Norwin Wins Slugfest Against Rival Penn-Trafford

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It was easy to sense the frustration Norwin had playing its rival Penn-Trafford over the year’s. The Knights haven’t got the best of the Warriors the last seven matchups, including a 3-0 defeat to begin the season last year.

Both teams made sure it would be a more electrifying game than a year ago, as Norwin finally got the best of Penn-Trafford, 44-36, at Knights Stadium. Norwin will be competing in Class 6A this year where Penn-Trafford will be in Class 5A and will hope to return to Norwin, the new host of the Class 5A WPIAL Championship Game.

Junior Jack Salopek led the way for the Knights, throwing for four touchdowns and rushing for another as he was one of the top performance’s around the WPIAL on Friday Night.

It was a quick start for Salopek and company as he hooked up with Youngstown State recruit, senior Gianni Rizzo, for a 78-yard touchdown strike. It was all Norwin in the first half, as they jumped out to a 24-0 lead at the half.

It seems as though the Knights were going to cruise to the victory, but the Warriors battled as they always do to get back into the game. A touchdown before half and two more in the third quarter brought their deficit to 24-21, but that was as close as they would come throughout the remainder of the game.

Norwin scored three more touchdowns over the last quarter and a half and recovered Penn-Trafford’s third onside kick of the game (first two were successful) to seal the win. Another big play to seal the victory was Salopek’s fourth-and-27 strike to junior Sean Pavlic for the touchdown.

Salopek finished the game 20 of 28 for 283 yards and four touchdowns and 71 yards rushing and another score. Senior Billy Kerston was one his top targets, hauling in five catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns.

For Penn-Trafford, junior Gabe Dunlap was the start. Dunlap completed 11 of 13 passes for 156 yards and three touchdowns and had 15 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown. Junior Caleb Lisbon added 80 yards on 19 carries and a score.

Penn-Trafford (0-1) will stay on the road when they travel to Gateway (1-0) in the section opener at 7 p.m. It is also the Battle of the Bell game between the rivals.

Norwin (1-0) will stay at home next week when they host North Allegheny (1-0) in the section opener at 7 p.m.