Sherkel, Moshannon Valley upend Southern Huntingdon, 46-16|
Saturday, October 27, 2012
By Jon Christoff Sports Writer
THREE SPRINGS - The Southern Huntingdon football team hasn't led in too many contests this year, but Chad Waite's 2-point conversion with 2:16 left in the first quarter gave the Rockets an 8-7 lead over visiting Moshannon Valley on Friday night in Three Springs.
Black Knight freshman Eric Sherkel made sure his team's deficit didn't last long.
Sherkel returned the ensuing kickoff to give Mo Valley the lead for good, as it bounced back from consecutive losses, 46-16.
The return went 87 yards, but it was far from the last play - nor the first - that Sherkel made.
Sherkel forced a fumble on the opening possession of the contest that teammate Jack Bunnell recovered, and then scored his first varsity touchdown on a 50-yard pass to give the Knights a 7-0 lead with 7:18 left in the first quarter.
To cap his night off, Sherkel scampered 21 yards for a score with the junior varsity offense.
Sherkel finished the night with 48 rushing yards, 62 receiving yards and 123 return yards for a total of 233 all-purpose yards.
"He's one of the best athletes every time he steps on the field," said Mo Valley head coach Michael Keith. "Every game we're in, he's one of the best athletes. Hopefully, as he gets older and more mature, he'll keep on getting better.
"He's a football player, and our secondary (as a whole) has gotten better every week. In Week 1, we were all underclassmen with no returning starters in the secondary. Now, it's night and day."
Sherkel's forced fumble on the opening series set the tone for a Mo Valley defense that has had trouble getting off the field as of late.
After allowing 657 yards the past two weeks in losses to Glendale and Williamsburg, the Knight defense returned to form against the 0-9 Rockets.
Nathan Bailey picked off a pair of passes and Kerry O'Donnell added one to lead the Mo Valley defense that forced five turnovers in the contest - all of which had the Knight offense inside the Southern Huntingdon 35.
Mo Valley, which only began a pair of drives on its half of the 50, scored 20 points off the Rockets' miscues.
Conversely, the first Southern Huntingdon score came on a lost fumble inside the Knights' 10-yard line.
"That's what you need - to get a spark," Keith said. "Once you get a spark going, then everything picks up. Once we got the turnover, everyone was upbeat and everyone was having a good time.
"We put (Bailey) at linebacker this week and he just went to his drop right in the slant lane. The ball came to him and he made a couple plays. He's a good kid."
Bailey returned the first of his two picks 31 yards to the Rocket 29 and it took Mo Valley just three plays to cash in.
Senior Jake Ludwig score the first of his three touchdowns - one of which was receiving - from 3 yards out and the Knights didn't look back.
Justin Kitko, who booted four PATs, also hauled in a touchdown pass from quarterback Tanner Dipko, who continues his quest in becoming the school's single-season passing leader.
Dipko finished the game 10-of-13 for 148 yards, three scores and an interception. The Mo Valley senior currently has 1,305 yards and trails J.R. Baughman's mark by just 54 yards with one game to go.
"Tonight, we responded," said Keith. "The last couple of games, something bad would happen and we wouldn't respond. That's what I'm happiest about.
"We played four quarters of football tonight. If we do that in some of the other games we played, we'd have a different outcome. I hope these kids realize that."
Mo Valley (5-4) travels to Blairsville on Friday.
EXTRA POINTS: With three more touchdowns, Dipko would tie Baughman's number for most passing touchdowns (15). Dipko already holds school marks for completions (102), attempts (190) and interceptions (11). Dipko's 4-yard scoring strike to Ludwig on fourth-and-goal in the third broke his tie with Baughman for completions in a season. Aside from the interception, Dipko threw just two other incompletions - both of which were drops. ... Ludwig finished the game with 27 yards on the ground and 38 through the air. Kitko had three receptions for 48 yards. ... Both teams had 8 first downs. The Rockets had four on their final drive, which led to a 10-yard touchdown run by Waite against the Knight junior varsity unit. ... Lineman Austin Mital, who recovered a fumble, notched his first career carry for no gain. ... Kent Stewart had one and a half sacks, Bunnell had one and Nathan Laird had half. ... Southern Huntingdon closes its season Friday at Claysburg-Kimmel.
Moshannon Valley 46
Southern Huntingdon 16
Score By Quarters
Mo Valley 13 20 7 6-46
So. Huntingdon 8 0 0 8-16
MV-Sherkel 50 pass from Dipko, (Kitko kick), 7:18.
SH-Carbaugh 3 run, (Waite run), 2:16.
MV-Sherkel 87 kickoff return, (kick failed), 2:00.
MV-Ludwig 3 run, (run failed), 10:29.
MV-Kitko 33 pass from Dipko, (Kitko kick), 5:29.
MV-Ludwig 2 run, (Kitko kick), :28.
MV-Ludwig 4 pass from Dipko, (Kitko kick), 6:45.
MV-Sherkel 21 run, (run failed), 4:25.
SH-Waite 10 run, (Talbot pass from Dickinson), :25.
Total First Downs 8 8
Rushes-Yards 33-92 39-125
Comp-Att-Int 10-13-1 6-12-3
Passing Yards 148 57
Total Plays-Yards 46-240 51-182
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-2
Punts-Avg 4-31.3 5-36.0
Penalties-Yards 7-59 8-81
Moshannon Valley-Sherkel 2-48, Ludwig 7-27, Love 11-23, Thomas 7-23, Mital 1-0, Team 1-(-1), Kitko 2-(-6), Dipko 2-(-22).
Southern Huntingdon-Waite 12-44, Parks 4-31, Glunt 6-24, Dickinson 1-16, Carbaugh 2-6, Carowick 14-4.
Moshannon Valley-Dipko 10-of-13, 148 yds., 3 TD, Int.
Southern Huntingdon-Carowick 6-of=12, 57 yds., 3 Int.
Moshannon Valley-Sherkel 3-62, Kitko 3-48, Ludwig 4-38.
Southern Huntingdon-Talbot 2-25, Waite 3-19, Schoen 1-13.