CLAYSBURG - While Claysburg-Kimmel supplied fireworks that were set off beyond the end zone after touchdowns and immediately following the game, Zach Helsel did his part with the homecoming show by providing fireworks on the field.
The senior running back rushed for a career-high 283 yards on 37 carries while scoring four times in his squad's 34-6 pounding of Williamsburg on Friday night in Inter-County Conference Silver Division action at Bulldog Stadium.
"Zach's an amazing kid and he really runs the ball hard," Claysburg-Kimmel coach Joe Kitt said. "We're going to feed him the ball - I don't think there's any secret about that. He just had an excellent night."
Helsel, whose previous high was 189 yards to raise his season total to 946, and he scored on runs of 2, 7, 3 and 40 in helping the Bulldogs notch their second win of the year.
"We worked on it all week. We knew who was getting the ball, it was just a matter of stopping him [Helsel]," Williamsburg coach Bob Hearn said. "They lined up, gave him the ball and we couldn't stop him. I thought he ran hard tonight."
Ironically, both C-K victories have come against Williamsburg in regular-season action. The two squads played each other in week one (a 20-14 Claysburg win), which didn't count towards the ICC standings.
This game, though close at halftime (14-0), was all Bulldogs.
Helsel, who had 155 rushing at the half, started the scoring with a 2-yard burst up the middle that capped off a 75 yard drive at 1:17 of the first quarter. He would score on an 11-play drive that came mostly out of the wildcat formation from 7 yards out with 2:56 remaining before the half.
While the Blue Pirates' defense couldn't stop C-K's ball control, clock-eating offense, their own offense only managed 50 yards through two quarters when they were finally able to get on the field. They were forced to punt four times and their other drive ended when Trey Claar picked off Austin McMonagle for the first of two times in the game.
"We did a much better job in this game, than we did in the first game running the ball. We challenged our line we wanted to do a much better job and I think they came out and did that tonight," Kitt said. "We thought we were very well prepared defensively, having seen them once before. We did a great job on the defensive end as well."
Helsel opened the second half the same way with a 3-yard TD run to close out another 11-play drive that ate up over 6 minutes of time. That drive saw Claar connect with Devin Weyandt twice for a combined 44 yards on a third-and-16 and also a third-and-15.
McMonagle called his own number on the Blue Pirates first drive of the fourth and reached the end zone from 2 yards out at the 8:05 mark.
Claysburg-Kimmel responded, and Helsel made arguably the play of the game as he appeared to be stopped for a 5-yard gain. However, he kept churning his legs, got some help from his offensive line as they pushed an extra 10 yards before Helsel spun, came out the other side and ran the final 25 yards on the 40-yard touchdown run with 5:29 left.
"I just kept my legs chopping and as soon as I saw that opening, I just spun out of it and ran," Helsel said..
"That run where he scored at the end - that's him," Kitt said. "That's the kind of kid he is. He never quits and finishes that run. That was one heck of a play."
Weyandt, who caught all three of Claar's completions for 73 yards, reached pay dirt from 3 yards away to set the final at the 2:47 mark.
"We just didn't come ready to play. I just don't think our guys weren't excited - I could tell coming out. It just wasn't there tonight," Hearn said. "That doesn't take anything away from Claysburg. They manhandled us up front and they had holes for him [Helsel] and he ran hard. When you play like that, the score ends up the way it ended up."
The Bulldogs, who dedicated the game to senior teammate Caleb Burkett who suffered a fractured neck in practice and was wearing a brace but was visible and heard on the sidelines, amassed 399 yards of total offense, while their defense limited the Blue Pirates to 165 (83 on the ground and 82 through the air).
C-K will host Tussey Mountain next Friday, while Williamsburg travels to Moshannon Valley.
"I told the kids, it's over - tonight is done. We're not even going to watch film on it because I can tell you what you did - you didn't block and you didn't tackle," Hearn said. "Let's get back to work on Monday and get ready for Moshannon Valley."
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Williamsburg0 0 0 0 - 6
Claysburg-Kimmel7 7 6 14 - 34
CK-Helsel 2 run (Fickes kick), 1:17.
CK-Helsel 7 run (Fickes kick), 2:56.
CK-Helsel 3 run (kick failed), 5:48.
W-McMonagle 2 run (kick failed), 8:05.
CK-Helsel 40 run (Fickes kick), 5:29.
CK-Weyandt 3 run (Fickes kick), 2:47.
RUSHING: Williamsburg-Biddle 3-15, Morrissey 3-11, McMonagle 2-(-3), Dishong 13-71, C. Bookhammer 1-(-4), Shaw 1-(-7). Claysburg-Kimmel-Helsel 37-283, Weyandt 10-35, Claar 4-11, Pant 1-(-3).
PASSING: Williamsburg-McMonagle 8-15-2-82, Shaw 0-1-0-0. Claysburg-Kimmel-Claar 3-8-0-73.
RECEIVING: Williamsburg-Morrissey 2-7, Dishong 1-10, T. Bookhammer 2-16, Snyder 3-49. Claysburg-Kimmel-Weyandt 3-73.
INTERCEPTIONS: Williamsburg-None. Claysburg-Kimmel-Claar 2.