CRESSON - A big crowd was on hand for Penn Cambria's annual homecoming Friday night, and the unbeaten Panthers didn't disappoint their fans.
Actually, most of the PC faithful weren't even settled in their seats when sophomore Jake Hurley grabbed the opening kickoff and dashed 90 yards for a touchdown.
"That was a great start, a great start," Penn Cambria coach Ernie Fetzer said.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Penn Cambria’s Seth McLendon sacks Bishop Carroll quarterback David Maruca on Friday night.
And, it was just the beginning.
The Panthers scored four times in the second quarter - twice in the final 2:09 - and, with the clock running the second half, coasted to a 40-14 mercy-rule win over Bishop Carroll in a Laurel Highlands Conference Section 1 matchup.
Hurley's kickoff return put the Huskies behind the 8-ball early and it was a case of dejavu for first-year coach Greg Snyder.
"Second week in a row," Snyder said, recalling that Shareef Blough returned the opening kick 88 yards en route to Forest Hills' 27-0 win over the Huskies last Friday in Loretto.
"They took it to us," Snyder said of Penn Cambria. "They smacked us in the mouth early. There's not much else you can say."
All you need to know about the second quarter is that Penn Cambria had four possessions, and scored all four times, while Bishop Carroll had four possessions and was held to minus 2 yards by the tough Panther defense.
Tyler Janosik capped a 7-play, 80-yard march with a 1-yard plunge in the first minute of the second quarter. Nathan Przybys' 1-yard blast was next and QB Chad Tsikalas got in the act with a 2-yard keeper with 2:09 left.
Carroll failed to convert a fourth-and-1 at its own 42 and turned the ball back to Penn Cambria with only 50 seconds left. Brendan Eckenrode and 6-foot-6 wide receiver Nathan Keagy hooked up for a 32-yarder and the same duo teamed up for a 10-yard score when Keagy outjumped a smaller Carroll defensive back in the end zone with just 24 ticks left.
"He's good," Fetzer said of Keagy. "He's 6-6 and we try to take advantage of the mismatches when we see them.
"We like to spread it around," Fetzer continued. "We have a lot of players who work hard and we can use a lot of players with the system we have. We can move them around, too.
"It's been a fun group, and they all deserve it, and we try to reward them as much as we can because it's a special group."
The 40-0 halftime lead enabled Fetzer and his staff to empty their bench the second half.
"Part of it is that we have some big games to come," Fetzer said, "and we want to stay healthy."
"That second quarter was brutal," Snyder said. "It was almost like we deflated, lost focus, and we didn't get it back until the second half."
The Huskies, now 0-4, got a 17-yard TD run from Alex Repko in the third and an 89-yard scamper by Brody Shuty in the fourth.
"We're young, and we're getting better," Snyder said, "but this was a step back because I honestly thought we could play with Penn Cambria."
Carroll (0-4) visits Central Cambria next Friday while Penn Cambria (4-0) puts its unbeaten mark on the line against Bishop Guilfoyle (3-1) next Saturday at Mansion Park.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop Carroll0 0 7 7 - 14
Penn Cambria8 32 0 0 - 40
PC-Hurley 90 kickoff return (Fuller run), 11:44.
PC-Janosik 1 run (Fuller run), 10:59.
PC-Przybys 1 run (Keagy pass from B. Eckenrode), 6:49.
PC-Tsikalas 2 run (Lawhead run), 2:09.
PC-Keagy 10 pass from B. Eckenrode (Keagy pass from B. Eckenrode), :24.
BC-Repko 17 run (Pyo kick), 6:14.
BC-Shuty 89 run (Pyo kick), 3:27.
RUSHING: Bishop Carroll-Shuty 3-100, Lessard 6-22, Repko 8-37, Frederick 1-10, Keim 2-7, Lesney 2-6, Noel 1-3, Woo 1-2, Maruca 6-(-3). Penn Cambria-Przybys 4-62, Janosik 5-38, Hurley 6-28, Behe 6-24, Fuller 1-18, Lawhead 4-10, Strasser 6-9, Schwaderer 1-6, M. Eckenrode 1-1.
PASSING: Bishop Carroll-Maruca 3-6-0-11. Penn Cambria-B. Eckenrode 5-8-1-100, Tsikalas 4-5-0-51.
RECEIVING: Bishop Carroll-Switzer 1-6, Frederick 1-4, Repko 1-3. Penn Cambria-Keagy 4-99, Strasser 3-31, Fuller 1-16, Jones 1-5.
INTERCEPTIONS: Bishop Carroll-Shuty.