Braniff sets school record in Glendale's win over Claysburg|
Saturday, September 29, 2012
By Jaclyn Yingling Sports Editor
FLINTON - Don't mind Damon Braniff if he wasn't admiring his school-record 302 yards on Friday evening against Claysburg-Kimmel.
He was too busy being sick on the sidelines before jumping back in the game when needed.
"I've had the stomach flu all day in school," he said. "I couldn't eat. I felt horrible all day.
"I felt like I needed to step it up, because I couldn't let the team down. I wasn't feeling good, but I tried to step up."
Braniff's 302 yards on 16 carries broke the 2003 record held by Glendale alum Alan Collins in the Vikings' 37-6 win over the Bulldogs.
Collins rushed for 267 yards on 24 carries in the season-ending game against Bucktail.
But the accomplishment was not lost on the senior running back, who averaged a whopping 18.9 yards per carry.
"It feels amazing," he said. "I owe it all to my offensive line. They stepped up huge this week. We finally played as a team.
"Coach (Matt) Irvine always preaches that you have to keep running hard. You can't quit, and I just stayed focused and ran the ball."
Braniff scored four times in the game, with scores coming from 73, 63, 37 and 5.
"He showed up to play tonight," Irvine said of Braniff. "This was the Damon we knew was there. He finally came out.
"Up front we did a great job. We offensively did what we wanted to. I give all the boys the credit. They came out tonight ready to play."
Claysburg-Kimmel did put the first score on the board, as Glendale deferred the opening kickoff.
The Bulldogs pushed down the field, as Zach Helsel scored from 24 yards out after finding a hole up the middle.
Claysburg missed the PAT, giving them a 6-0 lead with 7:05 left in the first.
Helsel had 127 yards on 23 carries on the night, with his 24-yard score the longest. He had just three other double-digit runs in the game (12, 14, 22).
"We knew it was coming, just like we did last week with (West Branch's Chad) Speigle," said Irvine. "We knew Helsel was getting the ball. The defense showed up tonight. They showed up to play like they could, and I couldn't ask for a better effort out of all of them."
The Bulldogs forced Glendale to punt on its first possession, but shot themselves in the foot with a roughing the punter penalty that gave the Vikings the ball at the Claysburg 40.
Glendale took advantage of the mistake as Gary Witherow took in a 1-yard sneak to seal the 9-play drive. A 38-yard pass from Witherow to Doug Twigg set up the score.
But the Vikings missed the PAT, putting the score at 6-6.
After a Claysburg punt, Glendale needed just two plays to find the end zone again, as Braniff scored on a 73-yard jaunt. Braniff broke several tackles en route to the score, which put the Vikings ahead for good.
"Braniff is a tough kid," Claysburg-Kimmel head coach Joe Kitt said. "He runs the ball hard. He had some really big runs in the first half, then that run to start the second half was another big play. We couldn't eliminate that.
"We did an okay job the first series or two against him, but eventually he broke those long runs. Those are killer, because they are ripping off chunks of yards and scoring on big plays like that."
The Bulldogs moved the ball on their next possession, helped along by a personal foul penalty for a hit out of bounds on Glendale.
But Claysburg got no farther than the Vikings 44 before Brandon Johns picked off Trey Claar and ran it back 21 yards to the Bulldog 44.
"That was a huge play," Irvine said of the interception. "They were driving at the 30, but it was a good read by Brandon. It was a huge momentum swing there. We came down and scored off it and it was huge."
Two plays later, Braniff scored on a 37-yard touchdown. A Witherow pass to Taylor Jersey made it 20-6 with 8:38 left in the second quarter.
The Bulldog D stepped up before the half, as it stopped Glendale at the six-inch line on a fourth-and-1.
But any momentum that gave the visitors was stripped away one play into the second half when Braniff took in his third score of the night on a 63-yard touchdown run.
"We didn't really change anything," said Irvine of Braniff being able to break off long runs. "Everybody just dug down in and gave a little more effort. Especially, up front. They brought a couple of blitzes there that confused us, but we came back and dug down and picked it up."
Claysburg moved deep into Glendale territory on its next possession, but a series of miscues resulted in Glendale taking over on downs at the 15.
The Bulldogs pushed into Glendale's end of the field one final time, but turned the ball over on downs again.
"We had a big play there in the second half, then we had a penalty and fumbled a snap," Kitt said. "We just couldn't get things going in the second half."
Glendale got a 22-yard field goal from Derrian Matchock to start the fourth quarter, as the Vikings decided to go for the kick.
"We were on the 4-yard line," said Irvine. "If we miss it, they are deep in their zone. I needed to gain some more trust in my kicker. It was, ‘Let's get three points, redeem yourself and go on that way for the rest of the season.' "
Matchock's kick split the uprights with yards to spare, giving the Vikings a 30-6 advantage.
After a Bulldog punt, Glendale scored one final time as Braniff fought his way in on a 5-yard run. That pushed him over 300 for the night and cemented him as the only 300-plus rusher in school history.
"The offensive line - our guards, our tackles - everybody played an amazing game," said Braniff. "For me personally, it isn't that big of a deal. I'd rather have the win than the stats. As long as we are winning I don't care how many yards I have."
That set the final at 37-6 when Matchock added on the PAT.
"We need to practice harder during the week," said Kitt. "I wasn't real happy with the way we practiced this week leading up to this game. They knew about that beforehand. It's something that we just have to keep trying to get better. It starts at practice.
"Until we learn that and we start practicing hard, the results are going to be the same. We need to do things to turn things around. It starts with practice."
Claysburg-Kimmel fell to 1-4 overall. The Bulldogs travel to Moshannon Valley on Friday night.
Glendale improved to 3-2 overall.
The Vikings head to Tussey Mountain on Friday.
Score By Quarters
C-burg Kimmel 6 0 0 0-6
Glendale 12 8 7 10-37
CK-Helsel 24 run, (kick failed), 7:05.
G-Witherow 1 run, (kick failed), 3:42.
G-Braniff 73 run, (run failed), 22.9.
G-Braniff 37 run, (Jersey pass from Witherow), 8:38.
G-Braniff 63 run, (Matchock kick), 11:45.
G-Matchock 22 FG, 12:00.
G-Braniff 5 run, (Matchock kick), 6:32.
Total First Downs 11 17
Rushes-Yards 38-138 38-400
Comp-Att-Int 3-9-1 7-11-0
Passing Yards 37 93
Total Plays-Yards 47-175 49-493
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 2-0
Punts-Avg 3-35.3 1-29
Penalties-Yards 4-30 4-40
Claysburg-Kimmel-Helsel 23-127, Weyandt 3-10, Cowher 2-5, Pant 4-5, Imgrund 1-2, Claar 3-2, Team 1-(-2), Repko 1-(-11).
Glendale-Braniff 16-302, Twigg 10-52, Kimberly 4-22, Witherow 6-18, O'Donnell 1-4, Hewitt 1-2.
Claysburg-Kimmel-Claar 3-of-9, 37 yds., 1 Int.
Glendale-Witherow 7-of-10, 93 yds.; Hommer 0-of-1.
Claysburg-Kimmel-Weyandt 2-22, Helsel 1-15.
Glendale-Twigg 3-63, Bantly 2-14, Hommer 1-10, O'Donnell 1-6.