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Updated 11/9/02

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West Allegheny


Blue Moon

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Facing a fourth and 10 from the 25 yard-line with only 5:25 left to play and leading by a commanding 14-0 score, Moon went for it, and scored what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown.

Now trailing 21-0, the Hurricanes’ Cameron Reid took the ensuing kickoff at his own 21-yard line and streaked across the field and up the sideline and never quit running until he reached the endzone 79 yards later. After Joey Harvey’s PAT the Canes were back with in two touchdowns with 5:04 left.

The Canes then tried an onside-kick that nearly rolled down the forty-yard line going out of bounds on the Canes own 41, with Moon taking possession there.

Moon lost two yards on their first play, then gained four on the next. On third and eight they were held for no gain, then were issued a penalty for delay of game before the next play. The Tigers now faced fourth and 13 from the New Castle 44 and lined up to punt.

The center’s snap was low bouncing once before reaching the punter. By then the Hurricanes had swarmed him with Zach Mariacher blocking the kick. Stephen Threats picked up the ball at about the Moon 40 and returned it for another Hurricanes’ score. Now with 3:06 to play, after another good PAT attempt by Harvey, New Castle closed to with seven, 21-14.

During Harvey’s PAT try Moon was called for a personal foul when they flattened Harvey after the kick. That 15-yard penalty was assessed on the ensuing kickoff.

With the short field in front of him kicker David Colella tried to place the ball in the corner, however the ball rolled out of bounds at the three-yard line and the Canes were assessed a penalty. But as a result of the personal foul assessed on the kickoff instead of starting at the 35 yard line, Moon began at their own 20.

On first down Moon went for just one yard. The on second just two yards. On third down the shaken Tigers were called for delay once again and now faced third and 12 from their own 18 with under two minutes to play. A five-yard run left a fourth and seven and Moon had to punt again.

This time to ensue his snap didn’t bounce the center put some air under the ball and the punter barely got a hand on it as it sailed over his head.

Bodies were flying at the ball as it bounced wildly toward the endzone.

…..If the Canes recover it is their ball inside the five.

…..If Moon recovers it is still the Canes ball inside the five since it was fourth down.

But the bodies hit the ball and it squirts into the endzone.

…..Now if the Canes recover it is a touchdown.

But alas no one reached the pigskin before it crawled over the endline and Moon had given up a safety. The Hurricanes received two points but instead of getting the ball close enough to score seven, Moon would be free-kicking to New Castle from the twenty.

The score with just 54 seconds to play was 21-16, Moon.

New Castle fair caught the free-kick at their own 35 and went about trying to salvage victory from the jaws of defeat.

Ross Crist’s first two passes fell incomplete. With 46 seconds left Crist scrambled 17 yards for a first down out to the Moon 48. Crist’s next three passes also fell incomplete leaving a fourth and 10 with 25 seconds left. Two of the five incompletions were deflected with Canes in position make spectacular catches but they were not to be.

Finally on fourth down Crist found his only open receiver, Mariacher but the play only went for six yards and the game and the season were over.

The Canes mounted little offense in the first half as they ended a half’s worth of play with minus two yards rushing. Moon wasn’t much better though as they ended the half with just 49 yards on the ground.

New Castle’s best scoring chance in the first half was a 28-yard field goal try by Harvey that was pulled left.

On the possession after the miss the Tigers struck on the strength of a 70-yard pass play that gave them the ball at the Canes 10. Three plays later Moon scored and had the lead 7-0 at the 5:44 mark.

New Castle stopped the Tigers on a three and out to begin the second half and took over on their own 19 after a punt.

On the first play from scrimmage Robert Calhoun broke loose behind a block from Threats to go 54 yards to the Moon 27

Six plays later the Canes stalled at the Moon 16 and Harvey attempted a 34-yard field goal. This one was left also and the score remained at 7-0 Moon.

Moon was again forced to punt and the Red Hurricanes took over at their own 12. An eight-yard run by Crist moved to ball to the 20 but a five-yard penalty moved it back to the 15. On the next play Crist threw over the middle but the ball was tipped at the line and intercepted by Moon.

Three plays later Moon scored again to lead 14-0 with 9:59 to play in the game.

After the ensuing kickoff, New Castle moved the ball only three yards on three plays and faced a fourth and seven at their own 33 yard line trailing by 14 points with 8:58 left to play.

Coach Schooley decided to go for it and that decision is what set up the fourth quarter thrills.

The Canes failed on fourth down and gave the ball back to the Tigers in great field position. Eight plays later the Canes were down 21-0 setting up the unbelievable but disheartening finish to the game.




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