P-T trounces Franklin Regional
It was the 'Nick and Blaise Show' on Friday night at Warrior Stadium in Harrison City.
Nick ran right. Blaise ran left. Nick ran up the middle. Blaise made tacklers miss him. Nick rushed for 118 yards, broke up two long passes on defense and recovered a fumble. Blaise scored on runs of 17 and 37 yards.
The only thing the two of them didn't do last night was play first and second trumpets in the Warrior Marching Band. Give the guys a break: They needed a rest at halftime.
Behind the talents of running backs Nick Tropiano and Blaise Abramovitz, the Penn-Trafford Warriors raced out to a 27-0 halftime lead and never trailed in defeating the Franklin Regional Panthers 35-0 in a Quad South game.
'We are really proud of the kids and the way they played,' Penn-Trafford coach Art Tragesser said. 'We came out strong early and kept rolling throughout the game and never let up. This is how you want to see your team play.'
Question marks regarding the youth and inexperience of the Warriors at the beginning of the season have quickly faded as Penn-Trafford finds itself 3-1 overall and 2-0 in conference after the win.
'We are starting to jell as a single, focused unit,' added Tragesser. 'This was an important game for us to win and puts us in a good position moving into the main part of the season.'
Penn-Trafford took control of the game from the start. Four plays into its first possession, after a Tropiano 18-yard run, left-handed quarterback Rick Evans rolled to his right and hit receiver Jeff Oravec in the corner of the end zone for a 22-yard score. Oravec added the extra point to give the Warriors a 7-0 lead.
On Penn-Trafford's next possession, Tropiano carried the ball on six of the drive's nine plays and scored on the final play on a 6-yard run. He was led by a strong offensive line made up of Steve Weir, Nick Brancati, Aaron Miller, John Bozan and John Thurston, all of whom kept the Panthers defense on its heels all evening.
'Our offensive line played great and made the lanes for our running backs,' said Tragesser. 'It is extremely difficult to shut out a team. It was a team effort, including our players and coaches, that made this happen.'
On its next possession, Penn-Trafford scored when Evans followed his left tackle and dove for the 2-yard touchdown. The play was set up on a 38-yard run by Tropiano.
'Nick is one of our senior leaders, and he showed his talents,' said Tragesser. 'He needed to have a good game, and he did on both sides of the ball.'
Penn-Trafford scored again at the 4:45 mark of the second quarter when Evans handed off to Tropiano, who handed it back to Abramovitz, who then scored on a 17-yard run.
Franklin Regional (1-3, 1-1) had problems all evening on offense, as the Warrior defense, led by Nick Padezan, Josh Presutti, John Wolf and Weir, recorded three sacks, caused two turnovers and held the Panthers to just five first downs.
'I just think they wanted this game more than we did,' said Franklin Regional coach Greg Botta. 'Anytime we would get something started on offense, P-T would just stop us in our tracks. We made a number of mistakes, couldn't move the football and lost our concentration.'
The final score of the game came in the fourth quarter when Penn-Trafford's Abramovitz took a reverse and rushed 37 yards for the score.
'Blaise did an outstanding job for us,' said Tragesser. 'He is only a sophomore, but he is showing excellent maturity and has shown improvement every week.'