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Moon Burns Bridgers in First Win for Linn

Moon Burns Bridgers in First Win for Linn

Week 1 of Beaver County High School Football on Pittsburgh Sports Now is made possible by Vocelli’s Pizza, Moon Golf Club, Martin Lawn Services and State Representative Rob Matzie.

MOON TOWNSHIP – Ryan Linn gave up his usual bird’s-eye view of the Moon Tigers offense in transitioning from coordinator to head coach, but it looked even better from field level in a 34-6 non-conference win over Ambridge at Tiger Stadium Friday night.

Led by quarterback Cole Konieczka, Moon (1-0) racked up 339 yards out of their new spread offense, and Konieczka threw for 193 on 15 of 22 attempts to give Linn his first victory in his first game in charge.

“He’s pushed us so hard and put in so much work for us, he deserves it,” Konieczka beamed afterward.

He helped the Tigers do most of their damage early, going into halftime 12-of-17 for 157 while throwing for two touchdowns and running for another.

Although the somewhat unpolished hosts did not obtain a running clock, it looked like they were on pace after a pair of short fields and a subsequent pair of quick scores put Ambridge (0-1) on its heels. A six-yard keeper by Konieczka provided the game’s first points with 7:53 left in the first quarter, and his 15-yard pass to fellow senior Anthony Panucci made it 14-0 Tigers with 5:34 remaining.

A 39-yard touchdown pass to a streaking Nick Sebastian down the near sideline extended their lead to 21-0.

The Bridgers, ironically, would need their defense to spoil the shutout. Senior defensive back Tay Lindsey pulled a bobbled snap from a plethora of bodies and turned it into a 71-yard scoop-and-score that cut Moon’s lead to 31-6 with 6:14 left in the third quarter.

“I still think there’s some communication issues we need to clean up, and playing a little more disciplined football throughout the game,” Linn said.

“It could have been a lot better score,” Konieczka added. “I take blame for that.”

Senior kicker Nick Morrow, already impressive on four point-after tries, provided the final margin with a powerful-looking 42-yard field goal 2:11 into the final period, some time after connecting on a 24-yarder at the opposite end.

Meanwhile, Moon’s defense limited Ambridge to 65 yards and contained its option attack all night. Sophomore quarterback Noah Campalong, one of a good number of underclassmen on head coach Terry George’s 34-man roster, accounted for 48 of those yards.

“We had all eleven guys to the ball. We got each other’s backs,” Konieczka said. “We played for each other.”

“I thought we did some good things on offense to start, and, defensively, we played well,” Linn affirmed.

Ambridge returns home next Friday to begin Class 4A Northwest Nine Conference play against Highlands at 7:00 p.m. Moon will make the long bus ride to Armstrong for its final non-conference game at 7:00 p.m. next Friday before a big test at Tiger Stadium against Class 5A Allegheny Nine Conference rival Upper St. Clair the following week.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker

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