Pine Richland beats North Allegheny in Thriller
Written by: AJ Schaffer on Saturday, September 6th, 2014
In a game that looked good on paper, the actual game was great as expected both teams went back and forth. The Rams wasted no time making an early statement by marching down the field and eventually ended up a touchdown, Ben DiNucci to Dre Gastion a 28 yard throw and just like that Pine Richland was up 7-0 in the first. North Allegheny gets the ball and get to their own 44 before their drive stalls out and are forced to punt. Next drive once again Pine Richland wasted no time DiNucci threw to Anthony Battaglia for a big gain, and a throw to Mike Merhaut got them into the red zone and a 9 yard run by Connor Slomka made it 14-0 Rams with 4:57 remaining in the first quarter. The second drive took only 4 plays and was 57 yards. All of a sudden right when the Tigers needed big play, they get that in a Clay Byerly 90 yard kick return, which makes it 14-7 Pine Richland. On the next kick the Rams get it out to their own 48 the drive ended when they went for it on 4th down and didn’t convert. The Quarter ended 14-7 Pine Richland.
The second quarter starts and the North Allegheny drive stalls, they look like they were gonna go for it on 4th down but they end up doing a pooch punt that was downed at the Rams own 1. They go 3 and out and end up punting, but the returner for the Tigers muffs the punt and the Rams recover it at their own 39 yard line. The Rams don’t do anything with that drive either so they punt again. Next Drive was a methodical drive by the Tigers. Clemens scrambled for a first down to get to their own 42, a throw from Clemens to Bergman gets them into Rams territory. Another run by Josh Bergman and they are down to Rams 23 yard line. After that 2 penalties are called on Pine Richland and the Tigers ended up going for it on 4th and 2, and a Jeff Clemens run moves the chains for the Tigers. Clay Byerly gets a few carries getting it down to the 4 and Quarterback Jeff Clemens finishes it off with a 4 yard touchdown run with 32 seconds left in the half. The drive took 17 plays and ate up more than 7 minutes in the quarter, and the game was tied up at 14 going into the half.
The third quarter starts and the Tigers get the ball to start the second half. Eventually the Tigers would end up punting and Pine Richland gets the ball at their own 13, that drive ended up not failing, both teams had a few drives in the 3rd quarter and only 1 drive was successful. Ben DiNucci throws to Luke Everett, and all of a sudden the Rams are in the red zone. Connor Slomka runs it to the 1 yard line, and on the next play ends up punching it into the end zone. The score is now 21-14 Pine Richland with 3:40 left in the 3rd quarter. The drive was 88 yards, and took 14 plays. The 3rd quarter ends with a Jeff Clemens run down to the Rams 32 yard line.
The 4th quarter starts and eventually North Allegheny would get into the red zone on a pass to Clay Byerly, they go for it on a 4th and 2, and once again Jeff Clemens runs for the first down down to the 6 yard line, and on the next play Clay Byerly ends up getting into the end zone from 6 yards out, which ties it up 21 all with 8:56 left in the 4th quarter. The drive was 14 plays and went 80 yards. Pine Richland ends up putting a decent drive together and they are down to the Tigers 31 yard line, a pass to Battaglia, and now the Rams face a huge 4th and 3. Ultimately the drive fails when the Rams went for it on a pass play and Riley Trueman ends up breaking up the pass. The Tigers wasted no time with a huge 29 yard run by Jeff Clemens which gets the Tigers to the Pine Richland 35. A pass to Clay Byerly gets them to the 12 yard line. The drive ends up going to 4th down and the Tigers attempt a 30 yard field which ends up no good when it doinked off the right upright. The Rams now have it at their own 20 now with a chance of their own. The Rams end up hitting a big play which is a 36 yard pass to Luke Everett, 53 seconds remains in the game and Rams are knocking on the door. But the Rams make a mistake when Ben DiNucci is sacked and ends up fumbling the ball and was recovered by Layne Skundrich at the Rams 38 yard line. They end up getting up one first down and North Allegheny ends up attempting a 49 yard field goal which would’ve been good if it had the distance.
With the game now going into overtime tied at 21, North Allegheny gets the ball first and a 3rd down pass into the end zone to Clay Byerly ends up incomplete, and the Tigers end up settling for a Seth Mancuso 28 yard field goal, which makes it 24-21 Tigers. First Play is a great pass that was dropped in the end zone, on 2nd down Ben DiNucci gets sacked by Layne Skundrich and now they’re back all the way to the 25, but on 3rd down Ben DiNucci ends up making a perfect pass to Mike Merhaut into the end zone and the Rams come away with a huge 28-24 win. Some notable stats in the game Ben DiNucci was 30 of 41 for 342 yards and 2 touchdowns. His receivers Anthony Battaglia had 10 catches for 120 yards, Mike Merhaut had 8 catches for 78 yards and the game winning score, and Tight End Luke Everett had 4 catches for 76 yards. For North Allegheny Jeff Clemens was 11 of 25 for 126 yards, and had 25 runs for 115 yards, Clay Byerly had 8 catches for 95 yards, had a rushing touchdown and also had the huge kick return. Layne Skundrich ended up with 9 tackles and also had the huge fumble recovery in the 4th quarter. Up Next the Tigers have a huge game with Central Catholic which I will likely be covering and the Rams host Fox Chapel.
A.J. also has more content on this and other subjects at http://wpialfootballzone.wordpress.com/
Follow WesternPAFootball.com on Twitter @WPAFootball