• Penny Weichel

Petro a steal for Thiel?

Oil City’s Noah Petro is taking his football talents to Thiel.

“Proud to say I’m committing to Thiel,” he announced Saturday on Twitter.

The 6-1, 215-pounder led the Oilers to their second straight District 10 Class 5 and Region 7 championships last fall. His exploits earned him District 10 Big School co-Player of the Year and Region 7 Player of the Year.

A four-year letterman, Petro finished his career as Oil City’s second all-time leading rusher with 3,395 yards, making him the third player in Oil City history to run for more than 3,000 yards. (The others are Christian Cole and Kevin Daly.)

His 2,162 yards in 2019 ranks No. 2 all-time behind Cole’s 3,052 in 2018. They are the only Oil City players to rush for 2,000 yards for the season.

Petro’s 26 touchdowns in last season tied Eric McDay (1995) for second place on Oil City’s all-time list. He ranks No. 4 in career TDs with 35 – one ahead of Ben Koyack (2010).

Petro also owns some of the most memorable moments in OCHS history. His school record 98-yard touchdown swung the momentum back to Oil City in the regular season game against Meadville before his 10-yard TD and subsequent PAT with 33 seconds left gave the Oilers a 34-33 victory.

His 20-yard scoring pass to J.T. Stahlman off the halfback option rallied the Oilers to a 9-7 win over Meadville in the district championship game. And then his 76-yard third-quarter touchdown brought Oil City from behind in its 9-7 decision over Hollidaysburg, the Oilers’ first interdistrict playoff victory ever.

A second team pick on the Pa. Football News Coaches Select Class 5A all-state squad, Petro had three 200-yard rushing games, including a career-high 363 in the first game against Meadville.

Petro was no slouch on defense, either, finishing his career with 224 tackles, including 100 as a junior when he was a first team All-Region linebacker. He didn’t see as much action on defense last season since he was the Oilers’ workhorse running back.

Thiel, an NCAA Division III school, is located in Greenville. The Tomcats are coached by Mike Winslow, who spent 11 seasons with a lot of success at Albright College in Reading before returning to Thiel where he was 0-10 in 2019, his first year.

Reddick also Thiel-bound

However, help appears to be on the way with the addition of Petro along with Grove City wide receiver Jake Reddick and three Farrell players – quarterback Ray Raver, lineman Adrian Daniels and linebacker Dwight Ravenscraft – to the roster just in the past week.

Reddick, named to the 3A Coaches Select all-state team, caught 38 passes for 842 yards and eight TDs and intercepted three passes for the Eagles last season.

Two Thiel assistants who figure prominently in the run game – Stan Kennedy and Rob Trudo – have ties to Farrell. Trudo, a Syracuse grad, was an assistant on Farrell’s 2018 team that won the Class A state championship. Kennedy is Slippery Rock’s second all-time leading rusher who coached at Farrell in the early 2000s.

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