O'Melia catches three TDs
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Catholic scored 21 straight points to turn a 17-16 game into a 38-16 lead early in the fourth quarter en route to a 45-28 win over McDaniel in season-opening, non-conference football action on Friday.
Nick O'Melia (Taneytown, Md./Francis Scott Key) scored the first three touchdowns of the season for the Green Terror (0-1), racking up 154 yards receiving on six catches. Nick Valori (Treasure Island, Fla./Washington Twp. [N.J.]) threw for 231 yards, completing 14 of 32 passes.
Greg Cordivari led the Cardinals (1-0) with 312 yards passing and four touchdowns. He completed 21 of 33 attempts. Alonzo Cooke grabbed seven of those receptions for 156 yards and two scores.
Catholic needed just 1:28 to take an early 7-0 lead. Greg Cordivari hooked up with Cooke for a 63-yard pass play on third-and-8 to set up first-and-goal from the 10. One play later, Cooke bobbled the ball before coming up with the catch for the score.
Bill Castor (Morrisville, Pa./Conwell-Egan Catholic) drew the visitors within 7-3 with a 37-yard field goal.
On the Cardinals' first play of the second quarter, Cordivari connected with Cooke for a 53-yard touchdown for a 14-3 lead.
One play later, Valori connected with a O'Melia for a 62-yard pass play and the team's first touchdown of the season. The ensuing PAT was wide left to keep it a 13-9 game.
A 22-yard Brian Gongaware field goal stretched the Cardinal lead to 17-9.
O'Melia once again put the exclamation point on a drive. This time it was a methodical 12-play, 68-yard drive that consumed 6:11, catching a three-yard pass from Valori with 2:54 on the clock.
McDaniel converted the extra point to make a one-point game.
With 15.2 seconds on the clock, Tanner Keefe caught a Cordivari pass to convert a second-and-goal from the five-yard line and help the Cardinals take advantage of a short field to go into the locker room with a 24-16 lead.
Drew Papas recovered a Ben Powers blocked punt in the end zone to stretch the lead to 31-16 with 12:43 on the third-quarter clock.
Keefe made it a two-touchdown game, just staying in the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown that capped a lengthy 8-play, 76-yard drive just 1:01 into the final quarter for a 38-16 lead.
O'Melia made it a three-TD game for the second time in his career, snagging a ball over the defender before taking it the final 35 yards for a 60-yard score. He caught the ensuing two-point conversion but was out of the back of the end zone to keep it a 38-22 game with 11:56 on the clock.
Michael Pitsenberger added a seven-yard run with 5:10 to play to make it a 45-22 game.
On fourth-and-goal from the two-yard line, Valori found Keith Woodrow (Taneytown, Md./Francis Scott Key) to make it a 45-28 game with 3:11 to play.
The McDaniel starting linebacking corps led the way on the defense, combining for 38 tackles. Erik Klugh (Millersville, Pa./Penn Manor) made 14 while Mike Cousar (Easton, Pa./Easton Area) and Zach Martin (Clarksville, Md./River Hill) had 12 each.
The Green Terror returns to action in the Centennial Conference opener at Moravian on Saturday, Sept. 8. Game time is 2 p.m.