Special teams is not a misnomer; actually, spectacular special teams staked Sharpsville High Saturday afternoon.
Chris Williams returned a fumbled kickoff 30 yards, Sharpsville’s 2nd score within a 15-second span at the 2nd half’s outset, and the Blue Devils dominated Kennedy Catholic, 55-13, at Butala Stadium.
Williams’ play occurred just seconds after teammate P.J. Campoli recovered Brennan Wassil’s fumble in the end zone. Wassil was stripped by Bryan Stafford after KC commenced the 2nd half from its own 5-yard line following a strategically situated Sharpsville kickoff.
Ironically, the Region 1-A backyard rivalry was a 1-score affair at intermission.
Trailing 20-0 midway through the 2nd stanza, Kennedy converted Ross Llewellyn’s fumble — recovered by Jamie Hooks — into Logan Bernat’s 1-yard touchdown plunge.
Moments later another Sharpsville miscue resulted in a Golden Eagles’ ensuing score.
From midfield with 4:08 remaining to intermission, Stafford’s 1st-down pass intended for Tyler Luchey was intercepted by Wassil at Kennedy’s 10-yard line. As Wassil was being tackled by Luchey, he had the presence of mind to lateral to teammate Mike McGrath, who then lateralled to teammate Jeffrey Thompkins.
Thompkins took off laterally from the 10, weaved his way through midfield, then picked up downfield block from Wassil to complete a 90-yard return. Though the subsequent conversion kick was wide, the Golden Eagles edged within 20-13 by the break.
However the Blue Devils’ defense dominated from the line of scrimmage, limiting Kennedy Catholic to 44 total yards on 37 snaps. The Golden Eagles ended with a minus-23 yards rushing on 22 totes as KC QB Wassil was sacked 5 times for 28 yards in losses. In addition to Bryan Stafford’s strip, Zach Stafford shared sacks with Michael Ellison and Kaleb Robertson, Ross Llewellyn lent another, and also shared one with Campoli. Luchey lent an interception, also.
Conversely, KC, which had permitted only 19 points in its previous pair of Region 1-A games (falling to Farrell, 6-0, but upsetting Mercer, 18-13), surrendered 384 total yards, including 355 rushing.
Joey Pagliaroli paced Sharpsville (3-0, 4-0) with an 11-carry, 121-yard rushing performance that included a pair of 24-yard 1st-quarter scoring sprints and a 3rd-quarter 3-yarder. Also, Derrick Odem, Llewellyn and Bryan Stafford surged to 78, 73 and 65 yards rushing, respectively. Stafford scored on a 44-yard 2nd-stanza sprint and Odem and Tyler Wiesen went for 3- and 1-yard TD runs in the 3rd and 4th frames, respectively.
Thompkins recovered a fumble and Blase Hudson, Bernat and Tyler Moore mustered sacks to key Kennedy (1-2, 1-3). Wassil went 8-for-13 through the air, 3 of which went to Sam Crow and another 3 to Thompkins. — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
Blue Devil Invitational
The West Middlesex girls and Pittsburgh Central Catholic boys captured the team titles on Saturday at the Sharpsville Blue Devil Invitational at Buhl Park.
The Ms. Reds won with 60 points while Hickory was 3rd with 129. Wilmington placed 6th (191), Greenville was 7th (244), Sharpsville took 11th (348), Sharon finished in 20th place (511) and Jamestown was 23rd (619).
WM’s Kristen White finished 2nd in 19:38.40 behind Neshannock’s Lizzie Manickas (19:31.60). Also for the Ms. Reds, Chloe Tyillian and Alyson Pierce were 12th and 13th and Kelsey Murray placed 19th.
Hickory’s Lexi Bible and Jackie Abraham finished 4th and 5th, respectively, while Maddie Thrasher of Greenville was 10th.
Other locals in the top 25 included Wilmington’s Rikki Brumbaugh (14th), Kennedy Catholic’s Courtney Sargent (20th), Maddie Przicina of Sharpsville (24th) and the Lady Hounds’ Allison Baldwin (25th).
