Led by QB’s 99-yard run on 1st snap, Penn-Trafford speeds past Norwin

Friday, August 27, 2021 | 10:46 PM

If the first play of the season is an indicator of how Penn-Trafford’s football season is going to go, watch out for the Warriors.

Carter Green took his first snap as the Warriors’ starting quarterback and went 99 yards for a touchdown on the team’s first play from scrimmage — one of three scoring runs by the senior — and the Warriors rushed for 379 yards as they toppled rival Norwin, 35-14, on Friday night at Knights Stadium.

Green rushed for 173 yards, including a 51-yard score, and senior Wisconsin commit Cade Yacamelli added 140 yards and a touchdown in the victory.

“All the credit goes to the people up front,” said Green, who had 14 carries. “It was great to be back out there. I was a little nervous. After that first snap, I was ready to go, and so was the team.”

Penn-Trafford (1-0), ranked No. 2 in Class 5A, opened its 50th football season with some early momentum and improved to 28-8 in the all-time series. It was their ninth win in the last 10 meetings against the Knights.

Green’s opening score sent Norwin an early message and sent the Warriors on their way.

Norwin standout punter Joey Castle pinned the Warriors at their own 1 early. But Green cut inside, caught a block and got his legs churning, all the way to the end zone for a tone-setting run destined for the highlight reel.

His nickname is “Moe.” On the opening play, Green was more like slow-mo — at least that will be the case when fans rewatch the 99-yard run on film. The play tied Brad Ford for the longest run in school history. Ford set the mark last season.

“We panicked when the punt rolled down to the 1, and they kept it out of the end zone,” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said. “Carter is dynamic. A lot of guys tonight were dead tired. He seemed to have energy for four quarters. He even made two touchdown-saving tackles on defense. He was all over the field.”

Ruane said the defensive backs also made their first start and he was impressed. The Warriors, a semifinal team a year ago, lost 24 seniors but it didn’t show in the opener.

“Our kids played hard,” Ruane said. “We didn’t pass for a lot of yards whatsoever, but I don’t really care. We got a win. We’re going to be a good passing team. I think we’ll show that moving forward.”

After Green’s early burst, Ian Demeri took off for a 16-yard score to give the Warriors a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

“Demeri had a nice game for us, too,” Ruane said. “He had a huge run across midfield to help seal the win.”

Norwin (0-1) cut the deficit to 14-7 after the Knights capitalized on a turnover. Aaron Schmook picked off Green and Norwin drove to the Warriors’ 3. Rather than kick a field goal, the Knights went for it on fourth and goal and first-year quarterback Luke Levendosky rolled out and zipped a scoring pass to Noah Vogel.

But the Warriors answered on the next series as Yacamelli picked up chunks of 19 and 18 yards to set up Green’s short touchdown for a 21-7 advantage at halftime.

“Our kids battled their butts off,” Norwin coach Dave Brozeski said. “Coach Ruane has a good team and a great program. I was pleased with how our kids responded. It’s about chopping at that tree. We’re going to keep chopping.”

Last year, Penn-Trafford had to replace its entire offensive line. This year, an experienced line came prepackaged and ready to block somebody. The boys up front are giants. The line averages about 275 pounds. They gave Green plenty of space to move.

“All the yards tonight are all their doing,” Green said. “Those are the guys we rely on, and they got it done tonight.”

Green broke free for a 51-yard score early in the third quarter to give the Warriors a three-score advantage.

Norwin didn’t go away, however. Knights’ quarterback Luke Levendosky, who had a sound debut of his own, launched a 65-yard scoring throw to Dom Barca, who got behind the Warriors’ secondary to cut it to 28-14.

Barca battled cramps but came back into the game.

“We know we need to get better,” Levendosky said. “Each week, we start over at 0-0. We’ll take the steps to be 1-0 next week. The fight was there tonight.”

Levendosky finished 11 of 17 for 112 yards and a score and ran for 76 yards. Barca had 53 yards rushing in addition to his big TD grab.

Yacamelli, who had 15 carries, added a late score to make it 35-14.

“Cade was tremendous tonight,” Ruane said. “He played with purpose.”

Penn-Trafford’s plan is to use two quarterbacks in Green and junior Tommy Kalkstein. When one is under center, the other will likely be on the field at another position. That was the case Friday.

“They both bring something to the table,” Ruane said. “You’re going to see that all year.”

Norwin, bound and determined to rekindle a running game, ran for 158 yards. Levendosky completed a pass to eight receivers.

Penn-Trafford hosts another local team next week in Hempfield, while Norwin is home again to face Latrobe, another of five games at Knights Stadium this season, to face Latrobe.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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