ROARING SPRING - A heavy, steady downpour delayed the start of Central's Mountain League game with Tyrone at the Roaring Spring Athletic Field for a half-hour Friday night.
Once the skies cleared, however, the Scarlet Dragons hit the ground running. And throwing.
Central junior halfback Bradi Moore had no trouble either running or catching the ball, accounting for 101 rushing yards on 15 carries and scoring two touchdowns in the Scarlet Dragons' 28-0 win.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Central’s Bradi Moore breaks loose for some of his 101 rushing yards against Tyrone on Friday night in Roaring Spring.
"The field was wet, but it was pretty good,'' the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Moore said. "I didn't slip on my cuts, and I actually got better traction.''
Moore busted through the middle for a 72-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to help Central (2-0 overall, 1-0 Mountain League) build a 14-0 halftime lead. He also floated open down the left sideline with 8:51 left in the game to haul in junior quarterback Austin Cunningham's 55-yard touchdown pass.
Moore caught a 47-yard pass from Cunningham in the first quarter to set up Central's first touchdown, a 1-yard Cunningham sneak on fourth down. Cunningham - who rushed for 78 yards on 13 carries - also scored Central's final touchdown on a 25-yard bolt off right tackle with 3:56 left in the game.
Central coach Dave Baker's defense pitched a shutout, stifling Tyrone at the Dragons' 5 as the first half ended, and stopping another Golden Eagles' drive at the Central 7 after Tyrone was assessed a 5-yard penalty for having too many players on the field on fourth down-and-two late in the third quarter.
"Our experience going into this season was on defense, for the most part,'' Baker said. "I thought we played a pretty strong game tonight.''
Tyrone dropped its league opener and dipped to 0-2 overall, leaving first-year head coach Steve Guthoff an unhappy camper.
"We've got to do a better job coaching, first and foremost,'' Guthoff said. "There's no reason that we should be as soft as we are defensively right now. We've got to do a better job coaching those guys, and our defense has to do a better job of executing.''
Moore showed a lot of breakaway skill on his 72-yard second-quarter touchdown run. He got a block that created a seam at the point of attack, slipped one tackle at the line of scrimmage, cut left, and ran untouched 72 yards to the end zone.
"Our line did a great job of opening up the hole, and I saw the hole and burst out,'' Moore said.
Moore also made the two big plays catching Cunningham passes. He ran similar routes down the left side of the field on both catches.
"I just ran a deep route straight down the field,'' he said. "I cut, and once [Tyrone defenders] bit on the cut, our quarterback put the ball right where it needed to be.''
Moore's fourth-quarter touchdown catch was a game-breaker. He gathered in Cunningham's pass near the Tyrone 30, and took the ball the rest of the way with ease.
"He's fast, and he's aggressive,'' Baker said of Moore. "We were trying to run plays inside, because you can not run laterally against [Tyrone]. They have guys who will run you down.''
Junior running back James Oliver was a bright spot for Tyrone, leading all rushers with 122 yards on 20 carries.
But Central's defense did a good job of bearing down when it counted most.
"It's hard not to be happy with the first two games,'' said Baker, whose Dragons routed Chestnut Ridge in last week's season opener. "Tyrone is a good team. We had to work for everything we got tonight. We've been striving for consistency, and it looks like we're headed in the right direction.''
Central visits unbeaten Clearfield next Friday night, while Tyrone hosts Huntingdon. Both are league games.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Tyrone0 0 0 0 - 0
Central7 7 0 14 - 28
C-Cunningham 1 run (Smith kick), 4:13.
C-Moore 72 run (Smith kick), 6:52.
C-Moore 55 pass from Cunningham (Smith kick), 8:51.
C-Cunningham 25 run (Smith kick), 3:56.
RUSHING: Tyrone-Oliver 20-122, A. Hunter 1-2, E. Wagner 4-(-16), Wilson-Adams 1-(-1), G. Hunter 1-(-9). Central-Moore 15-101, Cunningham 13-78, Conrath 4-28, Slick 3-11, Mock 1-4, Kreider 1-3, Hamm 1-3, Hoenstine 2-(-2), Team 1-0.
PASSING: Tyrone-Wagner 10-20-1-86. Central-Cunningham 3-6-1-120.
RECEIVING: Tyrone-Wilson-Adams 4-36, Zook 3-20, Woomer 1-16, Snyder 1-11, Muir 1-3. Central-Moore 2-102, Kreider 1-18.
INTERCEPTIONS: Tyrone-Makdad. Central-Kreider.