GREMLINS WIN THIRD STRAIGHT DISTRICT 9 CLASS AA TITLE
WEEK 11 -- D9 CLASS AA TITLE GAME
|Information for this story courtesy of C-93 Radio
NEW BETHLEHEM – Erik Fuhrer threw for 170 yards and three touchdowns to lead Karns City (11-0) to its third straight District 9 Class AA title with a 46-0 win over Brockway (7-4) Friday night at Redbank Valley High School.
The title was also the fourth in five years for Karns City.
"Overall I thought the team played well," Karns City’s second-year head coach Ed Conto told C-93’s and D9Sports.Com’s Jonathan Shaffer. "I am real excited for the kids. They really worked hard. I am proud of them, and I am proud of our staff and our fans."
Two of Fuhrer’s touchdown passes came in the second half when Karns City scored 32 unanswered points to take a 14-0 halftime lead and turn the game into a blow out.
The Gremlins scored five offensive touchdowns, one special teams touchdown and a defensive touchdown while outgaining Brockway 426 yards to 10 yards including 257 yards to negative-18 in the second half.
Karns City now moves into the PIAA Class AA playoffs, which begin next week. The Gremlins will play the winner of the District 10 Class AA title game between Sharon and North East which scheduled for Saturday. The game will be played at a District 10 site still to be determined next weekend.
Despite the final lopsided score, the game was a ball game for a half. Brockway used a stingy defense to hold the Gremlins to one offensive touchdown in the first half. A long punt return for a score gave Karns City the 14-0 halftime lead, and the Gremlins were also able to hold the Rovers on four plays inside the Karns City 10-yard line early in the second quarter.
"The first half I was real pleased with how our defense played," Conto said. "On offense we made some little mistakes in the first half. We were running the ball where we shouldn’t have. We weren’t finding the right holes. The offense wasn’t clicking. We have got to take care of that. We can’t wait until the second half to get the offense going."
The game was scoreless for all but the final 28 seconds of the quarter.
Karns City took its first drive of the game all the way to the Brockway 1-yard line before being held on a fourth-down try.
The Rovers, though, weren’t able to gain much on offense after stopping the Gremlins and were forced to punt.
A short punt gave Karns City the ball at the Brockway 31-yard line, and it didn’t take long for the Gremlins to score. Karns City’s first touchdown of the game came on a 26-yard pass from Erik Fuhrer to Ian Ferguson. Beau Rattigan’s extra point gave the Gremlins a 7-0 lead.
The Gremlins defense got Karns City on the board next early in the second quarter when Brian Hilderbrand took a Brockway punt at his own 37-yard line and returned it 63 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 Karns City lead.
Brockway’s best chance to score came following Hilderbrand’s punt return when Trenton Martini returned the ensuing kickoff to the Karns City 3-yard line.
The Gremlins defense, though, held The Rovers to neagtive-2 yards on three plays thanks in large part to a fumble on a pass attempt by Himes. Brockway then tried a 22-yard field goal, but Jon Cantafio kick was wide leaving Karns City’s lead at 14-0.
The score remained 14-0 going to the second half, and Brockway seemed to pick up some momentum when it stopped Karns City on three plays on the opening drive of the half.
But on Brockway’s first possession of the half, Ferguson intercepted a Hime’s pass at the Karns City 48-yard line and returned the ball 52 yards for a score and a 21-0 Karns City lead.
The Gremlins then got their running game going late in the third quarter scoring on a 5-yard run by Billy Graham with 3:06 left in the third quarter. The extra point was no good, but Karns City still led 27-0.
Karns City then scored 19 points in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
It took only 41 seconds into the fourth quarter for the Gremlins to strike again scoring on a 5-yard pass from Fuhrer to Erik Ferguson that made the score 33-0.
Karns City then put the mercy rule into effect when Fuhrer found a wide-open Hilderbrand for a 66-yard scoring pass and a 39-0 lead.
The final touchdown of the night for Karns City came on a 5-yard run by Ron Belles with 5:27 left to play.
Karns City did move the ball to the Brockway 12-yard line on a long run by Jim Frazer late in the contest, but the Gremlins took a knee to end the game.
Fuhrer ended the game 8-for-17 passing for 160 yards with Ferguson catching three passes for 73 yards and Hilderbrand two for 64.
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