Central dominated the first quarter and rolled to a 50-14 win over Philipsburg-Osceola on Friday night.
The Scarlet Dragons (6-1) finished with three touchdowns in the first quarter to go with a safety on a P-O snap out of the end zone in the first quarter. The Mounties (0-7) then matched Central in the second quarter to go into the half down 30-7.
“We knew coming in what Central was and we prepared for them, but honestly, this is one of the best games we have played offensively,” said P-O coach Mike Mann. “I thought we held our own in the first half, but there were too many letdowns in the second half, but I felt we came ready to play. We were up for them.”
Preston Karstetter, who completed 8-of-11 passes for 99 yards, hit Larry Corle with a 21-yard touchdown pass for the game’s first score. Alex Hoenstine scored two touchdowns on runs in the quarter, from 9 and 5 yards out, as Jacob Muthler nailed all three PAT kicks.
Central finished with 232 yards on the ground and 194 through the air.
P-O did not help themselves out. After getting pinned at its 12 following a poor kickoff return, the Mounties snapped the ball into the end zone, forcing quarterback Daniel Slogosky to kick the ball out out of play for a safety to make it 16-0 with 1:10 left in the first.
“We get into a funk sometimes where we are moving the ball, and then something happens and it has been like that all year for us,” Mann said.
Central, which started subbing in the second quarter, went up 30-0 with 3:21 to go in the half when Hoenstine scored on a 44-yard run. He finished with 118 yards on 9 carries, caught three passes for 16 yards, and completed both of his pass attempts for 31 yards and a touchdown.
“That is what we come to expect from him,” Central coach Dave Baker said.
P-O went into halftime on a positive note as Slogosky hit Matt Johnson with a 43-yard touchdown pass. The Luke Swartwood PAT kick made it 30-7 at the break.
“I thought we were OK at halftime,” Baker said. “We did not want it to get to 35 points by halftime (because of the mercy rule), but we felt we were still in control. What bothers me is some of the big pass plays we gave up. We need to learn to play that way.”
Central put the game away with two scores in the third quarter, both by Hoenstine. On a mad scramble that covered both sides of the field, Hoenstine found Brady Bolatto in the back of the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown pass. He later picked off a Slogosky pass and returned it 53 yards for a score, making it 43-7 after three quarters.
“If you throw the ball in the middle of the field, that is what he is going to do,” Baker said. “He’s going to take it.”
Central’s backups got the team into the end zone with 6:45 to play in the game. Quarterback Noah Muthler hit Brandon Buchart with a pass, who then turned it into a 64-yard scoring jaunt.
The Mounties finished the game strong, going 70 yards in 10 plays, scoring on a 1-yard run by Slogosky with 1:09 to play.
“As tight as they play on defense, it was hard for us running the ball, but we threw outside a little bit and did OK with that,” Mann said. “We have a lot of young kids and that hurts sometimes. We don’t have the depth that a Central has so we don’t have a lot of fresh players to put in and that hurts, too. But I still saw effort in the second half. That is one of the good things about this team, they don’t give up. They will come in on Monday and get ready to play the next game.”