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Friday December 9 2022
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PSR's High School Football Game of the Week: Central Catholic Edges Gateway

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Two big plays. That's all the Pittsburgh Central Catholic offense could muster against a stingy Gateway defense Friday night. For Central Catholic, however, those two big plays were enough to send the Vikings to a hard-fought 13-7 win over the Gators at Antimarino Stadium in Monroeville.

Central Catholic senior running back Damian Jones-Moore “had two home runs”—the words of Gateway coach Terry Smith—as he ripped off scoring runs of 77 and 33 yards in the first half, giving Central a 13-0 lead that they refused to surrender, remaining undefeated on the season after a 13-7 win.

On the second play of the game with the ball on their own 23, Jones-Moore barreled through the line of scrimmage and was off and running to a 77-yard touchdown to put Central up 6-0.

The Central Catholic defense stepped up on Gateway's first possession of the game, with Maryland-bound Anthony Nixon intercepting Gateway quarterback Thomas Woodson – just Woodson's second interception of the season.

Gateway's D had the answer this time, however, as junior linebacker Jaymar Parrish picked off Central QB Perry Hills, who is also headed to Maryland next season.

The Central defense held, however, and began to march the ball down the field late in the opening quarter. Jones-Moore took a hand-off at the Gateway 33, hit the hole behind the guard and burst through the middle before cutting it outside and sprinting to the end zone, for a 33-yard score and a 13-0 Central Catholic lead.

Gateway found life in the second quarter and seemed to rally around a late hit to their quarterback, courtesy of Central nose tackle Nick Sennot. The Gators pounded the ball right at the Vikings, with junior running back Darin Franklin accounting for more than 50 yards himself before punching it in from the four to pull within 13-7.

The second half was a different story, as the defenses dominated. Gateway's defense held strong, holding the multi-talented Central Catholic offensive unit scoreless the last 36 minutes of the game. The Gators, however, were unable to get anything going and ultimately succumbed to the strong Vikings defensive front.

Jones-Moore finished the game with 156 yards and the two touchdowns, while Gateway's Franklin totaled 117 yards on the ground.

The Gators fell to 5-2 while Central figures to keep their hold on the No. 1 ranking in the state as they move to 7-0.

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