Parise squads come up short in season openers at Prospect
A.J. Parise football - Sr. division
PROSPECT — The A. J. Parise Youth Football Senior team opened its season with a 32-8 loss to the Prospect Chiefs Saturday afternoon in Prospect.
The defending league champs used two big plays early in the third quarter to turn an 8-8 contest into a 24-8 game and tacked on a fourth-quarter score to beat the Chucks in the season opener.
Punxsy opened the game with the ball, but the Chiefs defense was able to force Punxsy to punt.
Brady Snyder, a Punxsy defender, returned the favor when he tackled Damion Flinner for a one yard loss on a fourth-and-two for Prospect's offense.
Punxsy moved the ball to the to the 25 on its next possession but was stopped on fourth down, one yard shy of the sticks, turning the ball over on downs at the 21-yard line.
Prospect produced the first big play of the game when Flinner hauled in a Luke Michalek pass and turned it into a 39-yard completion early in the second stanza to give the Chiefs a first down at the 16-yard line.
Michalek's one-yard plunge five plays later pro-duced the first score of the game, and Flinner's conversion made the score 8-0.
Punxsy moved into Chiefs territory again but was stopped at the 23-yard line.
The Chucks defense came up big when Cody Verostic tackled Michalek on fourth down with a nice open field play to give Punxsy the ball at the 28 with little time left on clock in the first half.
After two incompletions, Ethan Riley hit tight end Trent Stouffer for a 16-yard gain to give the Chucks a first down at the 12.
Joey DiPietro gained nine yards on a run up the middle, and Riley connected with Kevin Hutton in the right side of the endzone from three yards out.
Devin Kelly's conversion run around the left side knot- ted the contest up at 8-8 with 18 ticks left on the clock.
"I was very happy with how my guys played," Punxsy head coach Joel Martin said. "This was a very well played first half from both teams, especially being the first game of the year."
Prospect recieved the second half kickoff and quickly struck paydirt when Flinner broke loose for a 54-yard touchdown run on third down and then added the conversion to put Prospect ahead, 16-8.
The Chiefs recovered an onside kick, and Flinner continued to hurt the Chucks' defense with a 40-yard run.
He followed with a five-yard touchdown run and conversion.
Michalek connected with Bailey Mertiens on a four- yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, and a Jordan Martsoff conversion run finished off the scoring set-ting the final tally at 32-8.
"Big plays were the difference in the game," said Martin. "Overall, we are pleased how the kids played. We will work on things in practice and get ready for the next game."
On offense, Riley was 5-for-8 passing for 30 yards. Patrick Fedigan had 2 catches for 10 yards, and Kelly led the Punxsy ground game with 29 yards rushing.
DiPietro led the Chucks' defense with 13 tackles. Kelly added eight; Canaan Knox had seven; Brady Snyder had five; and Michael Lin finished with four.
The Senior team's next action will be Saturday at 7:30 p.m. when it hosts Brockway at Jack LaMarca Stadium in Punxsutawney.
A.J. Parise football - jr. division
PROSPECT — The A. J. Parise Youth Football Junior squad lost its season opener, 30-12, to the Prospect Chiefs Saturday in Prospect.
The Chiefs scored three second quarter touchdowns en route to earning their victory.
After, a scoreless first quarter, the Chucks started the scoring at the beginning of the second on a 75-yard run by Conner Giavedoni, keyed by a great down-field block by Sean Deeley.
Punxsy failed on the conversion, leaving the score 6-0.
Prospect answered immediately with a 41-yard run by Kaleb Kamerer on third down, and Robert Miller's conversion gave the Chiefs an 8-6 lead.
Punxsy turned the ball over on downs at midfield, and Kamerer capped a four-play drive with a 28-yard touchdown run to extend Prospect's lead. Derek Ishman stopped Kamerer on the conversion to hold the score at 14-6.
Prospect recovered an onside kick to maintain offensive possession and was able to push its lead to 20-6 when Kevin King scored on a three-yard run late in the first half.
"We're a young team, and this was the first game-action for a lot of these kids," Punxsy head coach Brian Ishman said. "I feel they played to the best of their abilities."
Prospect's first drive of the second half started at the 11-yard line after a 49-yard kickoff by the Chucks' Dylan Ishman.
Undeterred by the field position, Prospect put together a 10-play scoring drive capped off by a 37-yard touchdown run by Vito Pilosi.
Kamerer's conversion extended Prospect's lead to 30-6.
On its next possession, Punxsy was able to move the ball into Chiefs territory but was stopped at the 18 early in the fourth quarter.
The Chucks defense held, and Giavedoni later scored on a 22-yard run around the right side. Garret Wright was stopped on the conversion attempt, leaving the final tally at 30-12.
"We ran the ball well," coach Ishman said. "We will work this week on trying not to give up the big play and get them ready for Brockway."
Giavedoni finished with 106 rushing yards and two scores to lead the offense.
Carter Newcome led the Punxsy's defense with 10 tackles. Brent Baker had six tackles, and Ishman had five. Zach Thorpe & Holden Griffith each had three tackles.
The Junior team will host Brockway Saturday at Jack LaMarca Stadium in Punxsy.