TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Connellsville rallies past Hempfield

Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier - Connellsville's James Stevenson looks for running room after receiving a short pass from quarterback Jade Maher on Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, against Hempfield in Connellsville.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier</em></div>Connellsville's James Stevenson looks for running room after receiving a short pass from quarterback Jade Maher on Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, against Hempfield in Connellsville.
Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier - Hempfield's Ty George (11) looks for an open receiver in Connellsville's end during Hempfield's match up against Connellsville held at Falcon Stadium in Connellsville on Friday, September 14, 2012.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier</em></div>Hempfield's Ty George (11) looks for an open receiver in Connellsville's end during Hempfield's match up against Connellsville held at Falcon Stadium in Connellsville on Friday, September 14, 2012.

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Top high school sports

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, 11:12 p.m.
 

Connellsville's 14-10 win over visiting Hempfield on Friday may qualify as a signature win for the Falcons and second-year coach Dave McDonald.

Connellsville, in desperate need of a victory after starting the season 0-2, fell behind, 10-0, in the first half. But the Falcons rallied thanks to two touchdown passes from Jade Maher and a defensive stand in the final minute of the Quad East game.

“It was a heck of an accomplishment,” McDonald said. “I'm proud for the kids and the community.”

Hempfield, under the direction of first-year coach Rich Bowen, had several opportunities to take control but never could shake the Falcons.

“Obviously we are disappointed with the loss,” Bowen said. “We knew there would be potholes along the way, and hopefully this is just a little one.

“We made some mistakes, but I'm proud of the kids, and I give Connellsville a lot of credit. They were desperate, and they worked extremely hard.”

The first quarter was a field-position battle, and Connellsville seemed to win it after punting the ball and pinning Hempfield inside its 1-yard line.

But on the next play, Joey DeFloria, who rushed for a game-high 214 yards on 15 carries, raced around the right end and went 99 yards untouched to give the Spartans (2-1, 2-1) a 7-0 lead.

In the second quarter, Hempfield scored again thanks to John Domit's 31-yard field goal.

But Connellsville (1-2, 1-2) responded when Darrell Ross pulled down a 28-yard touchdown pass from Maher to make it a 10-7 game midway through the second quarter.

Maher completed 11 of 19 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Ross hauled in six of those passes for 107 yards.

Both teams made mistakes that ended potential scoring drives in the second half. Hempfield's Lian Lewandowski recovered a Connellsville fumble in the third quarter before the Falcons' Dylan Knopsnider intercepted a pass in the end zone to thwart Hempfield in the fourth quarter.

But late in the fourth, Connellsville finally completed one of several promising drives when Jimmy DeMarco capped a 12-play series by catching a 45-yard touchdown pass with 2:50 remaining to give the Falcons the final margin.

“We moved the ball, but then something would happen,” McDonald said. “But we fought through it and just a lot of praise for our kids this week.”

Connellsville's defense stopped Hempfield on four consecutive plays from inside the 10-yard line.

Hempfield quarterback Ty George had a strong game, completing 16 of 38 passes for 211 yards, but the Spartans couldn't find a way to solve Connellsville's defense late. A fourth-down pass fell incomplete in the end zone in the fourth quarter.

Connellsville also blocked two field-goal attempts and recovered a fumble earlier in the game. But the stand at the end was the shining moment for the defense.

“It was a huge stand, and the defense was really good,” McDonald said. “We just battled, and we grew up a lot tonight.”

Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jblack@tribweb.com or 724-626-3534.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Ejections, heated moments mark Pirates’ win over Reds
  2. Zimbabwe alleges Murrysville doctor illegally killed lion
  3. New Steeler Boykin clarifies remarks about former coach
  4. Pirates notebook: Burnett says ‘surgery is not an option’
  5. After early criticism, Haley has Steelers offense poised to be even better
  6. Rossi: Looking at the next great Steeler
  7. Making environmentalism divisive
  8. County council candidates chosen for District 11 ballot
  9. Penguins not alone in top-heavy approach to salary cap
  10. Ability to clog the trenches crucial to Steelers defense
  11. Former Lincoln Park star Rowan chooses N.C. State