On the boys side, following PCC, West Middlesex was 2nd (170) and Hickory placed 5th (225). Commodore Perry placed 15th (419), Greenville was 19th (499) and Wilmington finished 20th (514).
Austin Pondel of Corry cruised to 1st place in a time of 15:32.90 while Laurel’s Ethan Wilson was 2nd in 16:26.
Kevin Reno of Mercer led the way for the locals with a 23rd-place finish with a clocking of 17:18.30.
David Johnson of WM was 25th (17:21.30), Commodore Perry’s Nate White was 27th (17:23.40) and Kyle Boyd of Hickory placed 28th in 17:24.30.
Brookfield bested Mineral Ridge 25-20, 25-19 Saturday morning, and the host Lady Warriors completed the sweep with a 25-17, 25-18 win over Vienna-Mathews.
Mineral Ridge rallied from a 25-18 opening-game loss to sweep Mathews, 25-10, 25-20.
Against Mineral Ridge, the Lady Warriors were led by Delaney Saxton (13 kills 9 serving points 4 aces), Ali Harpster (17 digs), Sarah Egercic (12 digs), Tori Thompson (10 points, 2 aces, 13 assists) and Katie Bender (8 points, 8 assists).
Against Mathews, Brookfield (10-5) was led by Saxton (9 kills, 10 points, 2 aces), Harpster (5 kills, 11 digs), Brooke Hines (9 digs), Thompson (8 points, 2 aces, 9 assists), and Bender (10 assists, 6 digs, 6 points).
For Mathews it was: Sarah Suchanek (5 kills), Marisa O'Dell 6 digs, 7 points, 3 assist, 2 aces), Halle Outridge (6 digs), Maddie Grimes 7 points, 2 aces, 3 assists).
ä Mercer 3, Girard 1 — At Lamor Road Field, Megan McKinney, Sarah Stevens and Mindy Brown tallied goals as the Lady M’s defeated Girard.
Stevens and Becca Shaffer were credited with assists for Mercer and Analise Whenry made 15 saves in goal.
Kelsea Gariepy scored the only goal for Girard. Britney Edwards notched a dozen saves in goal for the Lady Yellowjackets.
SHARPSVLE 14 6 29 6 55
KENNEDY 0 13 0 0 13
S — Pagliaroli, 24 run (kick failed)
S — Pagliaroli, 24 run (Luchey pass from Stafford)
S — Stafford, 44 run (kick failed)
KC — Bernat, 1 run (Pfleger kick)
KC — Thompkins, 90 interception return (kick failed)
S — Campoli, fumble recovery in end zone (Odem run)
S — Williams, 30 fumble return (run failed)
S — Pagliaroli, 3 run (Pagliaroli kick)
S — Odem, 3 run (Stafford run)
S — Wiesen, 1 run (kick failed)
21 First downs 4
355Rushing yards -23
29 Passing yards 67
4-3-1 Att-comp-int 15-9-1
384 Total yards 44
3-2 Fumbles-lost 4-1
4-25 Penalties-yards lost 6-61
Rushing: SHARPSVILLE — Pagliaroli 11-121, Odem 14-78, Llewellyn 14-73, Stafford 7-65, Wiesen 4-14, Szugye 1-2, Millero 1-2; KENNEDY CATHOLIC — Leipheimer 4-6, Rudolph 1-1, Thompkins 4-(-1), Ragster 1-(-2), Adkins 1-(-5), Wassil 10-(23).
Passing: SHARPSVILLE — Stafford 4-3-1, 29; KENNEDY CATHOLIC — Wassil 13-8-1, 68, Leipheimer 2-1-0, (-1).
Receiving: SHARPSVILLE — Odem 1-11, Pagliaroli 1-10, Luchey 1-8; KENNEDY CATHOLIC — Thompkins 3-30, Crow 3-29, Fiscus 2-9, Reed 1-3.
SHARPSVILLE BLUE DEVIL INVITE
ä Team standings and key: 1. Pittsburgh Central Catholic (PCC) 83; 2. West Middlesex (WM) 170; 3. Marysville (M) 215; 4. Our Lady of Sacred Heart (OLSH) 222; 5. Hickory (H) 225; 6. McDowell (McD) 238; 7. Norwin (N) 246; 8. Cochranton (Coch) 299; 9. Maplewood (Mw) 319; 10. Eisenhower (E) 332.
