NORTHERN CAMBRIA — Usually turnovers will decide which team wins a football game.
On Friday night, Northern Cambria rode a wave of United turnovers, and the Colts also showed some outstanding speed as they romped to a 53-7 win over a mistake-prone United team in a Heritage Conference football game.
Northern Cambria picked up its first win of the season after an 0-2 start, and United fell to 0-3.
“We knew coming in that United was physical inside,” Northern Cambria coach Paul Taranto said. “We wanted to use our speed by getting outside. On defense the turnovers helped, and hopefully that will help us against a tough Blairsville team next week. “
United fumbled early in the first quarter but held the Colts on downs. The Lions weren’t quite as fortunate on their next possession, however. Noah Paronish ripped off an 18-yard gain, Dartagnan Suchar raced around the left side for an 18-yard touchdown, and the Colts never looked back.
United tried to answer, but the Lions had their drive stall at the Northern Cambria 4-yard line. After the Colts took over, Suchar started right and darted left to an open field and galloped 96 yards for what seemed to be a back-breaking score.
“That was all Dartagnan,” Taranto said. “That play was designed to go right, but he improvised and made a great play”
The Colts stretched the lead to 20-0 early in the second quarter when Suchar scored from 3 yards.
After United fumbled on the next possession at the Northern Cambria 28-yard line, the Colts Derek Baker took off on a 72-yard scoring jaunt for a 27-0 halftime lead.
Northern Cambria opened the second half with a seven-play, 58-yard drive that was capped by Suchar’s 16-yard pass to Nolan Paronish.
This time United answered, putting together a nine-play drive that was capped by Tyler Mack’s 28-yard run.
The Colts fumbled away their ensuing possession, but the momentum was quickly taken away as Josh Prasko jumped an out route and returned an interception 65 yards for a 40-7 lead.
United quickly turned the ball over again, this time with Suchar intercepting a pass. Joe Frontino turned that turnover into a 47-7 lead with a 2-yard run as the third quarter ended.
Another United turnover, a fumble, was returned 52 yards by Brad Mikitko as the Colts stampeded their way to victory.