Football - Norwin vs Mt Lebanon

October 15, 2021

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Norwin Keeps Pace with Mt Lebanon for Three Quarters Before Falling 35-7 

Norwin, 0-4 in conference play coming in, hosting Mt. Lebanon, sporting a 4-0 record and sitting at the top of the class 6A standings. It was a game that few expected to be close at all. Someone forgot to tell the Norwin knights, who for three quarters went toe-to-toe with the top-ranked Blue Devils before falling late, 35-7.

Perhaps it was the large homecoming crowd that fired up the underdog Knights, who came out of the gate like a cannonball. After winning the coin toss and deferring, Norwin showed their resolve in the first series. Norwin junior Joe Fitzgerald blew up a swing pass behind the line of scrimmage, then a leaping Dom Barca intercepted Mt. Lebo quarterback Joseph Daniels just past midfield, giving the Knights possession just 2 minutes into the contest. 

Norwin showed early movement with their offense, picking up a first down and crossing into Blue Devils territory before being stopped on a 4th-and-1 from the Lebo 41, turning the ball over on downs.

Mt. Lebanon then drove into Norwin territory before stalling on good defensive play by Norwin. The Knights went on the move again, working their way to the Blue Devils 35 yard line where they faced 4th-and-7 as the first quarter came to a close in a scoreless tie.

Once again going for it on 4th down, Norwin moved the chains with a Luke Levendosky to Xander Smith 11-yard pass completion to the 24. After Levendosky ran a keeper to set the Knights up 1st-and-goal from the 9, Barca outran Thomas Boehner around the right side to the pylon and Norwin had the game's first touchdown. Joseph Castle added the extra point kick and the Knights led 7-0 with 10:07 remaining in the first half. 

But you can't keep a team with Mt. Lebanon's firepower down forever. The Blue Devils quickly drove into the red zone, then scored on a 6-yard Alex Tecza run with 7:49 left in the second quarter. Noah Bhuta booted the PAT through the uprights and the game was knotted at 7-7. 

Neither team found the endzone again before the half ended, and they headed to the locker room all square at 7 apiece. Norwin quarterback Luke Levendosky scored the title of homecoming king, and Madison Butina was honored as the queen, when they were crowned in a ceremony during halftime.  

Mt. Lebanon broke the stalemate with 8:47 to go in the third quarter when Tecza ran 34 yards for a touchdown, with Bhuta's kick being the final points in the third quarter. 

Norwin had gone punch-for-punch with the Blue Devils for three quarters, but Mt. Lebo broke the game open with the first play in the fourth. Daniels hit Eli Heidenreich with a 77-yard touchdown pass, and Bhuta's kick made in 21-7 only 17 seconds into the final quarter. 

Norwin stayed within two scores until the final 5 minutes when the dam broke. A Daniels to Heidenreich 18-yard toss with 4:32 on the clock made it 28-0 with Bhuta's kick. Then a muffed kickoff return pinned the Knights deep in their own territory. One the next play, Thomas Boehner hit Levendosky in the backfield, causing a fumble into the endzone, where it was recovered by Owen Halter for a Mt. Lebanon touchdown. Bhuta added the game's final point with his PAT kick, and the Blue Devils bus headed for the turnpike with their unblemished record intact and a 35-7 win over the never-say-die Knights. 

Norwin (2-6, 0-5) will play their final home game next Friday on Senior Night as they host Canon-McMillan. Mt Lebanon also will play their final regular season home game next Friday in a key matchup with 4-1 conference record holder Seneca Valley.   

Watch this link for a full gallery of action photos available for purchase or sharing the day after the game

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