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Pine-Richland football goes out on high note

| Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, 8:58 p.m.
Pine Creek
Louis Raggiunti | Pine Creek Journal Ryan Clagett, Jon Floss and Zac Gonzales are three players who have made Hampton's defense a formidible unit in 2012.
Pine Creek
Louis Raggiunti | Pine Creek journal Kevin Rader and the rest of the Rams' defense punished Plum in the regular season finale.

The Pine-Richland football team may mot have made the playoffs, but the Rams ended the season on a winning note, 48-14, over visiting Plum.

“The last three or four years, we got that last win to give us something to build on heading into next year,” Pine-Richland coach Clair Altemus said. “This was a good thing to send our seniors off on a good note.”

But for the Rams' faithful, Altemus couldn't help but wonder what could have been had star running back Brock Baranowski been healthy all season.

Baranowski, a senior, scored on a fumble return to get the scoring going, then followed with a 51-yard scamper to put the Rams up, 14-0.

Colin Jackson hauled in a pair of touchdown passes from Ben DiNucci, who also hit Luke Merhut for a 6-yard score. Sophomore Connor Slomka broke the 1,000-yard mark and scored a touchdown against Plum. Earnest Williams closed the scoring with an 11-yard run.

The win ended the Rams season at 4-5, but Altemus is trying to find a opponent to play one more game.

The future looks bright for the Rams, and Altemus likens his team to that of section rival Seneca Valley three years ago. The Raiders lost several key starters early, thrusting a youth movement to the forefront. The team took its lumps, but the result — a good playoff run last year, and the Raiders look primed for another run starting this week.

“Ben is on a rapid pace from when he started Game 1 through the Plum game,” Altemus said.

“I feel like we have a lot of potential with these sophomore class to make some noise if a few things fall into place.”

Mars 25, Hampton 10

The Fighting Planets edged the Talbots out for the Greater Allegheny Conference title, but the Talbots still earned a No. 2 seed in the conference and a home game next week.

“My hat is off to Mars. That was two really good teams out here, but Mars was just better,” Hampton coach Jacque DeMatteo said.

Mars picked off three passes, but despite the turnovers, the score was 13-10 in the Planets' favor heading into the fourth quarter.

Anthony Bianco and Jon Floss each intercepted a Mars pass. Floss also caught a 32-yard touchdown from quarterback Jon Nigro.

The game was hard-hitting, but the Talbots must now shake off the game and look toward the postseason.

“We are a very good team, and I am very proud of these kids,” DeMatteo said.

“We'll get the blue-collar attitude going, prepare and follow our senior leadership.”

Hampton's opponent wasn't determined as of press time.

Beth-Center 58, Vincentian 0

It was an emotional end of the season for the Royals, who wrapped up the first football season in school history. The Royals' 1-9 record may not seem like much, but for a team that didn't exist prior to August, the season was a success.

“It was an emotional last game,” Vincentian coach Tim Storino said. “There were a lot of tears shed. The young kids didn't want to see the seniors go.”

Storino figures he will have 13 players back but admits it's a little scary not knowing exactly how many he will have next August.

“I hope for about 10 new kids to come out,” Storino said. “Hopefully, people are aware of our team and come out and play.”

Storino said the team will hit the weight room this offseason for a full set or workouts and an offseason program.

Norwin 20, Shaler 13

Brad Good hauled in two touchdown passes for Shaler, but the Titans fell short in the final game of the season. Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or jeclark@tribweb.com.

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