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Dragons capitalize on Bedford miscues, outlast the Bison in battle of unbeatens

Written by: on Saturday, October 9th, 2021

 

It was a packed house for the battle of 6-0 teams

“It’s always tough when you make mistakes and dig yourself a hole, but it’s even more difficult when you’re playing a team like them that has so many weapons on offense, and they are tough on defense. When you are playing good teams and quality opponents, the margin for error goes way down, and we just made too many mistakes. Give credit to them. They made big plays, but we made mistakes that we don’t typically make.”  That was Bedford head coach Kevin Steele’s assessment of his teams performance in the 41-27 loss to Central.  The Dragons took advantage of four first half turnovers to get the win in a battle of LHAC unbeatens.

Central started big by picking off Mercury Swaim on the first drive of the night, then proceeded to march 61 yards and scored on a two yard td run by Parker Gregg to put the home team up 7-0. Bedford struck back quickly when Jeff Hoenstine tossed a backwards pass that was dropped and the Bison recovered the ball on the Dragon 25. It took just one play, a 25 yard pass from Swaim to Justine Arnold to tie the game at 7 after Lizzy Martz hit the point after.

 

Then the wheels came off the Bedford bus. Getting the ball at their 12, Central took just three plays to take the lead back that they wouldn’t relinquish. After a short run by Hunter Smith, Hoenstine and Gregg did what they’ve been doing all year. The talented quarterback hit Gregg on a quick out and Gregg did the rest running wild on the Bison defense for a 76 yard gain to the 10. Hoenstine then connected with Arnold again for the score. “I thought our offense played really well in the first half” said Gregg who hauled in 6 passes for 142 yards and rushed for three scores.

The next several series put Bedford in a hole they couldn’t recover from. Bedford fumbled the kickoff and Central recovered on the Bison 24. Hoenstine, who was 16-25 for 250 yards with one td and one interception, hit two quick completions then a pass to Gregg finished the drive from 3 yards out. They connected on the two point play to make up for the missed PAT on the last score. On their next series, Bedford attempted a punt that sailed over the head of the kicker and was recovered in the endzone by Jason Clark. A personal foul after the score put the kick attempt deep and it missed, but the Dragons had a commanding 27-7 lead. “Recovering that botched punt was huge” said Hoenstine.

“We didn’t have a strong night throwing the ball but part of that was because their defense is pretty good. I’m proud of our kids, because they battled. It would have been easy for our kids not to in the second half with the score what it was, but we made it interesting there in the second half. We didn’t play our best football, but we’ll get back to work Monday.” said Steele

To Bedford’s credit, they didn’t give up. Swaim stepped in front of a Hoenstine pass to give the Bison the ball at the 15, then he finished the drive on a 15 yard run through the middle to bring the score to 27-14 but Central pulled away on a long, time consuming drive that was capped by Gregg’s second td of the night as time expired in the first half.

Central opened the second half with a turnover of their own and Swaim carried the ball in from the 10 but it wasn’t enough. Gregg scored on a 1 yard run later in the fourth and Hoenstine capped the the scoring with a 16 yard run and Central in their first year with the LHAC took the win. “The (LHAC) is a good championship to win, because all in all, it’s as good as any conference in this part of the state. There’s more quality teams. The Mountain League is good too, but there aren’t as many teams, so I think this is probably a little harder to win.”

Central takes on Bishop McCort next Friday and the Bison will look to bounce back against Penn Cambria

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