer.
One of the larger Class AAA schools in the WPIAL playing one of the smallest, Franklin Regional showed strength in numbers. Highlands has just four seniors.
“We just couldn't match up with them,” Highlands coach Sam Albert said. “We're young and not there yet.”
Highlands took a 3-0 lead on a 31-yard field goal by Mike Masarik. Franklin Regional had a touchdown called back and was flagged for a penalty on a lengthy punt return.
But Highlands stalled and allowed 21 second-quarter points — a 26-yard run by Zanotto, a 1-yarder by Emanuele and 20-yard slant to Colin Jonov.
“They smacked us in the face early,” Botta said. “Highlands is a young team. They're going to be good for years to come.”
Highlands, which had three fumbles and an interception, managed just 60 rushing yards and 38 passing.
“I'm proud of our kids,” Albert said. “We had some injuries. We don't have the kind of depth and numbers they have. They outmanned us.”
Lodovico rushed for 77 yards on five carries.
Botta said he believes his team can improve.
“I didn't think we were very sharp,” Botta said. “I don't know if it's my expectations being so high. We had too many penalties.”
Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-224-2696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Reagan shooter Hinckley closer to permanent freedom
- Entertainment attractions going strong in Pittsburgh Mills mall
- Crosby’s 2 goals lift Penguins past Rangers, even series
- Fights reported, shots fired outside Monroeville Mall restaurant
- Steelers won’t be backed into a corner at NFL Draft
- Crosby says Edmonton would be good spot for prospective top pick McDavid
- Use of multiple contractors could leave oil, gas operators open to hackers
- Marte jump-starts Pirates in win over Brewers
- Sutter steps up for Penguins in series-tying victory
- Car dealerships turn advertising, sales focus to women
- Transportation challenges rife as Pittsburgh focuses on making fixes