Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Trojans Knocked from Top by Rival Avonworth Avenges Earlier Defeats

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Trojans Knocked from Top by Rival Avonworth Avenges Earlier Defeats

Article excerpt

For the past two seasons, the Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School football team achieved unprecedented success with titles in the 2013 WPIAL and PIAA Class A football championship games.

But the road to repeat honors can be a difficult one, and the Trojans learned that harsh truth at the WPIAL Class A semifinals this past Friday with a 28-21 loss to Avonworth in a semifinal played at the Mars Athletic Complex.

The result left both teams with 11-1 records. Avonworth meets a familiar participant in the WPIAL Class A championship game -- Clairton -- at 11 a.m. Friday at Heniz Field.

"We told the players that we've had a great run for the past two years," said Bob Ravenstahl, who plans to return for his 10th season as the Trojans' coach in 2015. "Everyone is disappointed, but you have to take losing with winning. Avonworth deserved to win, and my hat is off to them."

The last time the Trojans lost was to Sto-Rox in the 2012 WPIAL semifinals at Dormont Stadium. Ravenstahl said most coaches would enjoy the net result of a team winning 11 out of 12 games.

"That's a pretty high accomplishment," he said. "Everyone likes to advance in the playoffs and go as far as we can. We thanked our seniors for their leadership, and we'll start preparing for next year with offseason conditioning after the [Christmas] holidays."

Ravenstahl said the Trojans were fighting through some injuries that had taken place before the game and during the game with the Antelopes.

Quarterback Adam Sharlow had a brace on his left knee, and his lack of mobility forced the Trojans to put P.J. Fulmore in the wildcat formation on the opening series. A botched snap on the second play of the game was recovered by Avonworth, and the Antelopes scored three plays later on a 26-yard run by Jamal Hughley.

"You've got to appreciate a young man like Adam," Ravensthal said. …

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