BEDFORD - After being throttled in its previous two games, Penn Cambria came out full throttle itself Friday night.
With their offensive line blowing open running lanes for junior back Jordan Fuller, the Panthers behaved like a team on a mission in a Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference matchup with host Bedford.
Fuller rushed for 116 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns, and also caught a 29-yard scoring pass from senior quarterback Alex Pettenati, as Penn Cambria rolled to a convincing 30-6 victory at Bison Stadium.
"Our offense might have played its best game all year,'' said Penn Cambria coach Ernie Fetzer, whose team improved to 6-3 with one regular season game left and the District 5-6 Class AA playoffs on the horizon. "Our kids have been resilient.''
Penn Cambria shook off one-sided losses to conference powers Forest Hills and Johnstown the previous two weeks and rolled up 349 yards in total offense Friday.
"We played a couple buzzsaws the last two weeks, but our kids came back tonight and played well in every phase of the game.''
Penn Cambria set the tone with a commanding 78-yard, six-play scoring drive on its opening possession. Fuller carried four times for 59 yards on the march, including the final 5 yards on a burst off left tackle for the opening touchdown. Quarterback Andrew Buck's two-point conversion run made it 8-0.
"Our line got off the ball real well tonight,'' Fuller said. "We were hoping to come back off those two losses, and we played hard tonight, and put up a lot of points.''
After Bedford responded with a 69-yard, eight-play scoring drive that junior halfback Dakota Hess polished off with a 31-yard touchdown burst up the middle to pull the Bisons to within 8-6, Penn Cambria answered before the end of the first quarter.
The Panthers marched 70 yards on nine plays, with Pettenati rolling left and hitting senior back Anthony Guzic with a 5-yard touchdown pass 2:17 before the end of the first period. Buck added another conversion run, putting Penn Cambria ahead, 16-6 at the first-quarter stop.
"This was not a good night for Bedford football,'' said Bedford coach Kevin Steele, whose team dropped to 4-5 with a regular-season finale at archrival Chestnut Ridge next Friday. "[Penn Cambria] dominated the line of scrimmage. Outside of our first drive, we didn't get the job done tonight.''
The Panthers went ahead, 22-6 at intermission, wrapping a 56-yard, nine-play drive with a 1-yard Fuller touchdown run with 9:41 left in the second quarter.
Penn Cambria's final touchdown was scored with 3:34 left in the third quarter, when Pettenati dumped a pass across the middle that Fuller turned into a 29-yard scoring play.
Bedford turned the ball over three times, including two on interceptions by Penn Cambria's Pettenati and his fellow free safety, senior Trevor McConnell, that thwarted Bisons' drives. Guzic also recovered a second-quarter Bedford fumble as Penn Cambria put a damper on Bedford's senior night.
"They certainly attacked us tonight,'' Steele said of the Panthers. "They executed extremely well, and we didn't do the job in any of the three phases of the game.''
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Penn Cambria16 6 8 0 - 30
Bedford6 0 0 0 - 6
PC-Fuller 5 run (Buck run), 10:11.
B-Hess 31 run (pass failed), 6:35.
PC-Guzic 5 pass from Pettenati (Buck run), 2:17.
PC-Fuller 1 run (run failed), 9:41.
PC-Fuller 29 pass from Pettenati (Guzic run), 3:34.
RUSHING: Penn Cambria-Fuller 16-116, Buck 11-68, Pettenati 7-50, Guzic 6-27, Przybys 2-15, Lee 2-6, Team 3-0. Bedford-Gibbons 19-81, Hess 7-40, Deasey 5-32, Shippey 15-(-9).
PASSING: Penn Cambria-Pettenati 2-3-0-34, Buck 1-2-0-33. Bedford-Shippey 3-11-2-50.
RECEIVING: Penn Cambria-Mardula 1-33, Fuller 1-29, Guzic 1-5. Bedford-Deasey 2-31, Hess 1-19.
INTERCEPTIONS: Penn Cambria-McConnell, Pettenati.