CLAYSBURG - Heading into the final week of the regular season, neither Claysburg-Kimmel or Southern Huntingdon had a playoff berth on the line to play for.
The two squads were closing out the 2012 campaign playing for pride - the Bulldogs trying to finish as winners of three of their last four, while the Rockets were just simply trying to get in the win column once.
As part of that pride, C-K had a little extra something to play for - a single season rushing record for senior running back Zach Helsel to call his own.
Helsel eclipsed the mark on the final run (65 yards) of his high school career late in the fourth quarter during Claysburg's 48-12 rout of Southern in Inter-County Conference Inter-Divisional action on Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.
"For Zach to be able to accomplish that is something special," Claysburg-Kimmel coach Joe Kitt said. "We knew there at the end, we wanted to get him one more carry to see how close we could get. It's a combination of his efforts over the past three years. When he's that close, it's just something that you want to try and get for him."
The previous mark, held by 2003 graduate Kiel Knisely, was set 10 years ago at 1,496 yards. With his 257 yards on 25 carries, Helsel finished his season with 1,531.
"I'm really excited about it because I put in so much work in the off-season," Helsel said of his accomplishment. "But I have to give a lot of credit to my [offensive] line because without them, I could not have done it. We came in and knew how many yards I needed to get, and we had to just keep pushing."
While the Bulldogs' (4-6) main agenda was getting the victory, they played the first quarter in an uncharacteristic way as they were penalized four times in the first quarter for 35 yards. Fortunately, for the Bulldogs, the Rockets were unable to capitalize on their miscues, and Helsel got his team on the board with a 12-yard touchdown run at the 6:30 mark of the first.
Helsel added three more touchdowns - running his season TD mark to 25 - on runs of 8 and 27 yards, and a 25-yard pass from quarterback Trey Claar.
With Claysburg clinging to just the 7-0 lead, the Rockets had the Bulldogs backed up and ready to punt on a fourth-and-11 from their own 19. However, two straight offside penalties by Southern gave C-K a more manageable fourth-and-1. Helsel got 6 yards and first down.
Three plays later, Claar, who completed his last year by going 77-of-174 for 1,362 passing yards with nine interceptions and nine TD passes, found Carter Cerully on a 65-yard scoring play after Cerully got behind the Southern Huntingdon defense for C-K's second score of the evening at 10:40 of the second quarter.
"It was fourth-and-11, we put a block on the punt and got a little anxious, which gave them 5 yards," Southern Huntingdon coach Ryan Garlock said. "The next play, they [Claysburg offensive linemen] snapped their hands down to the ground - which is illegal you can't simulate a snap. They drove down the field and scored a touchdown and it made it 14-0 at the time."
Devin Weyandt, who finished his senior year with 48 catches for 897 yards, hauled in a 63-yarder from Claar that made the score 27-0 with 56.7 to go before the half, then bulled his way in from 4-yards out at the 11:13 mark of the final stanza that was the last scoring marker for the Bulldogs.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Southern Huntingdon0 3 3 6 - 12
Claysburg-Kimmel6 21 14 7 - 48
CK-Helsel 12 run (kick failed), 6:30.
CK-Cerully 65 pass from Claar (Helsel run), 10:40.
CK-Helsel 8 run (kick failed), 3:27.
CK-Weyandt 63 pass from Claar (Fickes kick), 56.7.
SH-Bockelmann 35 FG, 5.1.
SH-Bockelmann 38 FG, 8:05.
CK-Helsel 25 pass from Claar (Fickes kick), 4:05.
CK-Helsel 27 run (Fickes kick), 34.1.
CK-Weyandt 4 run (Fickes kick), 11:13.
SH-Ar. Thomas 5 run (run failed), 4:37.
RUSHING: Southern Huntingdon-Waite 9-49, Parks 1-(-2), Glunt 10-39, Carowick 11-9, Woodward 1-41, Ar. Thomas 3-16, Pearce 2-17, Dickinson 1-76. Claysburg-Kimmel-Helsel 25-257, Claar 3-(-4), Weyandt 3-13, TEAM 4-(-4).
PASSING: Southern Huntingdon-Carowick 5-15-2-113, TEAM 0-1-0-0. Claysburg-Kimmel-Claar 7-12-0-229, Helsel 0-3-0-0.
RECEIVING: Southern Huntingdon-Waite 2-57, Woodward 2-42, Glunt 1-14. Claysburg-Kimmel-Weyandt 4-131, Helsel 2-33, Cerully 1-65.
INTERCEPTIONS: Southern Huntingdon-None. Claysburg-Kimmel-Weyandt, Brown.