Football - Latrobe vs Derry
Latrobe Routs Rival Derry 61-0 in Week Zero Opener
Neighboring rivals Greater Latrobe and Derry Area didn't get to play each other last football season. Scheduling adjustments due to Covid-19 wiped out their season opening rivalry game. But the Wildcats picked up right where they left off in 2019, a game that ended a three-game losing streak in shocking the WPIAL semifinalist Trojans 20-14 at Derry in the Week Zero opener. And Latrobe made it clear early that 2019 was no fluke as they pounded Derry 61-0 in the non-conference matchup at Latrobe's Memorial Stadium on a hot August 27 evening.
An energetic crowd enjoyed the first football many of them have attended in two years after last season's crowds were severely restricted for most of the season due to the pandemic. They had barely settled into their seats when Latrobe found the endzone as quarterback Bobby Fetter called his own number and scampered 50 yards to cap a 3-play, 80-yard drive only 43 seconds into the opening quarter. Tanner Popella booted the first of many PAT kicks he would make on the evening and Latrobe led 7-0.
After Derry went three-and-out on their opening possession, the Wildcats used a 21-yard Fetter run and a Chase Sickenberger pass reception to the 4 yard line to set up Kyle Brewer's run around the left side for the touchdown. A botched PAT had Latrobe leading 13-0 at the 7:32 mark of the first quarter.
When Derry's next drive stalled and forced the Trojans to punt, Brewer struck again, returning the punt 79 yards to the house, as Popella tacked on the PAT for a 20-0 lead at 5:32 on the clock. They continued pouring on the points as a Wildcats interception at 4:24 led to a Corey Boerio 43-yard touchdown catch 9 seconds later. The Cats used a fake PAT kick alignment to execute a Marco Mongelluzzo to Boerio 2-point conversion pass and bump up the score to 28-0. Derry caught a break in the final minute of the quarter when a Kyle Brewer punt return touchdown was called back on a roughing the punter infraction.
But the reprieve was short lived for the Trojans as the second quarter started. After turning the ball over to Latrobe on downs, Drake Clayton took a handoff and trotted 79 yards for a touchdown, and Popella split the uprights with the PAT. Derry's next possession ended in a punt, after which Brewer ran 50 yards in a one-play drive to make it 42-0 after Popella's kick. Two minutes later it was Dominic Flenniken with a 13-yard touchdown run, and Popella's kick gave Latrobe the 49-0 lead that they would take into the locker room at halftime.
Following a 90-minute opening half, the second half clock would elapse much faster as the half was played under the running clock mercy rule. Freshman Alex Tatsch rushed for the next Latrobe touchdown at around the four minute mark of the fourth quarter, but a two-point conversion run came up short, making it 55-0.
Derry, down to 8 seconds on the running 4th quarter clock, called a timeout to set up one final offensive play. A quick toss to the right from quarterback Blake Revoir to running back Nate Barkley, who attempted to throw back to Revoir running on the left side, was picked off by a leaping Ja'Tawn Williams who ran untouched for a pick-six that ended the game at 61-0.
Next up for Latrobe (1-0) is a road trip to Class 6A Norwin next Friday, while Derry Area (0-1) will host Mount Pleasant.
Follow this link for a full gallery of over 300 high-resolution action photos from this game, available for purchase.
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