TURTLE CREEK - Altoona (3-5) was able to slow down Central Catholic (6-2) but was not able to stop the Vikings and dropped a 30-0 non-conference game at the Wolverina on Friday night in a WPIAL Class AAAA non-conference game.
"The difference in the game was they had guys making plays left and right, and we just couldn't make a play when we had to," Altoona coach John Franco said. "I thought our kids hung in there and battled, but we could not match their athleticism."
The Mountain Lions return home next week to host Connellsville with a chance to still make the playoffs.
"We have to put this game behind us and get ready for next week," Franco said. "It's a really important game, and hopefully we'll be prepared."
Central Catholic struck first by taking the opening kickoff and driving 82 yards. Joe Consentino capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge on a fourth-and-1 quarterback keeper to give Central Catholic a 7-0 lead midway in the first quarter.
Consentino finished with 13 completions on 21 attempts for 190 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for two touchdowns.
"I give Altoona a lot of credit. They had a nice game plan and are well-coached," Central Catholic coach Terry Totten said. "They came out early and took some time off the clock, but once we settled in we were able to establish ourselves."
Altoona responded by driving to the Central Catholic 16-yard line as the first quarter expired. It was as close as the Mountain Lions got to the end zone in the drive, however.
They committed a 5-yard penalty, and Brennan Luciano was sacked twice by a swarming Central Catholic rush, which pushed the ball back to the Vikings' 46-yard line.
"We didn't capitalize on a few things in the first half with a chance to turn some things around," Franco said. "Our first drive ate up about 10 minutues of the clock, but we put ourselves in long situations and we weren't able to make the play."
Central Catholic took advantage of the short field, and Consentino capped a 54-yard drive by hitting Cam Sutherland on a 12-yard fade in the corner of the end zone to give the Vikings a 14-0 lead three minutes into the second half.
In the final minute of the first half, Central Catholic lined up to punt on fourth-and-2 near midfield. However, it was a fake and up-man Todd Coles ran 19 yards for the first down, and the Vikings kept the drive alive.
They advanced to the Mountain Lion 10-yard line. Mitchell MacZura salvaged the drive and booted a 27-yard field goal in the last second of the second quarter to give Central Catholic a 17-0 lead at the break.
In the first drive of the second half, the Vikings drove 50 yards and had first-and-goal at the Altoona 4-yard line. The Mountain Lion defense held the Vikings out of the end zone, though, for their best defensive stand of the game.
"We did some good things there," Franco said. "That's not a good thing, though, if we have to search that far to find some positives."
The effort was short-lived as the Vikings forced a punt and drove 39 yards for a touchdown on a Consentino 16-yard scamper for the score. It gave the Vikings a 23-0 lead late in the third quarter.
"We practice against that, but they executed the fake punt beautifully," Franco said. "We didn't do enough on our part on that play."
The Vikings pushed their lead to 30-0 two minutes into the fourth quarter as Luigi Lista-Brinza sprinted three yards for the touchdown. It capped a 34-yard drive and ended the scoring in the game.
Lista-Brinza finished with 23 carries for 135 yards and a touchdown.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Altoona0 0 0 0 - 0
Central Catholic7 10 6 7 - 30
CC-Consentino 1 run (MacZura kick) 6:18
CC-Sutherland 12 pass from Consentino (MacZura kick) 8:48
CC-Mazura 27 field goal
CC-Consentino 16 run (kick failed) :52.1
CC-Lista-Brinza 3 run (MacZura kick) 10:09
RUSHING: Altoona-Luciano 5 -(minus7), Howsare 7 -1, Barnes 1-1, Givens 4-18, DeCriscio 1-6. Central Catholic-Consentino 4-18, Lista-Brinza 23-135, Loughrey 1-2, Redman 5-18, Falloon 3-23. Allen 1-2. team minus 1.
PASSING: Altoona-Luciano 7-13-73. McGinley 1-1-17. Central Catholic-Consentino 13-21-190
RECEIVING: Altoona-Steinbugl 1-10, Barnes 2-16, Diviney 1-14. Ward 1-17. Span 1-17. Central Catholic-Lista-Brinza 4-54, Urso 3-57, Sutherland 4-36, Swann 3-43.
INTERCEPTIONS: Central Catholic 2