SAXTON - Josh Smith thinks he's figured out what's ailing his Tussey Mountain High School football team's defense.
It's the Tussey Mountain football team's offense.
"We're scoring on big plays fast," the Titan coach said. "It gives guys less time to rest. And we're also yelling at our offensive linemen to get their butts down the field to block, and, when they're doing that, they're getting gassed."
The Titans kept their foot on the offensive pedal in Friday's Inter-County Conference Silver Division matchup with visiting Williamsburg. Darrin Sipes ran for 202 yards and three touchdowns as they moved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the division with a 56-30 victory at the Tussey Mountain Sports Complex.
Dan Taylor ran for three scores and caught another for the Titans, who amassed more than 300 yards rushing in bolting to a 29-6 lead by halftime on their way to a 592-yard night of total offense. It's the third straight game Tussey has scored at least 42 points and the second time in the last three it has eclipsed 50.
"It's a whole team effort," said Sipes, who only needed 14 carries to do his damage - helped by a 95-yard scoring run in the final minute of the first quarter - and also caught a 44-yard pass. "The line's making holes for the running backs. The wide receivers are catching balls. We're having great weeks of practice. It's all coming together. It's great."
Williamsburg dipped to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the division despite Austin McMonagle's 269 yards and three touchdowns passing and Bryce Young's seven receptions for 141 yards.
"I think our guys were a little shellshocked at the beginning with how fast they were and how physical they were," Williamsburg coach Bob Hearn said. "Tussey puts a lot of pressure on you. You realize you have to try to score with them, and that makes it pretty tough.
"I was pretty proud of how our kids played the second half. We came out and made some plays, just not quite enough. You have to stop them a couple of times."
Williamsburg was getting the better of the field position battle early, helped by a Caleb Morrissey interception, but Young was stripped of the ball on a reception inside the Titan 25 after a big loss of yardage on an errant snap.
The Pirates' second possession stalled at the Titan 41, but McMonagle's punt went out of bounds at the 1. All that space was was just what the doctor ordered for Sipes, though. He found a gap on a buck sweep and showed the speed he used to win a PIAA sprinting medal back in May by outracing the Williamsburg defense to the end zone from his own 5.
"The hole was ginormous. Those were great blocks," Sipes said.
Sipes later tacked on TD runs of 7 and 17 yards. Taylor scored on jaunts of 31, 17 and 2 yards in addition to a 64-yard pass from Quinn Barnett; Taylor also threw a 52-yard pass. Barnett completed 8 of 12 passes for 153 yards.
Tussey had 14 plays that went for at least 10 yards.
"Offensively, it was a great game for us," Smith said. "We just have to play better defense."
Game notes: There only were two punts, both by Williamsburg. ... Tyler Shaw caught a touchdown pass and returned a kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown for Williamsburg. ... Tussey fullback Kyle Kline sat out the second half for what Smith called precautionary health reasons. ... The Blue Pirates were without the services of two-way starting lineman Andrew Zomok, but Hearn said he expects him back next week. ... Mike Biddle made a spectacular catch for Williamsburg's first score, getting his feet in just inside the pylon. ... Williamsburg travels to Juniata Valley next Friday, while Tussey treks to Glendale.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Williamsburg0 6 16 8 - 30
Tussey Mtn14 15 14 13 - 56
TM-Taylor 31 run (Wentz kick), 5:24.
TM-Sipes 95 run (Wentz kick), 0:59.6.
TM-Taylor 17 run (Black pass from Taylor), 6:19.
W-Biddle 20 pass from McMonagle (kick failed), 3:06.
TM-Brumbaugh 5 pass from Q. Barnett (Wentz kick), 0:27.5.
TM-Sipes 7 run (Wentz kick), 9:55.
W-Shaw 84 kickoff return (McMonagle run), 9:40.
TM-Taylor 64 pass from Q. Barnett (Wentz kick), 8:15.
W-Shaw 31 pass from McMonagle (McMonagle run), 3:55.
TM-Sipes 17 run (kick failed), 11:52.
W-Young 67 pass from McMonagle (McMonagle run), 11:31.
TM-Taylor 2 run (Wentz kick), 5:16.
RUSHING: Williamsburg-Morrissey 5-40, McMonagle 8-22, Shaw 3-20, Biddle 7-4, TEAM 1-(-12). Tussey Mountain-Sipes 14-202, Taylor 15-86, Kline 4-47, Wentz 9-36, Q. Barnett 4-16.
PASSING: Williamsburg-McMonagle 18-32-2-269. Tussey Mountain-Q. Barnett 8-12-1-153, Taylor 1-1-0-52.
RECEIVING: Williamsburg-Young 7-141, Shaw 5-75, Morrissey 3-35, Biddle 3-18. Tussey Mountain-Tayler 3-87, L. Barnett 3-69, Sipes 1-44, Brumbaugh 1-5, Sitch 1-0.
INTERCEPTIONS: Williamsburg-Morrissey. Tussey Mountain-Kline, Wentz.