Clairton survives 4th quarter Greensburg Central Catholic rally

Saturday, September 7, 2019 | 12:02 AM

Greensburg Central Catholic rallied with two fourth quarter touchdowns but couldn’t convert two fourth-and-goal opportunities in the game’s waning moments, giving Clairton a 21-14 victory in a key Eastern Conference matchup Friday night.

A late pass interference call gave Greensburg Central Catholic (1-1, 2-1) another chance to score, but then a mistake occurred.

“In college and in the NFL, defensive pass interference is an automatic first down,” GCC coach Bret Colbert said. “I thought I had four plays to score. When we were able to score, we were going to go for two and we were going to get it.”

After being held in check all game, the GCC offense broke out early in the fourth quarter. The Centurions scored on passes from quarterback David Altimore to Ben LaCarte of 3 and 28 yards. After the second touchdown, Clairton (1-0, 1-2) fumbled the kickoff, setting up Greensburg Central Catholic for a potential tying score.

“I think it was just a bit of fatigue on our part,” Bears coach Wayne Wade said. “We saw the dominance in the first half. I think it turned into a little fatigue and when you get fatigued, you start making mistakes.

“One play can change the momentum and then that team is playing a little harder than you at that point.”

Clairton’s defensive dominance came in the form of allowing only 34 total yards to go with an interception and three sacks. Brenden Parsons got the Bears going with a 3-yard touchdown run on their first possession of the game. The extra point was blocked, but the Centurions still trailed 6-0.

After stopping GCC on downs, the Bears went marching again. Five plays and 40 yards later, Isaiah Berry scored on a 4-yard run. This time the extra point was good and it was 13-0.

The second quarter saw some errors by the visitors. Parsons was intercepted twice, both times stopping potential Clairton scoring opportunities. Altimore threw a pick of his own in the quarter as well.

“Guys start playing outside themselves and making plays they typically don’t make,” Wade said. “The defense they gave us allowed us to run Parsons tonight. I think he did well. He probably could have gotten out of bounds on a few and not have to take so many hits.”

“We knew protection was going to be an issue,” Colbert said. “We were trying to get (Altimore) more comfortable with some quick throws and get the ball out.”

The Bears expanded the lead in the third quarter when Parsons found Kenlein Ogletree for a 35-yard touchdown pass. The duo also hooked up for a 2-point conversion and Clairton was up 21-0 with 3:24 left in the quarter.

“We knew we would outcondition them,” Colbert said. “I told them at halftime that we were going to come back no matter what the score was.”

Clairton hosts Riverview next week while GCC visits Leechburg.

Tags: ,

More High School Football

2024 Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star Team: McKeesport’s Kemon Spell
Greensburg Central Catholic’s Samir Crosby set to take control of offense
2024 Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star Team: Upper St. Clair’s Nate Stohl
Westmoreland County high school notebook: Pair of players earn camp honors
2024 Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star Team: Bethel Park’s Ryan Petras