The Funding Zone
 
Advertise Here!
December 9-11 2021 Scoreboard
 
 

Central Mountain wins again

Written by: on Sunday, October 3rd, 2021

 

DANVILLE–Lucas Porter looked like a missile as he twice came charging through the line and produced sacks totaling minus-21 yards. Ditto when the Central Mountain linebacker dropped two Warrior Run ball-carriers in the backfield and two others at the line.

Not bad for a senior returning to the game after taking the last two years off.

Encouraged by his teammates, Porter gave football another shot and it has made both he and Central Mountain mighty happy.

Porter continued his excellent comeback season Saturday, making seven tackles, adding the two sacks and fueling a dominant defensive performance as Central Mountain cruised to a 64-6 win against Warrior Run. A rugged offensive line paved the way for 362 rushing yards, Brett Gerlach produced four touchdowns and Ryan Pentz two, including a 90-yard kickoff return, as the Wildcats (5-1) broke things open with 36 second-half points. They also reached five wins for the first time since 2012 and are a victory from their first winning season since 2009.

“I came back because most of of my friends are up there playing and they always have a good time. They just kept encouraging me and were on me about playing and I finally committed,” Porter said. “I had my doubts but I’m glad I decided to play. I’m going to be proud of this whenever I’m older and out of high school.”

Central Mountain has been proud of the contribution Porter has made. The Wildcats have been hit hard by injuries, losing standouts Anton Stratts and Julian Wilt for the season, and have just two starters from a year ago now. But players like Porter have emerged as weapons and helped Central Mountain build off last year’s success. He is second on the team in tackles is combining strength, size and smarts to complement all-star linebacker Micah Walizer.

Porter led Central Mountain in tackles Saturday and continued progressing. Returning to the game and learning a new system under first-year coach Shanon Manning has not been easy, but Porter, also an excellent wrestler, is proving a quick study. Take away Warrior Run’s 66-yard first-quarter touchdown and Porter was part of a defense Saturday that allowed minus-6 yards on the 23 other plays.

“He’s very diligent worker,” Manning said. “He works and works and works.”

“There’s been parts during the season where I haven’t been doing my job. I was doing some stuff that wasn’t good and coaches were letting me know and I’m thinking it’s starting to come together,” said Porter, who added how valuable Walizer has been to helping him flourish. “I’m starting to play better. It takes some time to get back into it. It’s been a process.”

Central Mountain collectively has embraced the process since Manning and his staff which enjoyed success at Bellefonte arrived. The Wildcats implemented a lot in a short time and an already young team has kept moving forward despite the injuries. Central Mountain won its second straight game and is one play from being undefeated. It dominated all facets against Warrior Run and scored the game’s final 50 points with both veterans and backups shining.

In addition to Gerlach and Pentz building on their quality seasons, players like Jake Weaver, Zack Weaver, Rocco Serafini and Isaiah Maldonado embraced their first significant offensive varsity time. Those first three ran for touchdowns, including Jake Weaver going 60 yards and Serafini 25, while Maldonado ripped off a 26-yard run.

“The seniors are our nucleus, but there’s a lot of young kids playing their butts off, too, trying to get this program going where it needs to be,” Manning said. “We got the backups in and they still continued to execute and give tremendous effort. I was proud of that.”

Despite the score, Warrior Run (0-5) played much better than the previous week against Hughesville. Ryan Newton found Derek Thomas for a 66-yard first-quarter touchdown. Thomas caught his sixth touchdown, getting a step on his defender before Newton dropped a dime, hitting him in stride for the score which made it 14-6. The Defenders kept it a two-possession game until the final seconds of the first half, Nathan Yohn recorded a sack and Logan Smedly two tackles for loss.

Those are the positives Warrior Run can take. This simply was a tough matchup against a stronger and faster team. Central Mountain hurt itself with 10 first-half penalties but still was virtually unstoppable, scoring on four of five first-half possessions before landing the knockout blow with a 23-point flurry in the third-quarter’s opening 4 minutes, 14 seconds.

Pentz ignited that charge, making a cut, bursting through a hole and going 90 yards for his touchdown on the second half’s opening kickoff. Connor Foltz returned a punt moments later 33 yards to the 1-yard line and Gerlach (167 total yards, 4 touchdowns) scored his third rushing touchdown. Foltz continued the big special teams play on the ensuing kickoff, taking the returner in the end zone for a safety. Pentz returned the free kick 39 yards and two plays later, Serafini broke loose for a 25-yard touchdown, making it, 51-6.

