Elizabeth Forward gets surprisingly easy win over Mt. Pleasant in 1st-place showdown

Friday, October 15, 2021 | 10:16 PM

To say Elizabeth Forward football coach Mike Collodi was shocked at the outcome of Friday’s first-place showdown in the WPIAL Class 3A Interstate Conference against Mt. Pleasant would be an understatement.

He wasn’t surprised that his team won but a little shocked with the ease that his Warriors did it.

No. 5 Elizabeth Forward (6-2, 4-0) didn’t waste any time letting No. 4 Mt. Pleasant know it was in for a long night.

The Warriors scored touchdowns on their first three possessions and rolled to a surprisingly easy 35-0 victory on homecoming.

Elizabeth Forward dominated the game from the start.

“I never saw this coming,” Collodi said. “We just played really well in every facet of the game: the offense, the defense and special teams. Blocking a punt early helped, and scoring on our first drive also helped.

“Anytime you can get up 14-0, it’s huge. We never let our foot off the gas. The players played absolutely out of their minds.”

Mt. Pleasant (5-3, 2-1) just couldn’t get anything going. The Vikings turned the ball over three times and were held to 88 total yards.

“Elizabeth Forward pretty much played well the entire game,” Mt. Pleasant coach Jason Fazekas said. “You have to give them credit for that. Their kids play hard, and they execute. They made some plays.”

Elizabeth Forward scored on its first drive as quarterback Zion White flipped a wide receiver screen pass to Zach Boyd, and the junior weaved his way through the Mt. Pleasant to complete a 40-yard score.

The Vikings went three-and-out and forced a punt that junior John DiNapoli blocked to set up a second score. Kyle Flournoy capped the 25-yard drive with a 3-yard run to make it 14-0.

“The ‘D’ was there all game,” DiNapoli said. “We prepared well all week. We knew exactly what was coming.

“It felt good to finally get that block. It was there. We read his steps and went for it.”

Mt. Pleasant, with the help of a pass interference penalty, moved to the Elizabeth Forward 35 before punting.

The Warriors then drove 90 yards for their third score with White scoring on a 3-yard run. White, who completed 5 of 7 passes for 115 yards, connected on a 39-yard pass to freshman Charlie Nigut. Nigut also added a 16-yard run during the drive.

Mt. Pleasant drove to the Elizabeth Forward 25, but Boyd intercepted Tyler Reese’s fourth-down pass at the Warriors 8 to end the threat.

“I don’t know what to take away from this game,” Fazekas said. “I’ll get into the film room and see what we have to do. We have to come out and get a win next week.”

Elizabeth Forward iced the game early in the third quarter as Boyd raced 43 yards for a score and Flournoy returned a Mt. Pleasant fumble 20 yards for a score to put the game into the mercy rule with 4:21 left in the third quarter.

“Zach had an amazing game,” Collodi said. “He returns kicks, he returns punt, he does everything for us.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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