5 things we learned in Week 7: Central Catholic blocked FG touchdown scorer: ‘I heard no whistle’

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Saturday, October 15, 2022 | 8:45 PM


As a 6-foot-4, 270-pound offensive lineman, Anthony Shovlin says he’d accepted the fact that scoring touchdowns wasn’t in his future, but that changed dramatically Friday night.

The Central Catholic junior scored an almost unbelievable winning touchdown after a blocked field goal with no time left, earning him and the Vikings national attention on social media. Seeing a lineman rumble with the football is always a fan favorite.

But for a moment, with the clock at all zeros, nobody was sure who won.

“My initial thought was, ‘Yeah, we lost,’ ” Shovlin said, sharing his gut reaction after his team’s kick was blocked. “But I heard no whistle, so I walk over to the ball, start to run, and your heart starts racing.”

It all began with Central Catholic attempting a 49-yard field goal on the last snap of the game, but Penn Hills blocked the kick. Immediately, players and coaches from Penn Hills’ sideline poured onto the field in celebration of what they thought was a 28-27 win.

Not so fast.

The ball still was spinning on the turf near the 32-yard line and hadn’t yet crossed the line of scrimmage. Shovlin, who also plays rugby, took a few quick steps toward the ball, scooped it up and then ran to the end zone as his coaches shouted for him to keep going.

“I always knew the rule with the field goal is that whenever a ball is batted backward, it’s a live ball,” Shovlin said. “I started walking over to the ball at first, and then I realized I have the chance to pick this up and score.

“So, I just picked it up and took it.”

Penn Hills questioned whether the ball was over the line, but the officials ruled the play a touchdown, so Central Catholic won 33-28. Vikings coach Terry Totten said he never has seen an ending in his 42 years as coach that matched Friday’s craziness.

“If I stay the next 42, it’s possible I’ll never see it again,” Totten said.

A video posted to Twitter by Penn Hills Football Network announcer Justin McCauley had nearly 800,000 views in 24 hours. The game was streamed live on TribLive HSSN, and a number of national media outlets wrote stories after the unexpected outcome.

“I woke up at 6:30 this morning, and I had about 12 text messages,” said Shovlin’s father, John Shovlin. “I didn’t know why until someone said, ‘It’s gone viral. Google Anthony Shovlin Central Catholic Football and enjoy.’ ”

Climbing the all-time list

Armstrong’s Cadin Olsen secured his third consecutive 2,000-yard passing season Friday, an unusual feat among WPIAL quarterbacks, and he quickly is climbing the league’s list of all-time passers.

The senior ranks 12th all-time in WPIAL history with 6,654 career yards after passing for 349 yards and four touchdowns in a 55-31 win over Mars. He’s now fewer than 100 yards behind former Sto-Rox quarterback Adam DiMichele, who has worked with Olsen as a coach in the offseason.

DiMichele graduated with 6,741 yards, which was the most in WPIAL history in 2003.

Olsen, a Penn commit, has thrown for 2,045 yards this season, an average of 256 yards.

With two weeks left in the regular season and at least one playoff game ahead, Montour’s Dillon Buechel (6,899) and South Fayette’s Christian Brumbaugh (7,164) are within his reach, too.

“It’s a good feeling, but right now I’m focused on winning,” Olsen said. “There are some big names up there, people who’ve played at the next level. It’s definitely a cool list to be a part of.”

Four for fore

Mohawk’s Jay Wrona threw four touchdowns Friday night. This week, he could hear someone yell “fore.”

The multi-sport athlete has been busy this fall.

The junior quarterbacks a playoff-contending football team and also qualified for the PIAA golf championship, a two-day, 36-hole tournament Monday and Tuesday at Penn State. This was Wrona’s first year playing high school golf, and he tied for 16th in WPIAL Class 2A with a two-round score of 166.

“He’s also an all-conference baseball player and an all-conference basketball player, too,” Mohawk coach Tim McCutcheon said. “He certainly is a unique athlete.”

As a football player, Wrona has Mohawk in playoff position after a 42-13 win over Freedom. He completed 12 of 19 passes for 203 yards with touchdown throws of 36, 34, 40 and 15 yards.

Balancing two sports in one season is a challenge.

“If I have guys who have a passion for other things, I try not to be the selfish football coach,” McCutcheon said. “It was important to him, so that was good enough for me. … I full support him or I wouldn’t have given the green light.”

Mohawk (3-3, 3-2) is fourth in the Class 2A Midwestern Conference and visits Western Beaver (7-1, 4-1) on Saturday. The top five teams from the conference qualify for the WPIAL playoffs.

Frazier snaps its streak

Ellwood City’s 27-game losing streak ended earlier this season, and Summit Academy’s 14-game streak also stopped.

Now, Frazier is celebrating the end of another double-digit streak.

The Commodores had lost 17 games in a row starting with the 2020 final before Friday’s win over Springdale, 25-12. Brennan Stewart threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another as Frazier (1-7) won for the first time since Oct. 16, 2020. The streak was the longest active among WPIAL teams.

Brownsville owns a longer streak, now at 28 losses, but the Falcons left WPIAL competition this season for an independent schedule.

The longest among active WPIAL teams now belongs to Derry at 17.

Big week for big schools

In the first seven weeks of the season, Class 6A and 5A teams were tied 8-8 in head-to-head matchups. The Class 5A schools had held their own all year, but that shifted this week when 6A teams went 5-0.

Still, three had close outcomes. Along with Central Catholic’s last-second win over Penn Hills, Class 6A teams pulled off narrow victories by Canon-McMillan over Upper St. Clair, 28-24, and Mt. Lebanon over Peters Township, 6-3, where all nine points were scored on field goals.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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