ROARING SPRING - Opponents come into a game against the Central football team knowing that Bradi Moore is an offensive powerhouse. The senior running back entered Friday night's game against Huntingdon tied for the area scoring lead with 21 touchdowns, including 13 rushing scores.
But when Moore is dominant on both sides of the ball, it truly makes the Scarlet Dragons a force to be reckoned with.
Against the Bearcats, the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder had two rushing touchdowns and three interceptions, including one pick returned 59 yards for a score - all in the first half.
Add Moore's effort to three touchdown passes from fellow senior playmaker Austin Cunningham and Central rolled over Huntingdon for a 42-7 senior night victory.
"We sometimes don't appreciate how good those two guys are," Scarlet Dragons coach Dave Baker said. "I mean, we have other good players, but they are really hard to stop."
Baker attributed at least part of the win to his team's quick start. Central scored three times in the first quarter, with its longest scoring drive lasting just 2:13.
"We were looking for that," "At times, we had not played well at the beginning. We wanted to set the tone and get a good start and build a lead and keep playing well. And I think we did that."
Bearcats coach Mike Hudy also pointed toward the fast start as a factor in his team's loss.
"We were mismatched physically. That's as simple as it was," he said. "There was some shellshock there [after the first quarter]. They've got some good players. ... We knew they were a pretty stacked team."
The win brought the Scarlet Dragons' record to 7-2 (6-1 in the Mountain League) as they jockey for playoff position. Baker would be happy to have his defense play as well in the postseason as they did against Huntingdon.
The Bearcats entered the game averaging more than 330 yards per contest, including nearly 260 yards rushing a game. Central held Huntingdon to 89 rushing yards and 148 yards total. The Bearcats managed just eight first downs and were held to just 21 yards in the first half.
"We stopped them pretty well," Baker said. "We had been afraid [because] they have a lot of reverses and inside handoffs and double handoffs - they've had a lot of success with that. We hoped we could stop them, and we pretty much did."
Huntingdon fell to 4-5 (3-4 Mountain League) on the season and its playoff chances got murkier with the loss. The team needs to win next week against Juniata Valley and get a little lucky to make the postseason.
"I told them that very thing: 'You still have a chance,'" Hudy said. "If you want to come out next week and have a chance, you have to focus this week. Our main issue is focus."
With a playoff berth already guaranteed, the Scarlet Dragons could afford to enjoy their victory. The win coming on senior night appeared to mean a lot to the team, which has 21 seniors this year.
"I think it was good in that a lot of seniors got to play," Baker said. "We played a lot of seniors tonight, at the expense of some of the younger kids. ... We wanted to give our seniors a chance to play as much as possible."
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Huntingdon0 0 0 7 - 7
Central21 14 0 7 - 42
C-Moore 9 run (Slagenweit kick), 10:32.
C-Frederick 13 pass from Cunningham (Slagenweit kick), 6:35.
C-Moore 3 run (Slagenweit kick), 2:51.
C-Moore 59 interception return (Slagenweit kick), 11:44.
C-Slagenweit 4 pass from Cunningham (Slagenweit kick), 5:28.
C-Ponder 8 pass from Cunningham (Slagenweit kick), 11:52.
H-M. Lauer 4 run (Green kick), 4:59.
RUSHING: Huntingdon-Claar 11-46, Speck 5-(-27), M. Lauer 6-37, Wagner 5-8, Oliver 4-25. Central-Cunningham 8-76, Moore 10-95, Emerick 2-7, A. Conrath 3-32, Quarello 1-4, Shirey 3-(-5).
PASSING: Huntingdon-Speck 8-14-3-59, Claar 0-1-0-0. Central-Cunningham 8-12-0-123.
RECEIVING: Huntingdon-M. Lauer 1-5, Kidd 5-36, Claar 2-18. Central-Frederick 2-36, Slagenweit 2-25, Emerick 1-16, Forshey 1-5, Moore 1-33, Ponder 1-8.
INTERCEPTIONS: Huntingdon-none. Central-Moore, 3.