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No luck for the Irish – Central Catholic steamrolls Ursuline

Written by: on Saturday, September 5th, 2009


WHEELING, W. Va. – Remember that old saying about not waking the sleeping giant?  Youngstown Ursuline poked Pittsburgh Central Catholic pretty hard, and the Vikings didn’t take too kindly.


Central Catholic (1-0) rattled off 21 unanswered points in the second quarter, 28 total, and outscored Ursuline 49-6 after the 3:15 mark of the 1st quarter, punishing the Irish (1-1) 49-22 at Wheeling Island Stadium in the fourth game of the Wheeling Hospital Rally in the Valley.



Ursuline got things rolling right off the bat and didn’t let off the throttle until it had built a 16-0 lead eight minutes into the contest.  The Irish returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown, courtesy of junior Akise Teague.


Then, after a field goal, Paul Kempe found Nico Irizarry on a 16-yard scoring pass, one in which Irizarry cut across the better part of two-thirds of the field and bounced off a couple of Viking defenders.


But Central Catholic didn’t waver.


“I had all the confidence in my teammates,” said Viking quarterback David Smyers.


“We just wanted to come back and prove everybody wrong,” said Damian Jones-Moore, a sophomore running back.


It was Damian Jones-Moore got the Vikings on the scoreboard in the second quarter with a 16-yard run, and Dom Maggio made it a game again with a 4-yard run, slicing the once-impressive Irish lead to just 16-14.


Ursuline nearly had disaster strike on the ensuing kickoff.  Two Irish players bobbled the kick, and nearly got tackled in the end zone for a safety.  The series began at the 1 yard line, allowing the green and gold to breathe a big sigh of relief.


But Ursuline couldn’t breathe easily for long.  Central Catholic continued to hold down the throttle, and David Smyers’ 10-yard run gave the Vikings a 21-16 lead with a little more than 2 minutes left in the opening half.


The momentum seemed to shift a hair in the onset of the third quarter, as an Ursuline drive was propelled by two dead ball 15-yard penalties against Central Catholic.  In a matter of seconds, the Irish went from their own 23 to the Viking 47 yard lines. 


Ultimately, Ursuline’s chance to steal back the momentum from those penalties fizzled, as the green and gold turned the ball over on downs at the Viking 27.


Central Catholic seized the opportunity.  A 51-yard run by Jones-Moore to the Irish 10 yard line set up his second score of the night, a 3-yard run to extend the Viking lead to 28-16 with 2:34 left in the third quarter. 


Punch, counterpunch.  Ursuline hit a 20-yard touchdown pass when Kempe hooked up with Chris Collins, narrowing the Irish deficit to 28-22. 


Central Catholic missed a 52-yard field goal attempt on its ensuing possession, but subsequently recovered an Irish fumble, setting up Jones-Moore’s third touchdown run, another 3-yard run. Jones-Moore scored a fourth touchdown later in the fourth quarter after Dom Maggio’s one yard run made it 42-22.


Jones-Moore finished the night with 209 yards rushing and four touchdowns.  In all, the Vikings amassed 324 rushing yards and over 370 yards of offense.


Ursuline, a week after a 46-22 victory, was held to 230 yards of offense, led by Teague’s 14 rushes for 62 yards and Allen Jones’ 12 rushes for 90 yards.  Kempe went 8-of-17 for 73 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Irish.


Dom Maggio ran for 49 yards and a pair of scores for Central Catholic.  Smyers added 37 passing yards (5-of-8), and 50 rushing yards and one touchdown.  The Vikings averaged nearly 7.4 yards per carry.


NOTES:  Central Catholic’s victory was its second straight against an Ohio opponent.  The Vikings crushed Clayton-Northmont in the Herbstreit Challenge in 2007.  Central also played an Ohio opponent in 2005, falling to Lakewood St. Edwards, 14-6.


Jones-Moore surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for his career.  He entered the 2009 season with more than 800 rushing yards last season, which led the Vikings in that department.


This is purely just for fun, but if Central Catholic averages 49 points per game for 15 games and makes it all the way to Hershey, they’re on pace for 735 points at that juncture – the second-best scoring output in WPIAL history, and fourth in the state.

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