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Guido: Coaching changes lifted Knoch in '89

| Friday, Oct. 9, 2009

Twenty years ago, Knoch's revamped backfield resulted in the team's first Greater Allegheny Conference victory of the year, 21-12, over coach Chuck Wagner's Fox Chapel Foxes. First-year Knoch coach Paul Giesey slotted in Bob Mason and Jeff Mullen, and Mason responded with a pair of touchdowns.

Five years ago

• Jason Makara hauled in a 33-yard touchdown pass from Garyn Ehrlich and recorded three sacks, as Burrell won a hard-fought, 33-20 victory at Kittanning. Tyler Henderson added four touchdowns for Burrell.

• Pat McAfee set a Plum school record with a 48-yard field goal, added another 45-yarder, boomed a 70-yard punt and drilled six of seven kickoffs into the end zone as the Mustangs hammered Knoch, 35-7.

10 years ago

• Burrell's No. 31, Brad Malaspina, caught two 31-yard touchdown passes from Tim Eckman as the Bucs defeated Hampton, 35-24, in Greater Allegheny Conference action. Mike Zollinger rushed for 244 yards and three Burrell touchdowns.

• Brian Newton returned a kickoff 90 yards and added another 23-yard run from scrimmage as Apollo-Ridge held on to defeat Deer Lakes, 20-13, Grant Gourley intercepted a pass at the Vikings' 9-yard line late in the game to preserve the victory.

20 years ago

• Kiski Area's Lewis Lawhorn returned punts of 75 and 80 yards for touchdowns and caught a 29-yard scoring pass from Fran David as the Cavaliers downed North Catholic, 34-8, at Lt. J. C. Stone Field, North Park.

• Mark Geminetti of Leechburg intercepted a Serra Catholic pass, setting up his own 50-yard scoring grab from Joel Shodi as the Blue Devils blanked the Eagles, 14-0.

25 years ago

• Hempfield coach Joe Naunchik returned to his alma mater and came away with a 7-6 victory at Plum. Mustangs coach Al Mauro went for the 2-point conversion in the fourth quarter after Brian Pivirotto's 72-yard interception return. Quarterback Phil Kinney's pass to Jeff Hahn was called back because of a motion penalty, and Plum couldn't convert on its second try.

• Chris Thorpe rushed for 203 yards and a touchdown with 45 seconds left in the game as Fox Chapel downed Franklin Regional, 14-6.

30 years ago

• On a Friday afternoon, Bert Blyleven subdued the Cincinnati Reds with a game-ending curveball to Cesar Geronimo in the famous video clip to put the Pirates in the World Series. Later that evening, Kiski Area recorded a 22-0 victory over Greensburg Salem. The Cavaliers scored three first-half touchdowns in 3:03 to secure the victory.

• Knoch took over first place in the AIC North with by blanking Richland, 21-0, in a quagmire at Ozzie Santacroce Stadium. Knights defenders picked off three Rams passes and recovered two fumbles.

40 years ago

• Apollo-Ridge scored 20 fourth-quarter points to upset Ford City, 26-6. Dave Bettinazzi scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 16-yard pass from George Stefanik.

• Deer Lakes halfback Andy Fenoglietto scored the first of three touchdowns on a 72-yard run on the opening play from scrimmage as Deer lakes downed Mars, 30-8.

50 years ago

• Though Springdale was limited to just two first downs, the Dynamos managed to stay undefeated with a 25-20 victory over Plum behind three Ron Kubecka touchdowns. The team will have a 50-year reunion tonight in Springdale.

• Kittanning scored two touchdowns and an extra point in the final four minutes of the game to shock Freeport, 13-12. Jim Milliron scored both touchdowns, and future coach Harry Beckwith booted the extra point.

75 years ago

• Leechburg defeated Kittanning, 19-0, at Gilpin Field. Kolenick scored two touchdowns for the winners.

• Apollo blanked Derry Borough, 12-0, getting touchdowns from Red Stanko and Dave Claire.

Each Friday throughout the high school football season, the Valley News Dispatch will take a look back at the players, coaches and events that are part of local scholastic history.

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