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Charleroi shocks Monessen

| Saturday, Aug. 31, 2002

MONESSEN - Charleroi Area football coach Jim Dumm has waited four years to beat Monessen.

After his team rallied from two fourth quarter deficits Friday to edge the Greyhounds in overtime, 25-18, Dumm knew the wait was worthwhile - even though the experience left him exhausted.

"We never quit, we kept responding and coming back," Dumm said. "I'm just so happy for those boys. They worked their tails off."

Charleroi had just three points entering the fourth quarter, but its offense came back in a big way.

After Monessen scored on the first play of the quarter, a 14-yard touchdown run by Ernest Williams, the Cougars struck back.

Starting quarterback Chris Price capped a 67-yard drive with a 35-yard touchdown pass to senior Mike Ciserano. Greg Hazy converted the point after to make the score 12-10.

The Greyhounds' offense responded.

Sophomore tailback Quinton Martin ran for 26 yards to Charleroi Area's 35-yard-line.

Five plays later, he ran untouched from 16 yards out for a touchdown. The extra point gave Monessen an 18-10 lead.

It didn't last long. Charleroi Area's Dominic Scorza ran for 41 yards to advance the ball into Monessen territory.

Four running plays later, the Cougars had the ball on the Monessen 5-yard-line.

Dave Wachinski ran it in with 2:32 remaining to cap the Cougars' 76-yard drive.

Trailing 18-16, Charleroi Area needed a two-point conversion to tie.

Dumm put the ball in Price's hands, and the junior came through.

He rolled to his right and, after failing to find an open receiver, crashed through a horde of defenders at the goal line for the two-pointer.

The result was difficult for Monessen head coach Joe Fischer to take.

"I don't think we're a good football team right now," he said. "Our team wasn't strong enough to hang in there and win this football game."

Monessen was unable to answer in regulation time.

Under WPIAL overtime rules, each team gets the ball on the 10-yard-line and each has four plays to score.

Should neither team score, the process is repeated.

In the extra frame, the Cougars needed just three plays to put the ball into the end zone.

Mario Tarquinio ran twice. The second carry was for one yard and a touchdown.

Hazy added the extra point.

Monessen's offense could not counter.

The Greyhounds lost 23 yards in four plays.

Tarquinio ended the game with a sack, which sent Charleroi Area fans into a frenzy.

Dumm was just as excited.

"It's a shame someone had to lose that game," Dumm said. "There were two good football teams and my hat goes off to Monessen."

On the other side of the field, the emotions were opposite.

"I was disappointed in our discipline and I was disappointed in our effort," Fischer said. "I don't think we performed well in any area of this game."

Monessen lead for most of the game.

Martin scored the game's first points with a two-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. The point after kick was blocked.

It stayed this way until the third quarter, when Hazy drilled a 30-yard field goal to put Charleroi Area on the board.

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