The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

November 18, 2012

Bishop McCort ousts Northern Cambria

JOHNSTOWN — Bishop McCort coach Kevin Sheridan considered Luke DiFrancesco a potential game-changer long before the junior two-way standout’s three-touchdown, two-interception performance in Saturday’s 45-6 victory over Northern Cambria.

Sheridan just needed to convince DiFrancesco.

The junior wide receiver-defensive back provided all the necessary evidence during a one-sided District 6 Class A semifinal at Point Stadium. DiFrancesco had a 55-yard TD reception, a 56-yard punt return for a score, and a 29-yard pick-six interception.

“We’ve been telling Luke he’s capable of big things,” Sheridan said after 9-3 McCort earned a championship date against top-seeded Bellwood-Antis on Saturday at Mansion Park. “He’s a big play kind of guy. He had his opportunities and he certainly capitalized on them.”

Northern Cambria closed an 8-4 season as McCort’s offensive and defensive lines turned in a dominating performance.

The Crushers defense limited a potent Colts offense to a net 93 rushing yards, 31 passing yards and eight first downs.

“It was just up front,” Northern Cambria coach Paul Taranto said. “Both sides of the football.”

The Crushers forced five turnovers, including four interceptions.

“We ran our basic stuff. It

didn’t work. We went to some fancy stuff and it didn’t work,” Taranto said. “You’re caught looking for things.”

The Colts had an early opportunity. McCort’s Dustin Belskey fumbled the first play from scrimmage. Northern Cambria’s Alex Atkins recovered at the Crushers 32-yard line.

A pass interference call gave Northern Cambria a first down at the 17. But DiFrancesco intercepted a Jeff Hogan pass near the goal line and returned it to the 5.

“We had the emotions. We got the big break. You think you can go down and stuff it in and get the job done,” Taranto said. “When you don’t do that I’m pretty sure that’s a little shot. That fumble should have took the nerves out of it. We could have realized we could play with this team. They’re human like we are. It just didn’t work out for us.”

Northern Cambria got the ball back at the McCort 34 after a short punt but Jordan Spangler halted the drive with an interception.

“That was the tale of the early part of the game,” Sheridan said. “We were able to stop that momentum swing because our defensive line was so strong and our linebackers were flying to the ball.”

McCort quarterback Zaine Tomkowski then hit a running DiFrancesco in stride downfield and he made an over the shoulder catch before running to the end zone for a 55-yard touchdown.

Belskey scored on a 4-yard run, and Spangler booted a

22-yard field goal to set a 17-0 halftime score.

The Crushers broke open the game with 28 third-quarter points.

“Once it snowballed, it got out of hand,” Taranto said. “Interceptions. Punt returns. Fumbles.”

DiFrancesco returned a punt 56 yards to make it 24-0.

“I just caught it on the bounce. I saw a lane to the left,” DiFrancesco said. “I’ve got to give it all to my blockers. They just set it up and I ran for a touchdown.”

McCort’s Ryan Siwy pounced on a fumbled snap on a punt attempt from the end zone for another special teams touchdown.

“Special teams is another phase of the game that we’ve done well with,” Sheridan said.

Northern Cambria’s Derek Baker broke a 60-yard touchdown run to set a 31-6 score. But Crushers back Wyatt Jackson gained 61 of his game-high 145 rushing yards on a drive capped by Tomkowski’s 1-yard keeper.

DiFrancesco put an exclamation point on the night with a 29-yard interception return.

“I got in position. He threw it up a little bit for grabs,” DiFrancesco said. “I took my chances. They led me in once again.”

Tomkowski completed 7 of 11 passes for 121 yards. McCort rushed for 235 yards. Northern Cambria’s Hogan was 4 of 15 for 23 yards and four interceptions. Baker led the Colts with 64 rushing yards.

“The tale of the night is that our guys up front played so well and put us in position to win,” Sheridan said.


Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • SRU vs UPJ baseball0418 1 UPJ takes one, drops second

    John Fees’ spring baseball season accurately mirrors that of his Pitt-Johnstown team.
    Fees started slow, losing his first four decisions, but has rebounded nicely in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pirates 0418 Brewers ward off late Pirates rally bid

    Kyle Lohse pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Carlos Gomez homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday night.
    Lohse (3-1) improved to 11-2 in his career against the Pirates, allowing one earned run in a win against them for the second time in six days.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drama lacking sans Tiger

    If professional golf saw its future at Augusta National last weekend, the sight had to be worse than choking on a 5-foot putt.
    The course was there in all its splendor.

    April 18, 2014

  • Penguins 0418 Penguins are wary of spunky Blue Jackets

    Sidney Crosby is used to the attention. It comes with the territory when you’re the best hockey player in the world.
    Still, the Pittsburgh Penguins star knows the spotlight becomes more acute in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0417 Pirates power past Brewers

    Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.
    Harrison’s two-run drive down the left field line off Rob Wooten (0-1) was the second of his career as a pinch hitter.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0417 Jackets preparing for Game 2

    The Columbus Blue Jackets don’t feel they’re doomed after blowing a two-goal lead in a Game 1 loss of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
    “It’s not about missed chances, or feeling sorry about it,” goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky said at Thursday’s optional workout, 13 hours after falling 4-3 in Pittsburgh.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Sports Briefs

    April 17, 2014

  • racin 0416 Jennerstown Speedway gearing for May open

    Jennerstown Speedway released a very ambitious schedule on its website and continues to prepare for its 2014 reopening.
    The track is set to hold a practice day for drivers as well as an open house and media day on April 26.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Hawks already building toward next season

    Jason Spence used up his cell phone’s battery on a trip from Johnstown to his parents’ home in Nova Scotia, Canada.
    Once the Johnstown Tomahawks coach got to his destination, Spence had to get creative to secure cell service across the border.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pirates 0416 Dominant Cueto drops Pirates in matinee

    That playoff loss in Pittsburgh last year? Johnny Cueto never thought about it much. So getting a chance to shut out the Pirates in a rematch wasn’t any more special.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide