The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Cory Isenberg

June 21, 2014

Cory Isenberg | Big numbers posted all around in Lantzy game

JOHNSTOWN — The South’s 48-18 victory over the North in Friday night’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game was an entertaining evening of football for the reported crowd of close to 4,500 at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium.

The point total for the Rebels equaled the output of the South squad in the 30th edition of the game but is behind the 51 scored by the Yankees in the 1992 contest and the 50 points tallied by the South in the 39th game.

The combined point total of 66 points is fifth on the Lantzy list. The 2009 classic holds the record with 88 points followed by the 2006 edition with 82. In 2000, the teams had 68 points while in 1996 they had 67.

On the other end of the spectrum, the lowest scoring game in Lantzy history was a 6-0 North win in the 21st annual edition with Portage’s Travis Kargo and Bishop Carroll’s Shane Leahey combining for the winning score with under 2 minutes left in the contest.

Although Lantzy records are not kept for penalties, Friday night’s game certainly had plenty of them. The North had eight for 100 yards and the South 12 for 105.

Yikes, that’s 20 penalties for 205 yards.

In fact, the penalties negated the half-hour earlier start of 7 p.m. for the game. The first half was over just after 8:30 p.m. and the game was complete at around 10:20.

The 15-minute quarters didn’t help, although they didn’t appear to be the culprit for the lateness of the game as much as the penalties and the incomplete passes.

But despite less than ideal weather conditions with a drizzle in the air, there were still quite a few spectators remaining when the awards were handed out at the end.

Coaching support: In addition to the coaches who serve as the staff for the North and South teams at the Ken Lantzy game, the event itself draws a great deal of support from the rest of the coaching community.

I was impressed with the number of head coaches of the participating high schools who were in the stands on Friday to support their outgoing senior classes of athletes.

It seems to be the one thing that most coaches can all agree on.

South air strike: Richland’s Matt Shaffer has set all kinds of school records during his prolific high school career and on Friday etched his name into the Lantzy history book.

Shaffer threw to nine different receivers for 202 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another 122 and a score, earning the award as the outstanding offensive back for the South.

“Every play was exciting and something to remember,” Shaffer said. “This group really came together and it was really good that the Richland guys (Kyle Flick, Tanner Solarczyk, Ben Verhovsek) kind of stood out tonight and showed their talent to all these people. I think people knew that we had a lot of expectations and I think we lived up to them. This is a great team and it is something that we are going to remember for a long time.”

Rams’ teammate Kyle Flick accounted for 126 receiving yards and caught two touchdown passes from Shaffer along with one scoring strike from Somerset’s Tanner Stull.

“That’s been something that we’ve been doing for a long time,” Shaffer said. “It’s a lot of confidence knowing that he is going to go and make a play and all these receivers did good when they needed to. They all made big plays. Obviously, we can’t do it without the linemen. They did a great job tonight.”

Shaffer got a lot of the notice, especially in the second half after Ligonier Valley’s Scott Fennell was sidelined just before the intermission. Fennell passed for 188 yards in the first half and earned praise from South head coach Bob Landis of Somerset.

“It wasn’t difficult to get them ready at all because that’s what we do,” said Landis. “At Somerset we run a spread (and) Richland runs a spread, so two of our quarterbacks were already well-versed. But Scott Fennell did a fantastic job this week (of) learning the offense. All three of the Q’s (quarterbacks) picked it up, and when the Q’s pick it up, it’s easy to get it to the receivers.”

The South offense finished with over 600 total yards, including over 400 through the air.

Defensive dynamos: While the South offense was racking up yardage, the defense was able to hold the North in check.

“We were able to make some pretty big key stops,” said North Star’s Dalton Rice, who was selected the South’s outstanding defensive lineman. “We created a couple turnovers on defense, two fumble recoveries really helped a lot. We just played really good defense, good enough to win the game.”

Added Somerset linebacker Douglas Berkebile, who was the South outstanding defensive back: “Our whole defense was a huge part of the game, stopping the North from going outside and keeping everything contained to the inside.”

Rice said the game was a perfect end to his high school career.

“It was definitely a rush playing in this game,” Rice said. “I am never going to forget this game being able to go out one final game with a win.”

