Ford City flattens Northgate
BELLEVUE — It took four quarters for Ford City to score 34 points in a home victory last week. But on the road Friday night, it took the Sabers less than two quarters.
Backed by six rushing touchdowns, Ford City scored 42 points in the first half on its way to a 56-0 victory over Northgate in the WPIAL Class AA Allegheny Conference. Ford City (5-0, 3-0) remained undefeated.
Ford City coach John Bartolovic credited his offensive line's performance as a key factor in the victory.
“Our linemen are doing a good job up front,” Bartolovic said. “That's really the difference for us.”
The Sabers didn't record any passing yards, but they proved that they didn't need to throw the football.
Senior running back Carter Haponski paced the Sabers with three first-half touchdown runs of 4, 20 and 4 yards. He finished with 70 yards.
“He's a speedster,” Bartolovic said. “He runs hard.”
Junior running back Sean Kriley scored the first Ford City touchdown with a 26-yard run early in the first quarter. Kriley added a second 26-yard touchdown run late in the quarter. Kriley, who finished with six carries for 75 yards, left the game prior to the start of the second quarter with a mild concussion and did not return.
Ford City senior running back Ryan Good completed the first-half scoring with a 5-yard run.
Ford City's offense clicked throughout the game, and its defense and special teams were just as effective. The two units forced a combined five Northgate turnovers. Ford City's defense held Northgate to 31 total yards, including 8 in the first half.
The Flames didn't pick up their second first down until the final moments of the third quarter.
“We've got some good, aggressive kids that hit,” Bartolovic said.
Ford City's defense also forced three interceptions from Northgate sophomore quarterback Joe Barker, who started in place of junior Bill Quinn (bruised leg). The Sabers' special teams forced two first-half fumbles on kickoffs to Northgate.
“We work on special teams every day,” Bartolovic said. “I think it's a big part of our preparation.”
Ford City added two rushing touchdowns in the second half, including a 2-yard run from junior running back Sam Repac and a 5-yard run from junior running back Brandon Carson to complete Ford City's third shutout of the season.
The 35-point mercy rule was in effect throughout the second half.
Bartolovic said he was pleased that the team kept turnovers to a minimum. The Sabers committed several fumbles last week.
“We got a little unfocused last week,” Bartolovic said.
Ford City will have to get focused next Friday night when it hosts visiting Burrell in an important conference game. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
“You like to be in those situations,” Bartolovic said. “We'd rather play those kind of games.”