JOHNSTOWN — Portage overpowered and overwhelmed Conemaugh Valley in all phases of the game Saturday afternoon to easily remain unbeaten in three contests with a 63-6 victory at Valley’s Thomas Yewcic Stadium.
The Mustangs rolled up 524 yards of total offense, as seven Portage ball carriers combined for 478 yards on the ground. Conemaugh Valley (0-3) was stonewalled by Portage’s defense, as the Blue Jays managed just 42 net yards and three first downs on the day.
“We did a lot of good things with our run defense,” Portage coach Gary Gouse said. “I was very pleased with how we stopped the run.”
The Mustang defense also picked up six sacks.
Portage’s explosive offense was triggered by a huge effort from sophomore quarterback Connor Price. Price led all rushers with 198 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries, while completing 8 of 10 passes for 76 yards and another score.
“Connor had a heck of a day running the read option,” Gouse said.
Fullback Zack Wiggins contributed 115 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries.
“We got beaten in every facet of the game,” Conemaugh Valley first-year coach Brian Bair said. “We got manhandled up front, and everything else that happened was a result of that.
“I have great respect for Coach Gouse and his program, and today they showed why they are one of the best teams in the area.”
The Mustangs were actually stopped by the Blue Jays on their first two possessions.
“They threw a defense at us that took us a little while to adjust to,” Gouse said.
However, after a 33-yard touchdown by Wiggins at 4:50 of the first quarter that put Portage on the board, the Mustang offense proceeded to score on its next four possessions.
Price carried three times for 61 yards on the ensuing drive, including a 31-yard touchdown that he followed up with a conversion run.
The second quarter opened with Price hitting Tom Randazzo on a 31-yard scoring hookup, and Steve Vivis then added the first of his three extra points to stretch the lead to 21-0.
With just less than four minutes remaining in the half, Wiggins bulled in from 4 yards out to cap off an eight-play, 69-yard drive, and the Mustangs were able to take a 34-0 advantage into the break following Logan Shaffer’s 6-yard touchdown run with 40 seconds to play. Price’s three straight completions and a 14-yard run helped set up Shaffer’s score.
Conemaugh Valley averted the shutout on the initial series of the third quarter. Justin McKenzie followed up a 41-yard gain three plays later with a 3-yard touchdown, but the Mustangs quickly answered.
Price dashed for a 47-yard gain to set up Randazzo’s 1-yard score, and Wiggins closed out the third quarter with his third touchdown of the day, a 1-yard plunge that made it 47-6.
The Mustang backups tacked on two more touchdowns in the fourth. Scott Berardinelli bolted 40 yards to paydirt, and Gabe Forst added the conversion. Peyton Zatek’s 13-yard touchdown was followed by Tyler Bobolsky’s two-point run to set the eventual final.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Portage 14 20 13 16 — 63
Conemaugh Valley 0 0 6 0 — 6
P– Wiggins 33 run (kick failed), 4:50.
P– Price 31 run (Price run), 1:55
P– Randazzo 31 pass from Price (Vivis kick), 10:29
P– Wiggins 4 run (Vivis kick), 3:58.
P– Shaffer 6 run (kick failed), 0:40.
CV– McKenzie 3 run (run failed), 9:13.
P– Randazzo 1 run (kick failed), 7:53.
P– Wiggins 1 run (Vivis kick), 4:38.
P– Berardinelli 40 run (Forst run), 8:01.
P– Zatek 13 run (Bobolsky run), 3:27.
RUSHING: Portage– Wiggins 13-115, Price 14-198, Shaffer 2-17, Randazzo 1-1, Forst 2-52, Kargo 1-minus 5, Berardinelli 2-40. Conemaugh Valley– McKenzie 10-57, Butts 15-21, Markiewicz 7-minus 53, Levis 1-5, Chontas 4-minus 6, Richards 1-8.
PASSING: Portage– Price 8-10-0-76. Conemaugh Valley– Markiewicz 1-4-0-10.
RECEIVING: Portage– Randazzo 5-48, Wiggins 1-14, Forst 1-11, McCabe 1-3. Conemaugh Valley– Stoup 1-10.
TEAM STATISTICS P CV
First Downs 18 3
Rushes-yards 38-448 38-32
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 8-10-0 1-4-0
Yards passing 76 10
Total Yards 524 42
Fumbles-lost 4-1 3-0
Penalties-yards 4-35 3-15
Punts-avg. 1-37 7-31