BELLEFONTE — A thick, slow-moving fog and the Central Scarlet Dragons (6-2) made homecoming difficult to celebrate for the Bellefonte Red Raiders (2-6) in a 70-15 throttling that saw the Dragons accumulate 635 yards, seven rushing touchdowns, two passing touchdowns and one kick return for a touchdown.
At halftime, Bellefonte’s Dan Roan was nominated homecoming king, but the fog that infiltrated Rogers Stadium made the crowning ceremony difficult to witness for the crowd.
“I walked out at halftime (and thought) where’d that come from,” said Bellefonte head coach Duffy Besch.
It’s been a rough season for the Raiders. They’ve been outscored 259-60 in their last five games — all losses.
Central juniors Austin Cunningham (quarterback) and Bradi Moore (running back) added to that margin by combining for eight touchdowns, including the game’s first score, a 57-yard touchdown pass from Cunningham to Moore down the right sideline.
“They’re explosive players,” said Central head coach Dave Baker. “You better have some guys with speed to catch them.”
Each accumulated over 100 yards in multiple categories. Cunningham threw for 231 yards and rushed for another 134. Moore had 105 receiving yards, rushed for 122 and added a 91-yard kickoff return with 3:26 left in the third quarter.
“We knew (Moore) would be a big factor,” Besch said. “They’re a dynamic team. We told the guys all week it’s not gonna be about one player.”
The Raiders’ offense struggled to get any players to be a factor. In the first half they could only manage 23 rushing yards and three first downs.
“The kids have had a great attitude,” Besch said. “It’s been a struggle for them, I’m not gonna lie…it’s been a struggle for all of us…But at the end of the day they stick together, they believe in what we’re doing and that’s all I could ever ask of them.”
A bright spot for the Raiders was the determined play of junior Doylan Deitrich, who accumulated 52 yards on the ground, including a nice 14-yard touchdown dash around Central defenders with 3:49 left in the third quarter.
Next up for the Raiders is their rivalry game against Bald Eagle Area for the Curtain Bowl.
“We’re gonna go back to work, we have Bald Eagle next week and that’s a very special game for us,” Besch said. “We’re gonna do everything we can to put ourselves in a position to win games. That’s all we can do at this point...Honestly I don’t know if I’ve ever been in this situation as a player or a coach. But what I do know is you gotta put this one behind you very quickly.”