Notre Dame Wins Shootout Over North Schuylkill
By Brian Ptashinski @BPtashinski on Twitter
BETHLEHEM TWP.- A track meet was on display Saturday afternoon on the football field at Notre Dame High School. The Crusaders held a 35-21 lead at halftime and cruised to a 49-28 victory over North Schuylkill to advance to District XI 3A Championship against Pen Argyl, who defeated Palisades 28-7. The match up is next Saturday at BASD Stadium in Bethlehem at 1pm.
Notre Dame wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, taking the initial drive of the game 70 yards, capped by a 26 yard screen pass from quarterback Cole DeFranco to Tim Constantino with just 1:35 gone off the clock. Alex Garrido connected on his first of seven PAT’s giving his team a 7-0 lead. The defense got in on the action on North Schuylkill’s opening drive. Mitch Daniel picked off a Doug Weist pass and returned it 30 yards for a score and a 14-0 lead with 9:35 left in opening quarter.
The Spartans settled down and went on an 80-yard march, capped off with a one-yard run by Major Jordan to cut the lead in half with still about four minutes on the clock. The Crusaders were not deterred as they scored again when DeFranco connected with Austin Kaulius from 11 yards out , making the score 21-7 heading into the second stanza.
North Schuylkill cut the lead back to seven after Keith Stavinski hauled in a 17-yard pass from Weist with 9:25 before the half to complete an 84-yard drive. Every time they were threatened, the Crusaders had an answer. Each time Mitch Daniel scored from a yard out and then after an exchange of turnovers and a Spartan punt, DeFranco connected with Constantino from 21 yards out with a 1:02 on the clock. North Schuylkill, however, quickly drove the ball 83 yards. Stavinski was on the receiving end of a 16-yard pass with just three ticks left making the score 35-21 at the half.
“The goal is getting the kids to understand the simple concept of getting the ball in the end zone and preventing the other team from doing so,” Notre Dame coach Phil Stambaugh stated. “It doesn’t matter how. It’s not always easy to get them to relate to that, but if we can get them to execute that, we’ll be ok as we go deeper in the playoffs.”
The second half was more subdued as neither team could put any points on the board in the third quarter. But the Spartans ended the quarter with the ball on the Crusader one-yard line as the fourth quarter began. Jake Green plowed his way into the end zone and his team trailed by a score of 35-28.
When you thought the visitors would grab some momentum, Notre Dame answered right back as DeFranco and Daniel hooked up for a 42-yard scoring play near the ten-minute mark. The Crusaders recovered a fumble on the Spartans 37 leading to a DeFranco five-yard run to complete the scoring with 8:40 left to play.
— Brian Ptashinski (@BPtashinski) November 12, 2016
DeFranco finished the game with 317 yards passing on 22 completions and four touchdowns.
Pen Argyl (9-3)gave Notre Dame (10-2)one of their two losses on October 15th by a score of 35-14 at Pen Argyl. North Schuylkill finishes their season at 6-6.
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