AMBRIDGE — When playing a team such as North Catholic, mental mistakes and penalties will come back to bite you.
Ambridge found that out early Friday night as the Trojans defeated the Bridgers, 41-0, at Moe Rubenstein Stadium in WPIAL Class 3A non-conference action.
“As a head coach, you continue to push repetition,” Ambridge coach Sherman McBride said regarding some early mistakes. “Do understand, against a good team like North Catholic, you can't make mistakes. It could've been a different score at least.”
North Catholic has lost just eight games in the past four seasons, with three of those losses in the WPIAL semifinals.
The Trojans posted 21 points in the first quarter and 20 in the second on their way to another 2-0 start on the season.
“I think the game was a little closer than what the scoreboard thought,” North Catholic coach Patrick O'Shea said. “We had that explosive first quarter and a half, but a win is a win and I'm proud of the kids.”
North Catholic's dynamic offense showed up early against Ambridge, which was kicked off by a Jack Fennell 3-yard score under three minutes in.
Fennell finished the evening with 72 yards on four carries and two touchdowns.
“He (Fennell) is only in 10th grade so he's still learning the running back position,” O'Shea said. “His vision is getting better each week and there were times tonight it looked like he wasn't going to get much at all, but then you realize he's starting to see the field. Jack doesn't get out worked by anybody.”
The Bridgers' offense showed signs of life early when it turned to 6-foot-4 receiver D'Saun Harmon.
Harmon caught two passes for 40 yards, but was targeted on multiple occasions with a pair of deep receptions called back due to penalties.
“It's hard to teach 6-4,” McBride said. “You got to take a chance getting him the ball five, six times a game.”
“Early on, we thought it would be best to move Chase Arrington over to cover Harmon,” O'Shea said. “More so to match the height, and Chase did a phenomenal job accepting that challenge.”
Kyle Tipinski led the Trojans in receiving with 87 yards on six catches, including a 45-yard touchdown.
North Catholic tallied 165 yards on the ground and 116 passing, while holding Ambridge to 119 yards of total offense.
A battle at Blackhawk (1-1) awaits the Trojans next week, as North Catholic looks to improve its record to 3-0.
“I think it will be a good test where we measure up right now,” O'Shea said. “It will be a test whether we can put some five to six minute, down their throat drives. It will be a good test before we start conference play.”
Blackhawk fell to Central Valley Friday night, 58-35.
North Catholic 21 20 0 0 — 41
Ambridge 0 0 0 0 — 0
NC — Jack Fennell 3 run (Ethan Marsico kick), 9:39
NC — Chase Arrington 5 run (Marsico kick), 3:38
NC — Liam Straub 55 punt return (Marsico kick), 2:45
NC — Fennell 33 run (Marsico kick), 10:50
NC — Joey Prentice 13 run (Marsico kick), 7:57
NC — Kyle Tipinski 45 pass from Prentice (kick failed), :02
Rushing: North Catholic, Jack Fennell 4-72, Chase Arrington 5-34, Joey Prentice 5-21, Kyle Tipinski 2-23, Jason Siket 6-15. Ambridge, Sedrick Seymour 6-(-3), Ben Cokrlic 6-23, Chris Sakony 1-4, Stacey Jones 3-23.
Passing: North Catholic, Joey Prentice 8-12-86-1. Jason Siket 2-4-30-0. Ambridge, Deavn Ivory 8-15-75-2, Chris Sakony 2-3-(-3)-0.
Receiving: North Catholic, Daniel Long 1-6, Kyle Tipinski 6-87, Liam Straub 1-9, Tyler Maziarz 1-(-5), Blake Primrose 1-19. Ambridge, D'Saun Harrison 2-40, Sedrick Seymour 6-28, Ben Cokrlic 2-4.