Philipsburg-Osceola toppled by Central
Saturday, October 13, 2012
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
ROARING SPRING - The 2012 campaign just hasn't been friendly to the Philipsburg-Osceola football team. With three special teams touchdowns, the mistakes kept piling up on Friday night.
Central scored on two punt returns and a kickoff return, all in the first half, which hurt the Mounties greatly. Meanwhile, Dragon running backs Austin Conrath and Bradi Moore combined for 179 rushing yards to help Central manhandle the Mounties, 74-20.
"They were much better athletically than we were," said P-O head coach Jeff Vroman. "We couldn't match up with any speed that they had, and that was evident.
"Of course, the fumbles didn't help. That's something that we work on. You just can't do that. But that's something that we've done all year. We've got to learn from it. Until we do, it's a long road."
"We blocked well and we ran the ball very well," said Central head coach Dave Baker. "It's good to get a win after last week (a 29-21 loss to Fort Hill, Md.). They made the plays to beat us last week and there's no excuses, but we weren't happy that we lost when we thought we had a good opportunity."
Central scored on its first possession just three minutes into the game on a four-yard quarterback keeper from Austin Cunningham.
Cunningham was a thorn in P-O's side throughout the first half, as he returned a punt for 74 yards and a kickoff for 91 yards for touchdowns. He went 3-of-3 for 52 passing yards in the game.
"We didn't spot kick the way we wanted to, which we'll work on," said Vroman. "But athletically, we were definitely outmatched and that was evident in the return game."
At the end of the first quarter, Conrath ran for his first of two scores to give Central an 18-0 lead. All three of Central's extra-point attempts in the first quarter were blocked.
With Central up 32-0 with just under seven minutes left in the first half, Mountie fullback Nick Gray ran free and rumbled for a 44-yard gain down to the Central 14. Three plays later, quarterback Curtis Matsko hit Skyler Shuey for a 13-yard touchdown.
Cunningham caught the ensuing kickoff on the 9-yard line. He outsprinted the Mountie kickoff team and burst for the 91-yard return to put the Dragons up 39-6.
"We did score that touchdown and we did have a little momentum there," said Vroman. "Then, they returned that kickoff for a touchdown. That just kills you. That's a backbreaker. I've probably never had so many kick returns in my 23 years of coaching than I've had this season."
The Mounties drove in a two-minute offense late in the second quarter, but Moore picked off an errant pass and broke through tackles en route to a 72-yard interception return. The Dragons led 46-6 at halftime.
"I wasn't happy with our tackling, whether it be on defense or in the special teams game, and that's something we work on everyday," said Vroman. "In 23 years that I've coached, I've never worked so hard on tackling. You have to be aggressive and right now, it's a lack of aggressiveness and that's showing up every week.
"In order to be a good tackler, you have to be aggressive. Anyone who has ever played the game or knows a lot about the game of football understands that if you're not aggressive, you cannot tackle. Right now, that's where we're at. We're not an aggressive football team."
P-O did get a shot in the arm from Erik Smith on a 66-yard touchdown run on the Mounties first possession of the second half. Conner Mann also put in a touchdown and a 2-point conversion early in the fourth quarter on a 12-yard reverse to close out the P-O scoring.
The Mounties dipped to 0-7 on the season and host Huntingdon on Friday. The Bearcats lost to Bald Eagle Area last night, 35-26. Central visits Bellefonte on Friday.
Score By Quarters
P-O 0 6 6 8-20
Central 18 28 21 7-74
C-Cunningham 4 run, (kick blocked), 9:02.
C-Cunningham 74 punt return, (kick blocked), 7:02.
C-Conrath 6 run, (kick blocked), 3:11.
C-Moore 4 run, (Helsel kick), 11:28.
C-Moore 37 punt return, (Helsel kick), 8:35.
PO-S. Shuey 13 pass from Matsko, (kick blocked), 5:49.
C-Cunningham 91 kickoff return, (Helsel kick), 5:35.
C-Moore 72 interception return, (Helsel kick), 1:12.
C-Moore 76 run, (Helsel kick), 10:50.
C-Helsel 2 run, (Helsel kick), 9:25.
PO-Smith 66 run, (kick failed), 7:38.
C-Conrath 72 run, (Helsel kick), 4:53.
PO-Mann 12 run, (Mann run), 11:29.
C-Weyant 71 run, (Helsel kick), 9:18.
Total First Downs 8 7
Rushes-Yards 37-200 28-322
Comp-Att-Int 3-13-1 3-3-0
Passing Yards 29 52
Total Plays-Yards 50-229 31-374
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 0-0
Punts-Avg 5-28.2 1-35
Penalties-Yards 4-20 3-30
Philipsburg-Osceola-Gray 14-98, Smith 2-62, Mann 3-23, D. Shuey 7-14, Hawkins 2-7, Matsko 8-(-2), Quick 1-(-2).
Central-Conrath 6-99, Moore 2-80, Weyant 4-75, Hoenstine 2-24, Cunningham 2-21, Slick 3-14, Emerick 2-9, Helsel 2-3, Mock 1-1, Team 4-(-4).
Philipsburg-Osceola-Matsko 3-of-13, 29 yds., 1 TD, 1 Int.
Central-Cunningham 3-of-3, 52 yds.
Philipsburg-Osceola-D. Shuey 2-16, S. Shuey 1-13.
Central-Hoenstine 1-25, Brumbaugh 2-27.