West Branch blanks Southern Huntingdon|
Saturday, October 6, 2012
By Tyler Kolesar Staff Writer
ALLPORT - The West Branch Warriors dominated every facet of the game against the Southern Huntingdon Rockets at L.T. Drivas Memorial Field Friday night, pummeling the Rockets 42-0.
West Branch was led by running back Chad Speigle, who eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark during the third quarter, leading the Warriors with 12 carries for 134 yards and two scores.
West Branch also won the turnover battle 5-0 while out gaining the Rockets in total yards 287-171. Warriors head coach Lester Smeal said it was a "total team effort" after last week's disappointing loss to Everett.
"We came into this week after last week's performance at Everett and I thought it was a sub-par performance for us," said Smeal. "I thought we were a better football team than how we played. And I challenged them. I said ‘It's time we put everything together.' "
Put it together they did, as the Warriors scored on their second offensive play of the game with a Speigle 68-yard run only one minute, five seconds into the game. Parker Emigh tacked on the extra point to make it 7-0 West Branch.
Southern Huntingdon also took two plays on its opening possession, but had completely different results.
A botched exchange from Rockets quarterback Tyler Carowick put the ball on the ground, and West Branch's Buzzy Maines recovered it beneath the pile at the Rockets 31.
Four plays later, quarterback Jonathan Sanker rolled out to the left on third-and-1 and connected with Emigh in the back of the end zone with 8:14 left in the first quarter. Emigh's extra point was good, setting the score at 14-0.
The teams traded possessions, as both had drives that stalled out.
Once Southern Huntingdon got the ball back at its own 10-yard line, the Warriors stepped up with another big play. Parker Emigh picked off a Carowick pass and took it 20 yards for the score, giving West Branch a 21-0 lead with 3:23 left in the first quarter.
The Rockets were forced to punt once again, giving West Branch great field position at the Rockets' 45.
Speigle and Kris Smeal kicked the running game into overdrive, as both rushed for 12 and 16 yards, respectively. Walker Williams got into the act on a first-and-10 at the Rockets 17-yard line, taking a pitch to the left for a seven-yard gain.
The play was so successful that West Branch decided to run it again, and it resulted in a Williams 10-yard touchdown run at the 7:42 mark in the second quarter to make it 28-0 Warriors.
The West Branch defense rose to the occasion again, with Speigle coming up with a sack on third-and-11 as the Rockets were at their own 32. A bad punt by Chad Waite gave the Warriors prime field position at the Rockets 45-yard line.
West Branch didn't squander the opportunity and made the most of it on one single play. Sanker dropped back and found Emigh in single coverage, hitting the receiver in stride as Emigh scored his second touchdown of the night with 5:01 left in the first half, giving the Warriors a 35-point advantage.
Southern Huntingdon was finally able to get going on offense on its last drive of the first half.
Starting at their own 20, the Rockets got up to the Warrior 25-yard line with three seconds left in the half. Carowick threw the ball up for grabs in the end zone, but Emigh picked it off and ran it out to the Warrior 32-yard line to end the half.
The Rockets didn't start out the second half any better than they started the first, as the Warriors forced yet another turnover at the Southern Huntingdon 38 as the quarterback/running back exchange was muffed. This time it was Josh Pennington who recovered for the Warriors.
Speigle only needed two runs for 33 yards, as he broke tackles and raced into the end zone from 15 yards out to set the final score at 42-0 with 8:12 left in the third quarter.
Later in the third quarter, Speigle broke the 1,000-yard rushing barrier on the season. Smeal said it was an accomplishment the coaching staff had in mind before the season, and it was something the entire team could celebrate.
Smeal said he told Speigle before the season started that it was a goal of the staff to once again have their workhorse go over 1,000 yards.
"Everybody knew it," said Smeal. "I told everyone ‘Be prepared. He's going to get the ball.' I set him (Speigle) down and I told him that. He's gotten better running the ball from last year. And he's really stepped up this year as a leader.
"He even speaks up now ... You just can't say enough about him. And those guys in front of him (offensive line), those guys wanted him to get that 1,000 yards because that's pride for those offensive linemen, and they're really happy about that. It's a whole team effort. Everybody wanted him to get it."
West Branch stuck to the ground game for the rest of the contest, eventually stalling out on their drives.
In the fourth quarter, Southern Huntingdon got only its second sustained drive of the game, giving a heavy dose of downhill running by David Glunt. The drive seemed to stall out at midfield on fourth-and-7.
But Carowick threw it up and Mason Parks came down with it at the Warrior 26-yard line. However on the very next play, Tyson Stone picked off a Carowick pass and picked up 12 yards on the return. The teams traded possessions to cap off the game.
The Warriors racked up 218 yards on the ground, with 134 of those coming from Speigle. Williams was the second leading rusher, adding 44 yards to the tally. While West Branch only took it to the air three times and completed two passes, both were Emigh touchdowns.
Smeal said he hopes this win will give his team confidence as they go through the rest of the season.
"We've talked and the kids have goals," said Smeal. "Our goal is to run down through the table as much as we can, and win out. That's what they want to do. It's one of their goals. And we're going to try and do that."
West Branch moves to 3-3 on the season and travels to Northern Bedford on Friday.
West Branch 42
Southern Huntingdon 0
Score By Quarters
So. Huntingdon 0 0 0 0- 0
West Branch 21 14 7 0-42
WB-Speigle 68 run, (Emigh kick), 10:55.
WB-Emigh 24 pass from Sanker, (Emigh kick), 8:14.
WB-Emigh 20 interception return (Emigh kick), 3:23.
WB-Williams 10 run, (Emigh kick), 7:42.
WB-Emigh 45 pass from Sanker, (Emigh kick), 5:01.
WB-Speigle 15 run, (Emigh kick), 8:12.
Total First Downs 12 7
Rushes-Yards 38-121 34-218
Comp-Att-Int 4-11-3 2-3-0
Passing Yards 50 69
Total Plays-Yards 49-171 37-287
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 0-0
Punts-Avg 3-24 1-30
Penalties-Yards 1-5 1-15
Southern Huntingdon-Glunt 16-82, Waite 9-36, Parks 4-10, Simerson 2-4, Carowick 7-(-11).
West Branch-Speigle 12-134, Williams 8-44, L. Smeal 6-19, K. Smeal 6-16, Sanker 2-5.
Southern Huntingdon-Carowick 4-of-11, 50 yds., 3 Int.
West Branch-Sanker 2-of-3, 69 yds., 2 TD.
Southern Huntingdon-Waite 2-24, Parks 1-24, Talbot 1-2.
West Branch-Emigh 2-69.