One play can change a football game dramatically.
Just ask the Bulldogs.
A few minutes after MASH’s punishing fullback Jarrid Miller scored on an emotional 22-yard run to get the Bulldogs within 14-7 with 4:18 left in the third quarter, Northwestern halfback Austin Miczo popped the Bulldogs’ momentum bubble on the Wildcats’ enusing first play.
Breaking loose around the right end, Miczo scored on a 77-yard scamper to defuse the Bulldogs’ short-lived mojo as the Wildcats went on to a 31-7 victory in non-region action Friday night.
The big-play Wildcats avenged last season’s 38-36 loss to the Bulldogs.
A dejected Meadville coach Mike Feleppa had few words afterwards: “Northwestern was the better team. They have a great team.”
When asked if Meadville’s inexperience — sophomore quarterback Tanner Frye and Miller were making their first career varsity starts — were a factor, Feleppa said, “I am not going to use our inexperience as an excuse. You still have to play football. They beat us.”
Although on the losing end, Frye and Miller had solid performances in their debuts.
Managing the game with senior-like coolness, Frye completed 3-of-10 passes for 31 yards and only had one turnover.
Punishing the Northwestern defenders on a few occasions, Miller rushed for 87 yards on 17 carries before leaving the game early in the fourth quarter with cramp-like symptoms.
After scoring MASH’s touchdown, a fired-up Feleppa greeted Miller on the field with a high-five and a few words, “That’s my fullback.”
On the Bulldogs’ 67-yard, 12-play scoring drive, Miller rushed for 55 yards on six hauls.
“We played some ball on that first drive,” said Feleppa.
The Bulldogs didn’t smell paydirt again.
After Miczo’s run, Northwestern kicker Nathan Tewell booted a 23-yard field goal and Brandon Rieser iced the game with a 32-yard touchdown run with 7:06 left in the game.
Rieser started the game with big-play heroics. Picking up Meadville’s punt at the Bulldogs’ 46, Rieser dodged a few tacklers and scooted down the left sideline for a touchdown with :02 left in the first period.
‘Dog Bites: Meadville senior running back Ryan Harkness — who got stronger as the game went on — broke the 100-yard mark with 113 yards rushing on 23 carries ... The Bulldogs outrushed the Wildcats, 248-200 and had more first downs (16-11) ... Feleppa gambled early and won three times. Despite being in their own 30- and 40-yard area, Feleppa went for it on fourth down three times and won on the Bulldogs’ opening two possessions ... Senior Caleb Schweter recorded his first career varsity interception. He also caught two passes for 16 yards.
One play can change a football game dramatically.
Breese lone local to reach Class AA finals
A busy and entertaining Day 2 of wrestling at the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships in Hershey came and went, as did the dreams of a gold medal for a handful of local wrestlers.
The one local wrestler that doesn’t apply to is Lakeview’s Sam Breese, who had the Giant Center crowd in aw during his two matches Friday. The two bouts equated to two wins, which means a shot a defending his championship.
Lee, Wheeling survive Day 2 in Hershey
Ehrin Lee’s smile following his quarterfinal win Friday at the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships told the whole story.
Lee has had his eyes on the state championships all season long, and just getting there wasn’t enough. The Titusville 160-pounder has wrestled like one of the best grapplers in the state during the tournament thus far, and his 3-2 overtime win over Northampton’s Bobby Fehr proved that if nothing else, he’s one of the four best wrestlers in his weight class.
Cards can’t slow Vincentian
The starters on the Cochranton boys basketball team probably slept like logs on Friday night.
They left every ounce on the hardwood of Meadville High School’s House of Thrills, going up against the high-intensity attack of Vincentian Academy in the opening round of the PIAA Class A playoffs.
McLane rolls past Neshannock
Sarah Jay has made a habit of presenting her players with in depth scouting reports prior to each and every game.
But the report she handed them on Neshannock, the Lady Lancers’ first round opponent in the PIAA Class AA playoffs, was nothing like they had seen before.
Class AA first round filled with highs, lows for locals
It was a day full of highs and lows for the 11 local Class AA wrestlers on the opening day of the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships in Hershey.
For some, it was business as usual, and for others, the atmosphere of a crowded Giant Center proved to be a little much. By the time the preliminary and Round 1 consolation rounds were finished, eight wrestlers are still alive, with state wrestling experience proving to be invaluable Thursday morning.
Lee, Wheeling stay in hunt for Class AAA state title
A win is a win, and when it comes to the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships, as long as your score reads higher in the end, it really doesn’t matter how you get there.
During the preliminary round of the tournament Thursday afternoon at the Giant Center in Hershey, the six local qualifiers certainly had mixed results, but in the end, two wrestlers are still in the championship bracket, exactly where they want to be.
Cards look to slow down Vincentian
“The best way to sum it up is,” said Cochranton head coach Scott McCurdy, “it’s like they’re down five and there are 30 seconds to go. Only, they play like that for the entire 32 minutes.”
McCurdy is talking about the Vincentian Academy boys basketball team, which employs a style that’s ... well ... calling it up-tempo just doesn’t seem to suffice.
Lancers get tough draw in opener
One may think that by winning a District 10 title and getting paired up with the seventh seed out of District 7 for the first round of the state playoffs, that said champion would have a pretty choice matchup.
Yet, that’s not how things shook out for the General McLane girls basketball team. The D-10 champion Lady Lancers drew a challenging foe in Neshannock.
’Dogs rout Bison to reach title game
Having defeated Fort LeBoeuf by a grand total of 24-0 in their previous three meetings, the tension wasn’t exactly palpable for the Meadville Bulldogs hockey team as it squared off with the Bison in a Lakeshore Hockey League semfinal game on Thursday night at Erie Insurance Arena.
Calvary wins opener
The Calvary Baptist girls basketball team won its opening game of the National Christian School Athletic Association Tournament on Thursday at Family First Sports Park.
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