PHILIPSBURG - Most of their opponents will be glad to see Central senior running back Bradi Moore and senior quarterback Austin Cunningham graduate.
Count Philipsburg-Osceola as one of those teams.
Moore scored four touchdowns in the first half three different ways - a 15-yard fumble return, runs of 25 and 34 yards and taking a shovel pass from Cunningham for 80 yards - and Cunningham ran for a 3-yard score to give Central a 34-point lead at halftime and a 54-20 win to spoil P-O's homecoming night at Memorial Field.
"He had a good game," Central coach Dave Baker said of Moore. "He really ran hard, I thought, and he hit the hole quick. It was good to come back [after last week's loss to Fort Hill, Md.] and get a win against a team that played pretty hard."
"Athletically, we were outmatched, and that was the difference in the game," P-O coach Jeff Vroman said. "We can't match the athleticism of a couple football players they have, and they made big plays. When you watch them in person, you're more impressed with them than on film."
Moore ran for 178 yards on only eight carries and caught two passes for 88 yards as the Scarlet Dragons (5-2) amassed 534 yards in total offense.
He would have had a fifth TD on the first series of the second half on what looked like it would be a 75-yard run, but as he ran inside the P-O 10, he slowed down, and just he was going to score, flipped the ball back to trailing senior offensive lineman Casey Lythgoe, who gathered it and scored.
Cunningham completed 6-of-7 passes for 153 yards and ran for 76 yards on eight carries.
"He had a good game, as usual," Baker said.
For P-O quarterback Curtis Matsko, who connected on 9-of-17 passes for 191 yards as part of a 322-yard offensive output, the game didn't start well. On the second play, he fumbled and Moore scooped it up and scored easily 56 seconds into the game.
The Mounties (1-6) responded with an 11-play drive that took them from their 27 to the Central 1, but they had to settle for a Nick Boumerhi 27-yard field goal. Boumerhi kicked a 43-yard field goal in the second quarter, matching a school record.
"Have you seen a better kicker?" Vroman said. "He's the best kicker around here. He works hard at it, and he does a great job with it."
The Dragons didn't take long on their scoring drives. Moore finished off a three-play, 65-yard drive with a 25 run later in the quarter. The next time, Cunningham finished off an eight-play, 86-yard drive with a 3-yard run.
In the second quarter, Moore's 34-yard was the third play of the series. The first official play after Boumerhi's 43-yarder was Cunningham's shovel pass to Moore. Fullback Zac Emerick scored Central's sixth TD of the first half on a 5-yard run.
The fun and quick strikes continued on the first series of the second half as Moore spread the wealth with his lateral to Lythgoe.
"That all right to do, but you don't want those linemen starting to think they're going to score a lot of touchdowns," Baker said.
Notes: Central's Nick Hoenstine scored on a 2-yard run, and P-O got TD runs from Mason Pryde and Dustin Shuey to finish off the scoring. ... P-O's Tanner Lamb had two catches for 85 yards. ... P-O crowned Meili Belko as homecoming queen and Denver Greenawalt as king.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Central19 21 14 0 - 54
Philipsburg-Osceola3 3 7 7 - 20
C-Moore 15 fumble return (Slagenweit kick), 11:04.
PO-N. Boumerhi 27 FG, 5:42.
C-Moore 25 run (kick failed), 4:53.
C-Cunningham 3 run (kick failed), :52.7
C-Moore 34 run (Slagenweit kick), 9:29.
PO-N. Boumerhi 43 FG, 7:32.
C-Moore 80 pass from Cunningham (Slagenweit kick), 7:03.
C-Emerick 5 run (Slagenweit kick), 1:09.
C-Ca. Lythgoe 75 run (Slagenweit kick), 11:05.
C-Hoenstine 2 run (Slagenweit kick), 3:52.
PO-Pryde 6 run (N. Boumerhi kick), 1:44.
PO-Shuey 5 run (N. Boumerhi kick), 3:34.
RUSHING: Central-Moore 8-178, Cunningham 8-76, Conrath 2-52, Weyant 1-35, Emerick 3-33, Hoenstine 3-11, Quarello 4-8, Shirey 2-5, Ca. Lythgoe 0-1, TEAM 1-(-1), Benton 2-(-19). Philipsburg-Osceola-Shuey 8-58, Pryde 9-39, Mason 4-20, Laird 2-0, Anderson 1-(-4), Matsko 6-(-14).
PASSING: Central-Cunningham 6-7-0-153, Benton 1-2-0-4. Philipsburg-Osceola-Matsko 9-17-1-191, Anderson 3-5-0-32.
RECEIVING: Central-Moore 2-88, Helsel 2-34, Mock 1-20, Hoenstine 1-11, Price 1-4. Philipsburg-Osceola-Lamb 2-85, Mason 3-65, Shuey 4-41, Belinda 1-14, Webster 1-12, Arnold 1-6.
INTERCEPTIONS: Central-Calhoun. Philipsburg-Osceola-none.