New Castle rallies to knock off Knoch
NEW CASTLE: Knoch head coach Mike King said he is more concerned about having a winning season than making the playoffs at this point. But conference game or not, a blown lead never helps matters.
Knoch watched a 28-6 lead evaporate, and dropped to 3-5 overall, as New Castle used a strong running attack and a little luck to complete a 30-28 nonconference comeback victory over the Knights Friday night at Taggart Stadium.
'We have to take a long look at (games like this),' King said. 'Whether we want to play two quarters or four quarters.'
Knoch is still alive in the Greater Allegheny Conference playoff chase with one game left, when the Knights resume league play next week against Pine-Richland.
New Castle (4-4) used a 21-point third quarter, which included a freakish kickoff play. Kicker Joe Harvey's low-lining kick bounced directly off a Knoch player's helmet. The Red Hurricane recovered the kick and swiped away the momentum after they had just driven 70 yards on 14 plays. Backup quarterback Russ Relic's 1-yard touchdown run made it 28-14.
Running back Zach Mariacher helped the Red Hurricane take advantage of the kickoff luck, scoring on an 8-yard run early in the third. Allen Scott's 4-yard run not long after made it 28-27. Harvey's extra-point attempt hit off the left upright.
After Knoch went three-and-out, New Castle got the ball, drove to the Knight's 20, and Harvey redeemed himself by nailing a 37-yard field goal to take the lead for