ä Individuals: 1. Austin Pondel (Corry) 15:32.90; 2. Ethan Wilson (Laurel) 16:26; 3. Matt Haupt (OLSH) 16:32.40; 4. Jeremy Parsons (Mw) 16:34.10; 5. Trevor Blackwell (New Castle) 16:43.50; 6. Andy Haky (PCC) 16:45; 7. Curtis Royek (Corry) 16:45.10; 8. Devin Vanguilder (E) 16:48.60; 9. Anthony Amroski (E) 16:49.70; 10. Jeff Van Kooten (PCC) 16:53.90; 11. Brandan Morretton (N) 16:54.90; 12. Kyle Rose (Meadville) 16:57; 13. Jake Parsons (Mw) 16:58.80; 14. Gordon Phipps (Oil City) 17:00.90; 15. John McCool (PCC) 17:08.50; 16. Hanz Wentz (Mw) 17:09.30; 17. Alec Sandusky (M) 17:10.80; 18. Bobby Danielson (Central Tech) 17:12.30; 19. John Danvers (Franklin) 17:12.90; 20. Nick Kocent (OLSH) 17:15.60; 21. Donte Stefanelle (McD) 17:15.70; 22. Daniel Young (PCC) 17:16.50; 23. Kevin Reno (Mercer) 17:18.30; 24. Ryan Northcott (Coch) 17:19.90; 25. David Johnson (WM) 17:21.30.
ä Team standings: 1. West Middlesex (WM) 60; 2. McDowell (McD) 125; 3. Hickory (H) 129; 4. Laurel (L) 158; 5. Norwin (N) 163; 5. Wilmington (Wilm) 191; 6. Greenville (Gv) 244; 7. Marysville (M) 246; 8. Our Lady of Sacred Heart (OLSH) 261; 9. Warren (W) 340; 10. Sharpsville (Sv) 348.
ä Individuals: 1. Lizzie Manickas (Neshannock) 19:31.60; 2. Kristen White (WM) 19:38.40; 3. Emily Maxwell (L) 19:50.60; 4. Lexi Bible (H) 19:55.10; 5. Jackie Abraham (H) 20:00.40; 6. Melissa Perseo (McD) 20:02.70; 7. Olivia Mamula (Cambridge Springs) 20:05.50; 8. Reilly Walsh (Cambridge Springs) 20:05.80; 9. Abby Pristas (N) 20:12.80; 10. Maddie Thrasher (Gv) 20:14.70; 11. Jill Wallace (North Clarion) 20:19.40; 12. Chloe Tyillian (WM) 20:23; 13. Alyson Pierce (WM) 20:24.10; 14. Rikki Brumbaugh (Wilm) 20:31.10; 15. Brook Phelps (Conneaut) 20:40.30; 16. Libby Volna (Meadville) 20:42.20; 17. Kelsey Swantek (McD) 20:47.50; 18. Rebecca Campbell (Iroquois) 20:49.50; 19. Kelsey Murray (WM) 20:51.20; 20. Courtney Sargent (Kennedy Catholic) 20:52.70; 21. Kahla Kemick (Franklin) 20:55.50; 22. Alison Filer (L) 21:00.20; 23. Andrea Lansdowne (New Castle) 21:02.30; 24. Maddie Przicina (Sv) 21:08; 25. Allison Baldwin (Wilm) 21:08.60.
ä Boys — 1. Clay Cochran (Marysville) 18:19; 2. John Gilkey (Central Catholic) 18:19.20; 3. Andrew Reay (Central Catholic) 18:31.70; 4. Joel Fehrman (Marysville) 18:33.20; 5. Zach Magers (Marysville) 18:35.80. Team Scores: 1. Marysville 30; 2. Central Catholic 55; 3. McDowell 79; 4. Norwin 102; 5. West Middlesex 176.
