H.S. FOOTBALL: North Catholic 22, Apollo-Ridge 21, 2OT
ALLISON PARK — North Catholic successfully converted its two-point conversion after pulling within a point of Apollo-Ridge in the second overtime and outlasted the Vikings in double overtime in a WPIAL Eastern Conference football game Friday at J.C. Field.
After making a goal-line stand on fourth down to end the first overtime, Apollo-Ridge got the ball first to start the second extra period. Senior quarterback Jesse Zelonka scored on a 13-yard quarterback keeper on a rollout to the right side, and the ensuing extra point gave the Vikings a 21-14 lead.
North Catholic countered with bruising running back Jerome Turner, who received the direct snap and powered his way to a 9-yard gain on first down to set up the Trojans with a second-and-1 at the Vikings’ 1-yard line.
On the next play, Turner lowered his shoulders and bowled into the end zone to bring the defending Eastern Conference champions within 21-20.
And that’s when North Catholic coach Bob Ravenstahl went for all the marbles.
He sent his offense back out on the field for the two-point conversion, gave the ball back to Turner, and the 5-foot-9, 195-pound junior didn’t disappoint, giving the Trojans a thrilling season-opening victory.
Apollo-Ridge marched 51 yards in four plays on its opening drive to take the first lead, 6-0.
North Catholic got on the board in the second quarter and carried a 7-6 lead into halftime. The Trojans then engineered a 79-yard drive on their opening second-half possession to extend their lead to 14-6.
Zelonka connected with highly touted receiver Tre Tipton for an 11-yard touchdown reception in the final minute of the third quarter, and the Vikings tied it at 14 on Zelonka’s run on the two-point conversion.
See complete coverage in Saturday’s edition.