Volume 7, Issue 1
The 2002 season with its motto "Make it Happen" didn't happen until the playoffs arrived. The Tigers with inexperience and injuries sat at 3-3 halfway through the season. The only bright spot was the exciting win over Blackhawk 35-28. This proved to be a huge win and enabled the Tigers to make the playoffs for the eighth time in nine years. Even though Moon came into the playoffs as a fourth seed and had to play the conference champs Belle Vernon, the Tigers wanted to make it happen. The game at Hopewell in week nine gave the Tigers confidence. Even though we lost 10-0, we held the Vikings (the eventual State Champs in AAA) to only two first downs. Our young players were starting to come of age. The Tigers traveled to Belle Vernon for that first round game of the WPIAL playoffs and found themselves down early 7-0. This team had matured and we, the coaches, knew we would come back. Speaking of coming back, that week we had two players return to our line-up. Rick Derenda and Austin Sykes coming back after long injuries. This sparked the team and we went on to win the game 34-16.
The second round had the Tigers facing the seventh ranked team in the state in New Castle. In our first meeting with the Red Hurricanes, I thought we played them tough and the team was gaining confidence. The game was played at North Allegheny High School. This may have been our best game of the season. We were winning 21-0 in the fourth quarter and eventually won 21-16. Now we entered the semifinals for only the third time in the school's history. We had to play an undefeated team, Pine-Richland. We had beaten them the year before in the first round of the playoffs. It was an exciting game and ended in regulation tied 7-7. We lost in the second overtime 21-20. This is two years in a row we have lost our last game by a point. The players proved they never gave up and the seniors had a season to be proud of in future years. This makes nine consecutive seasons without a losing record for Moon Football. We will miss the seniors and thank them for all of their hard work. We look ahead to next year and are excited about the experienced players that are coming back. The schedule is the same. We open at home with Hampton. The players and the coaching staff thank all of our loyal fans for their great support.