ä Girls — 1. Logan Nitsche (West Middlesex) 22:12.10; 2. Julie Marn (McDowell) 22:16.60; 3. Rebecca Peters (Norwin) 22:26.90; 4. Alyssa Schmidt (McDowell) 22:33.70; 5. Mia Perilli (West Middlesex) 22:35.10. Team Scores: 1. McDowell 27; 2. West Middlesex 40; 3. Hickory 86; 4. Norwin 87; 5. Marysville 137.
Special teams is not a misnomer; actually, spectacular special teams staked Sharpsville High Saturday afternoon.
Playoffs: GC, Hounds win; Reynolds, Sharpsville softball advance
The District 10 playoffs kicked off on Tuesday for 4 area baseball teams and 5 softball squads.
In Class A softball, Reynolds edged West Middlesex, 5-4, in an 8-inning thriller while Sharpsville ousted Rocky Grove, 5-0. In Class AA, Northwestern beat Wilmington, 9-5, and Harbor Creek defeated Mercer, 4-3.
Hickory boys edge WM for D-10 Class AA Track team title
HARBORCREEK — Hickory High co-head coach Mark Slezak referenced the term “exponential” in explaining the four-fold heart-felt feeling of having a relay team qualify for the PIAA Championships.
That sentiment seemed to summarize Mercer County’s performance during Saturday’s annual District 10 Class AA Track & Field Championships.
5 area teams qualify for D-10 baseball playoffs
Five area baseball teams have qualified for the District 10 playoffs — Grove City, Kennedy Catholic, Sharpsville, West Middlesex and Wilmington.
In the Class A semifinals, Kennedy Catholic faces Cochranton at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Northwestern High School. Rocky Grove faces Eisenhower in the other semifinal game.
Hickory, WM boys to collide at D-10 AA Track & Field Championships
For the 2nd time this week, a District 10 track & field team title could be decided by a pair of Mercer County contingents.
Just as Hickory and Grove City girls contested the Class AAA crown Wednesday night, so, too, are the Hickory and West Middlesex boys anticipating vying for Saturday’s AA title.
Roundup: Reynolds baseball tops GC; Sharpsville, Wilmington softball teams win
ä Reynolds 4, Grove City 1 — At Transfer, Neal Engstrom fired a complete-game 3-hitter with 8 strikeouts and 3 walks in lifting the Raiders (9-8) past the Eagles (14-6).
Ryan Grace was tagged with the loss for Grove City. He struck out 6 batters, issued no walks and gave up 7 hits in going the distance.
GC girls 3-peat at District 10 Class AAA Track & Field Championships
HARBORCREEK— Some athletes seeded 1st in four events would feel pressure. For Grove City High senior Daniel Jaskowak, it’s an opportunity for name recognition.
“I kind’ve like it. It’s cool, because people know who you are,” related Jaskowak, who won 3 events during Wednesday’s District 10 Class AAA Track & Field Championships.
Hickory, GC girls collide at D-10 Class AAA Track & Field Championships
If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. Cliché though that is, it will be borne out today at the annual District 10 Class AAA Track & Field Championships.
Hickory High girls — the defending PIAA Class AA titlists — will test the best from the biggest. And the Lady Hornets hope to give as good as they get from the 6-county competition.
Local tune up for districts at Mercer County Invite
There’s a difference between a warm-up and a warning.
If Saturday’s annual track & field invitational is any indication, Mercer County’s contingent issued a warning for the remainder of District 10: This could be a big year in area annals.
Roundup: Grace, GC beat Sharon, 4-0, in 5 innings
With an impending storm blowing in above Johnny Pepe Field time was limited, so Ryan Grace greedily gobbled up putouts.
Grove City High’s Grace gave up only 3 base hits, and the visiting Eagles eased to an abbreviated 4-0, 5-inning win over Sharon Friday afternoon.
HIGH SCHOOL SPRING SPORTS ROUNDUP: County track meet set Saturday at Hickory
The annual Mercer County Track & Field Invitational will be held at Hickory High’s Hornet Stadium Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m.
Competing are all Mercer County teams, Class AAA and AA, as well as Slippery Rock. The meet serves as a warm-up to the District 10 championships set next week at Harbor Creek High.
- More Sports Headlines
- Playoffs: GC, Hounds win; Reynolds, Sharpsville softball advance