 

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Cory Isenberg
  • lantzy22 color Cory Isenberg | Big numbers posted all around in Lantzy game

    The South’s 48-18 victory over the North in Friday night’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game was an entertaining evening of football for the reported crowd of close to 4,500 at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium.
    The point total for the Rebels equaled the output of the South squad in the 30th edition of the game but is behind the 51 scored by the Yankees in the 1992 contest and the 50 points tallied by the South in the 39th game.

    June 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Isenberg, Cory CORY ISENBERG| Ramblers take back their tournament

    An 11-year drought came to an end on Saturday night when the Windber boys basketball team defeated Conemaugh Township 57-48 in the title game of the Windber Rotary Tournament to capture the tourney title.
    The Ramblers (5-2) had lost to the Indians (5-2) 68-64 on Dec. 17 and gained a measure of revenge with Saturday’s victory, which featured double-digit scoring from three players including Tournament MVP Bryce Spak.

    December 29, 2013 1 Photo

  • Isenberg, Cory CORY ISENBERG| Basketball season getting interesting

    While it’s still very early in the high school basketball season, there have already been some interesting matchups.
    In girls play, Westmont Hilltop knocked Forest Hills out of the ranks of the unbeaten while Bishop Guilfoyle, which lost all five starters from last season, handed Bishop McCort its first loss. The Crushers, who play at troublesome Penn Cambria this evening, entertain the Rangers on Thursday.

    December 16, 2013 1 Photo

  • Isenberg, Cory CORY ISENBERG | Three schools from area remain in football

    Just three area football teams remain alive in postseason play and all three will play in 7 p.m. contests on Friday night.
    Showing that it was no fluke the first time around, Chestnut Ridge (9-3) powered its way past Bedford for the second time this season in the District 5 Class AA championship. The Lions earned a berth in the PIAA playoffs opposite District 9 champ Karns City (11-1), which defeated Kane 49-21 in the title game.

    November 17, 2013 1 Photo

  • Isenberg, Cory CORY ISENBERG| Area fans treated to playoff dramas

    Some of the most exciting high school football playoff games over the weekend came courtesy of area squads.
    Shade’s hard-fought, dramatic victory over Northern Bedford in the District 5 Class A quarterfinal was a stunner, especially for the Black Panthers faithful, who were already planning for Saturday’s playoff game against Tussey Mountain.

    November 10, 2013 1 Photo

  • Isenberg, Cory. CORY ISENBERG | Fall sports coming to an end

    The autumn leaves are cascading to the ground and the fall high school sports are moving right along.
    Conference and district champions have already been crowned in golf, which heads to PIAA regional action this week.
    The West Region Class AA championships are set for Wednesday at Tom’s Run Golf Course at Chestnut Ridge Resort in Blairsville.

    October 13, 2013 1 Photo

  • Isenberg, Cory CORY ISENBERG| Ferndale going week by week

    Ferndale’s football game against Shade on Friday was halted at halftime when the Yellow Jacket ranks fell to just 11 available players.
    According to Athletic Director Steve Clawson, the decision of whether to play Saturday’s game against Meyersdale will be determined today.

    September 23, 2013 1 Photo

  • Isenberg, Cory CORY ISENBERG| Berlin's Fochtman rushes under the radar

    Berlin Brothersvalley sophomore Braden Fochtman is not an imposing figure when you see him standing on the sideline, but he certainly gets a team’s attention when he is on the field.
    Listed as 5-foot-8, 162 pounds on the Mountaineers preseason roster, the wiry No. 3 is following in the footsteps of some pretty impressive Berlin rushers, including Drew Glotfelty, Ian Sayler and Eric D’Carrion.

    September 8, 2013 1 Photo

  • CORY ISENBERG | How local Legion team lost spot in tournament

    The final spot in the American Legion Region 7 tournament will be on the line tonight in Bedford, even if it wasn’t supposed to be that way.

    July 14, 2013

  • Isenberg, Cory CORY ISENBERG | Rare double duty for Cernic’s Bizjak

    Hunter Bizjak has been doing double duty thus far this baseball season.

    June 30, 2013 1 Photo

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