Franklin Regional defense dominates Greensburg Salem
By Matt Grubba
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, 8:57 p.m.
Franklin Regional's defense 9, Greensburg Salem 0.
That scoreline is just one of many ways to illustrate just how good the Panthers' defense was while taking apart Greensburg Salem, 44-0, for a Greater Allegheny Conference win at home Friday.
Dom Matarazzo had a 43-yard interception return for a touchdown for Class AAA No. 6 Franklin Regional (3-1, 3-1), and the Panthers defense added a safety by stopping Greensburg Salem (1-3, 1-3) running back Tyler Shook on a carry in the end zone. Charan Singh also had his third interception of the season for FR.
“I told them, I don't know if we've ever had a defensive performance like that,” Franklin Regional coach Greg Botta said. “Those 11, 12, 13 kids that rotated in there, they were just stellar.
“I think the defense wants to make a statement. We gave up 21 points against Mars, and I think they were very upset about that. Now, we've given up three points in our last three games.”
Botta also credited his coaching staff, specifically new defensive coordinator Frank Cortazzo, for putting together and executing a great game plan.
“(The players) had to get accustomed to Coach Cortazzo this year,” Botta said. “We have a lot of starters back but a new coordinator, and I think that marriage is finally starting to happen.”
The Panthers held the Golden Lions to minus-14 yards of offense in the game, and the only Greensburg Salem first down came on a roughing-the-passer penalty against the Panthers. Out of 33 offensive plays total, only 11 gained yardage for Greensburg Salem.
“It's gratifying when (Botta) says it's the best performance,” said Matarazzo, a senior linebacker. “We felt pretty confident out there.
“It's huge when we can generate turnovers and score on defense because it's a momentum builder for our whole team.”
Franklin Regional allowed just 7.5 points per game last year, but now this year's team is ahead of that pace at 6.0, despite the slow start against Mars.
“We might not have been ready for Mars when we played them, but we really feel like we're starting to get back in the swing of things and play like we did last year,” Matarazzo said.
Singh opened the scoring for FR with a 7-yard touchdown catch from Nico Lodovico, and Brett Zanotto doubled the lead withe a 5-yard scoring run.
Matarazzo's interception made the score 21-0 before Paul Emanuele scored on a 5-yard run and Matt Yurko added a 1-yard plunge to hit 35-0 before halftime.
Dom Giannangeli's 3-yard run capped the scoring in a nearly-perfect game — the only major negative being the loss of Zanotto to a leg injury that occurred on a dangerous horse-collar tackle.
The Panthers' defense next gets a hold of a reeling Belle Vernon (1-3) team that hasn't scored an offensive point in two games.
The game is a rematch of last year's first-round playoff game won by Franklin Regional, 28-14, and it is the only nonconference game of the year for both teams.
Kickoff at Belle Vernon is 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or email@example.com.
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.
- 4 dead in ‘horrific’ Armstrong County crash
- Kovacevic: Bylsma’s moves — yes, moves — pay off
- Police see no sign Franklin Regional stabbing suspect was bullied
- Deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions
- Veteran North Huntingdon police officer fired
- Penguins rally to escape with a victory in Game 1 against Columbus
- Authorities investigating skeletal remains found in Ohio River in Avalon
- Wages have soared in Pittsburgh but economy appears to have stalled
- South Fayette parents express dissatisfaction with handling of bullying
- Former Pitt captain Cavanaugh blazes trail as entrepreneur
- Man to serve 75 to 100 years in prison for Shadyside rape