New Castle News


November 2, 2012

WPIAL Football Playoffs: Neshannock vs. Jefferson-Morgan could be a shootout

NEW CASTLE — Fans looking to attend Neshannock High football’s first WPIAL playoff game in eight years will need to be road warriors.  

The thirteenth-seeded Lancers will travel two hours south to Waynesburg High School to take on fourth-seeded Jefferson-Morgan at 7:30 p.m. today.

Originally to be played at the Rocket’s home grass, the game was moved six miles up the street to the field turf at Waynesburg High School by the WPIAL on Wednesday. The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and the potential for muddy conditions on the grass surface encouraged the decision.

Regardless as to where his team plays, Lancers first-year head coach Fred Mozzocio looks forward to the challenge.

“We’ve been pretty good on the road this year,” Mozzocio said. “We take our road games like they’re a business trip. We take a professional attitude when we go to these games. We go down there and take care of business. We’ll go anywhere to play football.”

The Lancers finished 4-1 on the road this season with their only loss being to conference rival Rochester, 28-21.

Neshannock (8-1) shared the Class A Big Seven Conference championship with Rochester (8-1) and Sto-Rox (8-1) this season to earn a spot in the playoffs. A 41-3 loss to Seton-La Salle in 2004 was the result of the team’s last appearance in the postseason tournament.

 The Rockets (7-2) finished in a three-way tie for second in the Class A Tri-County South Conference.

Jefferson-Morgan has been no stranger to the WPIAL playoffs recently. This will be the team’s eighth appearance in the tournament since 2000. The Rockets are 2-7 in that stretch, including their most recent loss in 2009 to North Catholic, 38-3.

“The Rockets are definitely a formidable opponent,” Mozzocio said. “Any time you’re playing a team and they have a 7-2 record, they’re doing something right.”

The winner of this opening-round clash will play the winner of the Monessen-Apollo-Ridge game Nov. 9 at a time and site to be determined.

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