MORRISDALE - No one can say the Claysburg-Kimmel football team backs down from a fight.
After losing their starting running back early in the first quarter, then two more players throughout the game, the Bulldogs could've packed it in.
Claysburg-Kimmel probably played its best football of the season, downing host West Branch, 40-16, on Friday night at L.T. Drivas Field.
The Bulldogs rallied with 7:29 to go in the first quarter after Claysburg-Kimmel running back Alex Pant went down with an injury.
He was taken from the field by ambulance to a local hospital with an injury after receiving treatment on the field for about 15 minutes.
"We have to get Alex Pant back," Bulldogs coach Gabe Walter said. "We hope he is okay.
"But I felt that we could win. We are deep enough and we trained hard enough, and you always prepare for bad things. Maybe not that specifically. But that's one of the things we always tell the kids before the game. Something bad is going to happen. It's football. Something bad will happen. It's how are you going to respond? And I thought we responded pretty well."
Claysburg-Kimmel bounced back after the injury, scoring two minutes later as quarterback Conner Brown took in a 15-yard run.
The Bulldogs found the end zone again when Brown hit Logan Johnson for an 18-yard strike.
Johnson finished the game with three touchdown catches and a touchdown run, along with two interceptions.
"Logan is a great athlete," Walter said. "I've had him at tailback before, so it wasn't too much to ask to move him back there.
"But Logan really stepped up. I told him when Alex got hurt, 'I'm going to need you to really step up.' And he did. Our coaching staff did a good job being creative putting him in the place to get him the ball."
Claysburg-Kimmel continued to exploit the Warriors pass defense in the second quarter, as Cole Hypes grabbed a 25-yard pass from Brown with 11:53 to play in the first half. The conversion pass failed, leaving the Bulldogs with a 18-0 advantage heading into halftime.
"We have 17 kids out of a possible 150 kids that could play football," said Warriors head coach Lester Smeal. "I got 17 fine, young men. We are going to keep playing."
The Bulldogs finished the game with 389 yards offensively.
Claysburg-Kimmel12 6 6 16 - 40
West Branch0 0 0 16 - 16
CK-Brown 15 run, (kick failed), 5:03.
CK-Johnson 18 pass from Brown, (kick failed), 0:49.
CK-Hypes 25 pass from Brown, (pass failed), 11:53.
CK-Johnson 1 run, (pass failed), 0:48.
CK-Johnson 28 pass from Brown, (Johnson pass from Brown), 9:56.
WB-Williams 4 run, (K. Smeal run), 7:08.
WB-Kerlin 23 blocked punt return, (Kerlin pass from Williams), 6:02.
CK-Johnson 24 pass from Brown, (Cerully pass from Brown), 2:05.
Rushing: Claysburg-Kimmel-Brown 14-144, Imgrund 10-106, Johnson 7-95, Pant 4-8, Hypes 1-1, Team 6-(-60). West Branch-K. Smeal 23-148, L.G. Smeal 9-34, Rougeux 2-4, Williams 4-(-5).
Passing: Claysburg-Kimmel-Brown 4-13-0-95. West Branch-Williams 1-5-3-5.
Receiving: Claysburg-Kimmel-Johnson 3-70, Hypes 1-25. West Branch-McGonigal 1-5.
Interceptions: Claysburg-Johnson 2, Cerully.