PORTAGE - Portage Area High School football coach Gary Gouse worried his team might experience a letdown Friday night against a two-win Conemaugh Township after a winning games against a pair of high quality teams in Blacklick Valley and Windber the past two weeks.
Gouse's gang did not let him down, winning a lopsided, 41-7, WestPAC game Friday night at Portage Area Stadium.
"This was a good win," Gouse said. "I was worried they might suffer a letdown, but thankfully it didn't happen."
After allowing Portage to score just one touchdown in the first quarter a 1-yard scoring plunge by Caleb Kephart - and an early second quarter touchdown by Luke Dividock - Conemaugh Township scored its only touchdown of the game. Less than a minute later, the Indians took the ball 70 yards on just three plays. Bruno Rosa connected with Ken Domonkos on a long, 63-yard scoring strike.
From that point on, Portage's defensive unit pitched a shutout. Conemaugh Township's offense was able to move the ball but failed to punch the ball in the endzone. After Kephart scored his second touchdown of the first half, this one a 40 yarder with 9 minutes remaining that made the Portage lead 21-7, the Indians would put together an 11-play, 56 yard drive that resulted in a missed field goal from the 14.
In the third quarter, just after Portage scored, the Indians moved the ball 43 yards on 11 plays, but it was all in vain, as Portage's C.W. Miller intercepted a pass by Rosa, ending another drive. It was extremely frustrating to Conemaugh Township coach Sam Zambanini.
"Our kids played hard tonight," Zambanini said. "Our offense had some pretty good numbers, but we weren't able to punch the ball in. Give their defense credit."
Although Kephart did score four times and rush for 188 yards, three other backs rushed for at least 50 yards for a grand total of 438 rushing yards on 48 carries. Cody Kephart had 50 yards, while Dividock added 92 yards and Evan Price had 102.
Zambanani was all praise when talking about Gouse's Wing-T.
"They have so many weapons," Zambanini said. "They run the Wing-T as well as anyone I've seen."
Portage improved to 7-1 for the season and will play at Penns Valley next Friday night.
The Indians fell to 2-5.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Conemaugh Township...........0 7 0 0-7
Portage7 20 14 0-41
P Ca. Kephart 1 run (Lutz kick), 2:12.
P Dividock 10 run (Lutz kick), 11:11.
CT Domonkos 63 pass from Rosa (Domonkos kick), 10:05.
P Ca. Kephart 40 run (Lutz kick), 9:00.
P Ca. Kephart 31 run (kick failed), 2:20.
P Dividock 5 run (Lutz kick), 9:04.
P Ca. Kephart 29 run (Lutz kick), 8:08.
Rushing: Conemaugh Township Tan. Cahill 14-116, Rosa 10-37, Tay. Cahill 2-(-5). Portage Ca. Kephart 12-188, Co. Kephart 9-50, Dividock 15-92, Price 9-102, Harrison 1-8, TEAM 2-(-2).
Passing: Conemaugh Township Rosa 11-26-2-144. Portage Price 1-4-0-10.
Receiving: Conemaugh Township Domonkos 3-83, Formica 3-16, Tay. Cahill 2-1, Miller 1-13, Fisher 1-3, Shifflett 1-28. Portage Harrison 1-10.
Interceptions: Conemaugh Township none. Portage Miller, Harrison.