Brett Zanotto’s three TDs help Franklin Regional rally for win
Franklin Regional junior Brett Zanotto didn’t have fond memories of Offutt Field before Friday’s WPIAL Class AAA Greater Allegheny Conference against Greensburg Salem. He does now.
Zanotto’s 2012 season ended there with an ankle injury. But a three-touchdown performance erased those bad memories.
No. 8 Franklin Regional (3-1, 3-1) rallied from a third-quarter deficit to defeat Greensburg Salem, 42-20, and Zanotto played a big role.
“It was a crazy game,” Franklin Regional coach Greg Botta said. “I knew it would be a dogfight. We’re not playing well. Because of injuries we started four sophomores.”
One of the biggest losses was tackle Adam Mihoci, who is out with a knee injury.
“What I liked is when they scored, we scored,” Botta said. “Last week against Highlands, we deflated when we got behind.”
Zanotto, quarterback Charan Singh and running back Paul Emanuele combined to rush for 290 yards against Greensburg Salem, which dropped its third consecutive game.
“I just wanted to come out and put up some big numbers, and I was able to do that,” said Zanotto. “It took some time to stop them. We had to make few adjustments, and eventually we were able to hold them.”
Singh rushed for 103 yards, and his 44-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter gave Franklin Regional the lead for good, 21-20. Emanuele rushed for 101 yards, and Zanotto tacked on 86 yards on only six carries.
Zanotto, who scored twice in the first half, added a 33-yard score in the fourth quarter to extend the Franklin Regional lead to 28-20.
Greensburg Salem hurt itself by committing three turnovers in the fourth quarter. Zanotto’s third touchdown of the game came after Nate Fleck recovered a Lenny Grebeck fumble.
Colin Jonov and Kent Thomas intercepted Brady Mason passes in the fourth quarter, with Thomas returning his 6 yards for the final score.
Mason, a junior, played well in his first start of the season. He completed 10 of 17 passes for 164 yards. Simeon Stevens caught five passes for 122 yards, and Grebeck rushed for 123 yards on 19 carries.
“The biggest thing about this game is we made a couple plays,” Greensburg Salem coach Dave Keefer said. “We made plays in the first half, and we came out and played well in the third quarter, and then we just missed on two or three plays. The fourth quarter got away from us, and we lost focus.”
After Zanotto scored on a 9-yard run in the first quarter, Greensburg Salem grabbed a 13-7 lead on Grebeck’s 13-yard score and Marvin Barclay’s 17-yard touchdown pass from Mason.
Zanotto scored on a 6-yard run to give Franklin Regional a 14-13 lead at halftime.