High School Sports

Central routs Bellefonte

Central's Alex Hoenstine, left, attempts to tackle Bellefonte's Tanner Helms during a game Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at Bellefonte Area High School.
Central's Alex Hoenstine, left, attempts to tackle Bellefonte's Tanner Helms during a game Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at Bellefonte Area High School. psheehan@centredaily.com

Alex Hoenstine doesn’t have one position on offense.

Central’s dynamic playmaker takes handoffs at running back, following a fullback up the middle. He receives direct snaps on designed runs, taking off without hesitation. He lines up at wide receiver, providing another threat in the passing game for quarterback Preston Karstetter.

And he plays some quarterback, too.

Hoenstine produced in each role as the Scarlet Dragons ran away with a 40-0 win over Bellefonte on Friday night. Hoenstine rushed for 218 yards and three touchdowns, threw for a score and hauled in a touchdown pass. Bellefonte didn’t have an answer for Central’s No. 2 and his teammates.

“2’s the icing on the cake, but there’s a big cake underneath that icing, too,” Bellefonte coach Shanon Manning said. “That’s not a one-man band, I’ll tell you that.”

The Scarlet Dragons (7-1) had a defense that was just as impressive as Hoenstine was offensively. Bellefonte failed to record a first down and finished with nine total yards in the first half.

“We didn’t get our offense on track at all,” Manning said.

The Red Raiders (4-4) went three-and-out on their first four drives before running one play on a fifth drive before the half.

“That’s probably as well as they’ve played because we thought Bellefonte was pretty good,” Central coach Dave Baker said. “They’re not a bad team. They try to get after you, they play hard and they’re a good team. I really think they are.”

Hoenstine had an interception to contribute to the defensive effort.

But he made his mark on offense.

Baker said the Scarlet Dragons use six different personnel groupings, and Hoenstine lines up at different positions based on the grouping.

He’s dangerous in each formation.

And the Scarlet Dragons showed different looks throughout their first scoring drive. He had seven carries, hauled in a pass and had one completion, capping it with a six-yard touchdown run on a direct snap.

Hoenstine made it 14-0 on another direct snap.

This time, he took a few steps to his right on fourth-and-goal, drawing the attention of the Bellefonte defense, before stopping and dropping a jump pass into the hands of Austin Garner, who was standing all alone in the end zone.

After the connecting on the seven-yard touchdown pass, he grabbed one of his own.

Karstetter set up a screen pass for Hoenstine, and he did the rest, weaving through the Red Raiders defense for a 26-yard touchdown to push the lead to 21-0.

“He’s a great player,” Baker said of Hoenstine, who came into the game with 21 rushing touchdowns, two passing touchdowns and three touchdowns receiving.

He finished his night with a pair of rushing touchdowns in the second half.

Three Bellefonte defenders couldn’t catch Hoenstine on a 75-yard touchdown burst early in the third quarter. More than three minutes later, he found the end zone on a four-yard run on another direct snap.

The Red Raiders couldn’t contain Hoenstine and couldn’t solve the Central defense.

But Manning expects his team to bounce back.

“This isn’t where we want to be,” Manning said. “This game doesn’t define who we are and/or our season and we’re going to allow it to define us. You’ll see a much improved team come next Friday.”

Ryne Gery: 814-231-4679, @rgery

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