North Catholic clobbers Leechburg
LEECHBURG -- North Catholic spoiled Leechburg's homecoming festivities with a 66-13 Class A Eastern Conference win Friday at Veterans Memorial Field.
The Trojans started strong, marching 56 yards in six plays before fullback John Morgan punched the ball in from 5 yards out to put the Trojans up, 7-0, early in the first quarter.
Leechburg then fumbled on its first offensive possession, giving North Catholic the ball on the Blue Devils' 10-yard line. Two plays later, sophomore quarterback Matt Long hooked up with his cousin, Martin Long, on a 10-yard pass play to give North Catholic a 14-point lead with 7:55 left in the first quarter.
The Trojans scored two more times in the first quarter.
Freshman speedster Julian Durden returned a Leechburg punt 53 yards, and senior running back Matt Fedzen got loose from the Blue Devils' defense and raced 53 yards to give the Trojans a 27-point first-quarter lead.
"We're a young ballclub, and we battled out there," Leechburg coach Mark Adams said. "In one respect, to North Catholic, they have a dynamite football team. They have a lot of weapons over there."
Those weapons kept firing, as Fedzen, again, took a hand-off and outran the Blue Devils' defense on his way to a 65-yard touchdown, putting the Trojans up, 34-0, early in the second quarter. Fedzen finished the game with 136 yards on seven carries and two touchdowns.
Leechburg gained some momentum before the half, marching 58 yards in 13 plays before 5-foot-10 freshman Ben Kalmar outran the Trojans' defense and squeezed inside the end zone pile-on to give the Blue Devils their first points.
"I am so proud of these kids tonight," Adam said. "They stepped up and continued to battle through the face of adversity."
To start the second half, Leechburg sat it's starting quarterback James Dunmire in favor of junior Joe Diani and switched to a full-house backfield. The move proved successful, as the Blue Devils drove 58 yards in three plays with the help of a 50-yard run from sophomore Darian Sziraki.
Kalmar scored again, cutting the Trojans' lead to 28 points at 41-28. Kalmar finished with 45 yards on 11 carries.
"There's some peaks and some valleys, and we're gonna go through them," Adams said.