“Ryan really got us started in the second half by returning the kickoff. That made a big difference,” Manning said. “He did a great job on that. They blocked it up and that was really big for us and shot us in the right direction.”

The defense has Warrior Run going the wrong direction before and after the Thomas touchdown. Central Mountain did not let any Defender gain more than five yards on the ground and allowed just 10 passing yards following the touchdown. Two-way lineman Ben Garlick made two tackles for loss and Central Mountain swarmed at all levels with Pentz, Gerlach and Thomas Sprague intercepting passes.

“It was like the Williamsport game where we gave up a big pass and then not much after that. We just decided that we shouldn’t be doing that,” Porter said. “We’re better than that and we have to dig deeper.”

Central Mountain dug itself deep with the first-half penalties, but kept overcoming them and moving forward. Central Mountain actually totaled 92 yards on its opening 58-yard scoring drive because of the penalties with Pentz’s five-yard touchdown opening the scoring. Gerlach found Tanner Williamson for a 12-yard touchdown on the ensuing series before the Wildcats produced 97 yards on a 74-yard march which Gerlach capped with a 6-yard touchdown.

Gerlach completed 8 of 12 passes for 92 yards and Central Mountain efficiently mixed the run and pass on its final first-half possession. The Wildcats chewed up 7:25 on the 13-play drive and Gerlach ended it with a 2-yard touchdown as Central Mountain took a 28-6 halftime lead.

“Once we got the ball rolling it was a lot of of fun,” Porter said. “We’re proud of where we’re at and how far we can go.”

Central Mountain 64, Warrior Run 6

C. Mountain 14 14 23 13ä64

Warrior Run 6 0 0 0ä6

First Quarter

C–Ryan Pentz 5 run (Tyler Weaver kick), 9:23

C–Tanner Williamson 12 pass from Brett Gerlach (Weaver kick), 5:37

W–Derek Thomas 66 pass from Ryan Newton (kick failed), 3:33

Second Quarter

C–Gerlach 6 run (Weaver kick), 9:35

C–Gerlach 2 run (Weaver kick), :33.3

Third Quarter

C–Pentz 90-yard kickoff return (Weaver kick), 11:48

C–Gerlach 1 run (Weaver kick), 10:19

C–Connor Foltz tackle in end zone, safety, 10:08

C–Rocco Serafini 25 run (Weaver kick), 7:46

Fourth Quarter

C–Zack Weaver 2 run (Peyton Jones kick), 10:33

C–Jake Weaver 60 run (kick blocked), 8:09

TEAM STATISTICS C W

First Downs 20 1

Rushes-yards 39-362 15-(-16)

Passing yards 102 76

Total yards 464 60

Comp-Att-Int 10-14-0 4-9-3

Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-0

Penalties-yards 11-98 6-45

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: Central Mountain, Ryan Pentz 10-88, TD; Brett Gerlach 11-75, 3 TDs; Jake Weaver 4-70, TD; Zack Weaver 6-38, TD; Isaiah Maldonado 1-26; Rocco Serafini 1-25, TD; Micah Walizer 1-16; Connor Foltz 1-15; Tanner Williamson 1-14; Brady Myers 1-8; Thomas Sprague 1-0; Team 1-(-3). Warrior Run, Gavin Getz 1-5; Samuel Hall 6-3; Roman Pierce 3-0; Logan Smedly 3-(-3); Ryan Newton 2-(-21).

PASSING: Central Mountain, Gerlach 8-12-0, 92 yards, TD; Myers 2-2-0, 10 yards. Warrior Run, Newton 4-8-2, 76 yards, TD; Hall 0-1-1.

RECEIVING: Central Mountain, T. Weaver 3-37; Foltz 3-31; Eli Bailey 2-10; Williamson 1-12, TD; Micah Walizer 1-12. Warrior Run, Derek Thomas 2-70, TD; Hall 2-6.

INTERCEPTIONS: Central Mountain, Pentz, Gerlach, Sprague.

SACKS: Central Mountain, Lucas Porter 2. Warrior Run, Nathan Yohn.

RECORDS: Central Mountain 5-1. Warrior Run 0-5.

Follow PA Football News on Twitter @PaFootballNews