WILLIAMSBURG - You could hardly say this year's Tussey Mountain High School football team has been a road warrior, dropping its first two games on the road by a combined score of 60-18.
But on Friday night the Titans picked up their first road win by defeating Williamsburg, 26-14, in Inter-County Conference Silver Division action at Williamsburg's War Memorial Field.
And things could not have looked a whole lot worse in the first quarter for the Titans, as the Blue Pirates came out and in their first two possessions of the game, scored 14 extremely fast points.
Williamsburg began the game with an eight-play drive that consumed 64 yards and was finished on a 9-yard touchdown run by an Alan Shanholtz, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound senior running back. On the Titans' first play from scrimmage, Tyler Husick coughed up the football and turned the ball immediately back to the host Blue Pirates with outstanding field position - at the Titan 31-yard line.
Four plays later, Quinton Snyder caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Austin McMonagle. After a second successful PAT, the Blue Pirates held a 14-0.
"We took it on the nose in the first quarter," Tussey Mountain coach Joshua Smith said. "We gave up those first two drives, but we came back and played well after that."
When Smith said his team played well after that, he was correct, as the Titans defense would not allow another point, while their offense would score 26 unanswered points. The Titans got on the scoreboard with 3:43 remaining in the first quarter when Darrin Sipes, a halfback on Smith's squad, reached paydirt from 4 yards out. Curtis Wentz made the PAT - cutting the Titan deficit to 7. The Titans would score a pair of rushing touchdowns in the second quarter, with Mitchell Corbin taking it in from 7 yards out and Sipes scoring his second touchdown of the half, sprinting in from 36 yards.
After the Titans punted on their first possession of the third quarter, they tacked on six more points when Corbin scored his second touchdown of the game - just like teammate Sipes did earlier in the game. The Blue Pirates would turn the ball over on downs twice in the second half, punt once and commit a pair of turnovers. So it was not in the cards for a Williamsburg comeback.
"It started well for us," Williamsburg coach Bob Hearn said. "We did some things well but as the game went on, we committed some turnovers that hurt."
While Sipes and Corbin scored the touchdowns, it was Tyler Husick that served as the Titans workhorse, carrying 22 times for 111 yards.
The Titans will host a Glendale team next week that improved to 3-2 Friday night and sits on top of the ICC Silver Division, along with Juniata Valley and Moshannon Valley.
"They will be a tough opponent," Smith said. "We took it on the chin against them last season, so we'll be ready to go."
Williamsburg fell to 1-4 and hosts Juniata Valley next week.
Score By Quarters
Tussey Mountain7 13 6 0 - 26
Williamsburg14 0 0 0 - 14
W-Shanholtz 9 run (Snyder kick), 8:03.
W-Snyder 23 pass from McMonagle (Snyder kick), 6:18.
TM-Sipes 4 run (Wentz kick), 3:43.
TM-Corbin 7 run (Wentz kick), 11:10.
TM-Sipes 36 run (kick failed), 1:05.
TM-Corbin 8 run (pass failed), 2:34.
Rushing: Tussey Mountain-T. Husick 22-111, Sipes 11-24, Corbin 6-27, E. Husick 2-6, Taylor 1-(-1), Duvall 2-2, Hurley 1-5, TEAM 1-(-1). Williamsburg-Shanholtz 13-50, Dishong 2-22, Morrissey 4-6, Biddle 4-30, McMonagle 5-8, C. Bookhammer 2-10.
Passing: Tussey Mountain-E. Husick 5-6-0-61, L. Barnett 0-1-0-0. Williamsburg-McMonagle 4-11-2-38, Dishong 1-1-0-14.
Receiving: Tussey Mountain-Corbin 1-8, Brumbaugh 1-24, T. Husick 1-16, Sipes 1-5, L. Barnett 1-8 . Williamsburg-Biddle 1-14, Snyder 1-23, Dishong 2-15, Morrissey 1-0.
Interceptions: Tussey Mountain-K. Kline, Q. Barnett. Williamsburg-none.