Football - Derry Area vs Greater Latrobe
Latrobe Lights-Up Derry 55-0 in Rivalry Game Win
There was lightning in the sky as well as on the field when Greater Latrobe visited Derry Area for their annual rivalry game on Friday, August 26, at a soggy, humid Trojan Field in Derry. By the time the long night of football was over, Latrobe running back Robert Fulton provided the on-field lightning, crossing the goal line five times before halftime, as the Wildcats beat the host Trojans 55-0.
A pregame downpour delayed the debut game of first-year head coaches Mike Arone of Derry and Ron Prady of Latrobe until 7:45. The Wildcats won the coin toss and deferred, setting the Trojans up to receive the opening kickoff. Derry couldn't move the chains on their first possession and was forced to punt.
One play later, Fulton lit up the crowd and the Trojan's defense with a 63-yard touchdown run with only 73 seconds elapsed in the game. Vinny Oddo booted the first of his five first half PAT kicks and the Cats led 7-0.
After Derry's second possession stalled, Latrobe took over near midfield following the Trojan's punt. This time it took the Wildcats only 50 seconds to march down the field for 7 points, capped off by Fulton's 12-yard touchdown run and Oddo's kick.
Fulton's hat-trick touchdown came at 4:36 of the opening quarter when he crossed the goal line from 7 yards out.
Derry was still unable to get their offense on track, as the Wildcats drive downfield again, aided by a 38-yard pass completion from sophomore quarterback John Wetzel to senior Buddy Young. The Wildcats were threatening to score again as the first quarter came to an end and the teams switched ends.
Latrobe opened the second quarter with an incomplete pass on first-and-goal from the 6 yard line. A penalty on the next play pushed them back to the 17 yard line just as the sky lit up with lightning in the area at approximately 8:20 PM. Officials immediately sent the teams to their locker rooms as fans were instructed to evacuate the stadium and wait out the risk in their cars or the school gymnasium. Following a mandatory minimum 30-minute delay, both teams and fans were allowed back into the stadium just before 9 PM.
The delay seemed to spark new life into the Trojan defense, as they forced Latrobe to turn the ball over on downs deep in Derry territory. The Derry offense seemed to take a cue from the defensive stop, as they began to drive the ball on Latrobe for the first time on the night. The Trojans gained first downs on the efforts of running back Ahmad Ward and several good runs by sophomore quarterback Blake Revoir. But the drive came to a sudden end as Latrobe recovered a Derry fumble at the Wildcats 30 yard line.
With Derry's biggest threat of the game aborted, Latrobe's offense went back to work. A pair of Fulton touchdown runs, 29 yards followed by 10 yards, closed out the first half scoring and sent Latrobe to the locker room with a comfortable 35-0 lead.
Coach Prady took advantage of the opportunity to rest some starters in the mercy-ruled second half. Alex Tatsch scored on a 20-yard run at 9:25 of the third quarter, with a botched PAT snap making the score 41-0.
A pair of Gaige Kettren 4th quarter touchdown runs of 44 and 32 yards, with Devin Webster kicking the extra points, closed out the scoring with Latrobe claiming bragging rights in the 55-0 win over their boundary neighbors.
Both teams will begin their regular season WPIAL schedules on the road next Friday night with non-conference matchups. Greater Latrobe (1-0) will travel to former conference opponent Franklin Regional, hoping to avenge a tough loss last season. Derry (0-1) takes on the Greensburg Salem Golden Lions at historic Offutt Field in Greensburg.
Watch this link for a full gallery of action photos available for purchase or sharing the day after the game.
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