If there was one thing both coaches could agree on following Central’s 55-0 rout of Philipsburg-Osceola on Friday night, it was this: Central was clearly and unquestionably the better football team.
The scoreboard said it, the statistics said it, and the coaches said it.
“We were obviously the better team,” Central’s Dave Baker said without a trace of condescension. “We brought 55 kids, and all of them played, and they played hard. We had a pretty good night. We didn’t make a lot of mistakes like we did last week (in a 42-2 loss to Chestnut Ridge). And Philipsburg is struggling, but they played hard to the end.”
The Scarlet Dragons set the tone early when they needed only three plays to score their first touchdown, throwing the ball three times and completing all three — the last a 33-yard strike from Preston Karstetter to Trystan Detwiler. Tarald Masdol booted the PAT at the 10:49 mark.
“We had been challenged a little bit in our passing game so we were trying to improve on that,” Baker said. “If we want to compete in the playoffs and play for a district championship, we have to do that, so we wanted to see if we could move the ball passing.”
It worked both ways for Central. On its next possession Central needed four plays, three on the ground, and went 66 yards with Luke McConahy scoring from 13 yards out with 7:38 still to go in the quarter. Right after that, Central traveled 65 yards with Detwiler scoring from the 2 with 2:06 left in the quarter.
The Dragons’s offense sputtered after that, twice stalling inside the P-O 20, as the Mounties defense stiffened. Sort of.
But the next time it got the ball, the onslaught continued. Central converted a fourth-and-5 from the P-O 43 and Detwiler got loose for the score on a weaving 39-yard run on which several P-O tacklers whiffed. Then, with six seconds left in the half, Jared Smith finished off an 81-yard drive by scoring from the 1 and Marsold booted the PAT to make it 35-0, setting the mercy rule in motion to start the second half.
The Dragons resumed their assault in the third quarter when they scored the first two times they touched the ball — making it 48-0 with 2:19 left in the third quarter. Central’s last score then came early in the fourth quarter when Benjamin Kurtz scored from a yard out, and Marsold put the final point of the night on the board with 11:28 let in the game.
Detwiler was Central’s leading rusher with with 145 yards on 11 carries, while Karstetter hit on 9-of-12 passes for 144 yards to balance out the running game as Central rolled up 516 yards in total offense.
“We were outmanned from the very beginning,” P-O coach Mike Mann said. “When we came out to warm up with our whole team, half of their team was out there and the other half was still standing there. I think our kids were a little intimidated by that. Central is a big, tough, physical team.
“We were under the impression their first quarterback wouldn’t be playing, and they would run the ball first. But he (Karstetter) was in there. And it was the same thing as last week; we didn’t cover anybody. We went over what we needed to do, and then we didn’t cover anything. When they wanted to throw it, they threw it. And when they wanted to run it, they ran it. It gets frustrating week after week. But we’ll go back to work on Monday and try to get better.”