Sophomore QB, top-ranked Pine-Richland overwhelm Norwin

Friday, September 21, 2018 | 10:18 PM

Four plays into Friday’s game, Pine-Richland’s offensive line opened a gaping hole in the Norwin defense and quarterback Cole Spencer found it, keeping the ball on a read-option play and racing down middle of the field for a 55-yard touchdown.

Spencer’s run set the tone for the WPIAL Class 6A matchup, as the No. 1-ranked Rams built a 44-point halftime lead and won 44-7. Pine-Richland improved to 4-1, 3-0, and Norwin dropped to 2-3, 1-2.

“I thought we played really well,” Rams coach Eric Kasperowicz said. “I’m proud of the way we played. Hats off to Norwin. They’re talented, and they got some guts over there.

“On defense, we got some timely stops. The O-line was great and kept Cole clean, and our defensive line stopped the run and played aggressively. I’m proud of the guys. We had a great week of practice and they really came out focused.”

Spencer, a sophomore, ran 11 times for 114 yards and three touchdowns. He also completed 12 of 16 passes for 217 yards and one touchdown. And it all came in the first half.

“The playbook is the playbook. We don’t change it whether it’s Phil (Jurkovec) or Cole back there. The offense is the offense. He’s just learning to take what the defense gives him,” Kasperowicz said.

“The more and more experience he gets, the more comfortable he’ll get with his reads. But as you can see, he’s a very talented kid. He’s a tough kid, and he’s a leader.”

Another sophomore, Luke Miller, was on the receiving end of a 37-yard touchdown pass from Spencer. Miller totaled 138 yards on five catches.

Fullback Anthony Cerminara accounted for the Rams’ other two touchdowns.

Defensive lineman Miguel Jackson recorded a safety for the Pine-Richland defense, sacking Knights quarterback Jack Salopek in his end zone late in the second quarter.

Norwin ran just 19 plays in the first half compared to the Rams’ 44.

“We just couldn’t get our ‘D’ off the field, and we couldn’t make very many plays,” Norwin coach Dave Brozeski said.

“Like anything else, you have to be able to execute and get off the field. That’s a heck of a team over there, and Coach Kasperowicz has those guys playing very well. We had to come out and make plays against them, and unfortunately we weren’t able to do that in the first half.”

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.

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