Norwin’s Levendosky clutch in final minute of win versus Latrobe
Friday, September 3, 2021 | 11:05 PM
Norwin runs the 2-minute drill almost every day at practice.
The senior used his arm and legs to drive Norwin to the Latrobe 4, where junior Joe Castle nailed a winning 21-yard field goal to give the Knights a thrilling 31-28 victory.
“We work on those situations in practice,” Norwin coach Dave Brozeski said. “We had one timeout, and we wanted to give Joe the opportunity to win it. Anthony (Pirillo) got behind the coverage, and Luke made a nice play to find him.”
On a third-and-3 from the Latrobe 40, Levendosky scrambled to his right and spotted Pirillo behind the Latrobe secondary for a 36-yard gain. The play before, Levendosky ran out of bounds after a 7-yard run.
“When I was rolling out, I thought about running out of bounds again to preserve time,” Levendosky said. “But I saw Anthony break free, and I hit him.”
Castle, who booted four kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks, drilled the kick to send Norwin (1-1) to its first win of the season.
“When we were driving, I thought my attempt would be a lot longer,” Castle said. “I just kept my cool and stayed calm.”
The field goal ended a well-played game.
Latrobe (1-1) opened up a 7-0 lead on its second possession when quarterback Bobby Fetter tossed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Brewer. It came two plays after Fetter connected on a 47-yard pass to Chase Sickenberger.
Norwin responded on its next series, driving 74 yards in 13 plays to tie the score, 7-7. Levendosky’s 8-yard scoring pass to Aaron Schmook capped the drive. Levendosky had a 27-yard run on the drive, which consisted of 11 runs.
The Knights then converted a Latrobe interception into a go-ahead score. Noah Houser intercepted Fetter’s pass and returned it 25 yards to the Latrobe 10. Levendosky ran it in to make it 14-7.
Fetter was injured on Latrobe’s next drive when he was hauled down while scrambling. He walked off the field holding out his left arm.
Latrobe coach Jason Marucco said it was a shoulder injury.
“I thought our football team and Brayden (Reott) stepped in and did a great job and we overcame that adversity,” Marucco said. “We had a chance to win the football game.”
Latrobe tied the score, 14-14, in the third quarter on a 9-yard touchdown by Brewer, but Norwin responded to reclaim the lead, 21-14, on a 47-yard jaunt by Levendosky, who rushed for 96 yards and completed 11 of 21 passes for 153 yards.
“I’ve seen a different mindset from these guys since Jan. 25,” Brozeski said. “They want to get ‘Ws’ in the win column. We have great leadership from our senior class, and they’ll battle to the very end.”
Latrobe scored its first two possessions of the fourth quarter to grab a 28-21 lead. Brewer scored his third touchdown of the game on a 14-yard run to cap a 55-yard drive, and Drake Clayton took off on an 85-yard touchdown run with 4 minutes, 15 seconds left.
Brewer, who rushed for 69 yards, has six touchdowns this season. Clayton rushed for 212 yards on 16 carries.
Norwin, however, didn’t quit. Levendosky connected on passes of 13 and 24 yards to Jackson Pons and Christian Beck capped the game-tying score with a 2-yard score with 2:10 left.
The Knights’ defense then made a huge stop on third-and-1 to force Latrobe to punt with 39 seconds left.
“It was a great team win,” Brozeski said. “It wasn’t a pretty win and our guys responded to a lot of adverse situations and found away to finish.”
Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More High School Football• Westmoreland County high school notebook: New challenge awaits Latrobe after WPIAL realignment
• PSFCA announces rosters for 2024 East-West all-star football games
• 8 WPIAL all-stars selected for 67th annual Big 33 Football Classic
• Burrell football coach Shawn Liotta named general manager for USA Football U20 team
• WPIAL reveals Aliquippa’s 5A conference, but football coach says ‘it’s not settled’