North Catholic made its first appearance in a WPIAL championship game today and handed Sto-Rox its third consecutive championship loss.
Although North Catholic was outgained in yardage, North Catholic defeated Sto-Rox, 14-0, in the Class A final.
Notes and thoughts:
**** North Catholic's defensive line was terrific, especially Ryan Long and Jarred Fragapane. They lived in Sto-Rox's backfield. Long had two sacks and Fragapane one. North Catholic had six sacks.
**** North Catholic's P.J. Fulmore tweaked a hamstring in the fourth quarter on a long run. From there on, North Catholic handed the ball off to Jrome Turner and Turner responded with 64 yards on 19 carries. Fulmore, playing quarterback, finished with 83 yards on 26 carries. Fulmore said he felt something pull in his hamstring, but said he thinks he will be OK for next week's PIAA playoff game.
Turner scored on a 17-yard run with 8:14 left in the game. North Catholic's other touchdown came on its first possession when Fulmore scored on a 2-yard run.
**** Lenny Williams, Sto-Rox's record-breaking quarterback, finished 16 of 26 for 203 yards, but North Catholic kept him from the big pass play. He rushed for 16 yards on 19 carries.
**** Sto-Rox lost three title games in a row. The last time that happened in Class A was 1977-79 when Western Beaver lost three consecutive.
**** Sto-Rox lost leading receiver Mallory Claybourne to a shoulder injury in the first half and he didn't return. It took away a deep threat for Sto-Rox.
**** Onto the PIAAs for North Catholic. Perennial power Southern Columbia, the Post-Gazette's No. 1 Class A team since early in the season, was upset last night by Old Forge, 19-14.