Bearcats’ arsenal too much for BEA
WINGATE — Jonathan Price can switch directions and turn on the jets with the speed of a wink.
The Huntingdon Area High School football team on which he plays is very much the same.
Scoreless with eight and a half minutes left in the second quarter, Price and the Bearcats erupted for 45 points before the end of the third quarter and ran their record to 7-0 with a 45-0 victory over Bald Eagle Area at Alumni Stadium on Friday night, effectively clinching a District 6 Class 3A playoff berth in the process.
“We just have so many weapons, it’s hard to cover everything,” Price said. “Coach (Dan) Kraft mixes it up each week, finding the plays that will work best against our opponent. He does a really good job of that.”
With all-state running back Ian Border still nursing an ankle he tweaked last week, the Bearcats’ other weapons got a chance to show their stuff even more. Price had 185 all-purpose yards, scoring on a 51-yard screen pass and a 75-yard return of the second half kickoff that made the score 24-0 and effectively drained what life remained of the host Eagles. Andrew Hudy was 9-for-14 passing for 174 yards, hitting wide-open Jairus Werner for a 32-yard scoring strike in addition to his touchdown pass to Price.
Border, who needed 59 yards entering the game to reach 1,000 this season, netted 40 yards on the ground on 11 carries, playing just offense. He found the end zone on runs of 3 and 2 yards.
Drew Weglarz put the finishing touches on the Mountain League win with a 13-yard burst with 55 seconds left in the third quarter.
“You’ve got to defend so much. I’d like to get the tight end in the game more. We’ve got him running routes right behind the linebacker if we need him,” Huntingdon coach Mike Hudy said. “They didn’t panic. We only had the ball for four plays (three and a punt before the Bearcats’ first scoring drive), and I was more worried about it than (the players) were. We knew the implications of the game.”
Bald Eagle Area controlled the first 14 minutes but wound up with nothing to show for it. After taking the opening kicking, the Eagles converted a pair of fourth downs — one on a fake punt — to drive to the Huntingdon 5, but Price blocked Charlotte “Charlee” Harris’ 24-yard field goal attempt.
He might have gotten the Bearcats on the board right there.
“I wasn’t focused,” Price said sheepishly. “I forgot that you could run it back. I basically caught the ball, but I just threw it down. Then I realized they were running with it, and I had to make the tackle.”
The next time BEA got the ball, it marched to the Bearcat 16 before sacks by Draven Zook and Ben Briggs forced the Eagles to turn the ball over on downs early in the second quarter.
“You’ve got to cash it in when you’ve got it down there. When you come up empty, it gives them momentum,” BEA coach Jesse Nagle said after his team dropped its fourth in a row to fall to 3-4 overall and 2-3 in the league. “They’re so explosive. When you don’t answer back, bad things are going to happen.”
Six plays later, Price took a wide receiver screen, danced to the sideline and cut back into the end zone on a scoring play covering 51 yards at the 8:23 mark. Giovan Scaccia’s 40-yard field goal made it 10-0 before the Bearcats forced a three-and-out, got the ball back on the BEA 34 following Price’s 22-yard punt return and then scored on Border’s 3-yard run after Price gained 18 on a bubble screen he brought the entire way back across the field.
Price then delivered the coup de grace’ with the second-half kickoff return right up the center of the field. Huntingdon scored four touchdowns in the third quarter.
“I think that really killed their vibe,” Price said.
The Bearcat defense notched its second shutout of the year, too, holding the Eagles to 125 yards of total offense.
“We spent all week coming together as a unit. We didn’t have Ian Border. I had to fill in, see what I could do,” said Zook, who ended up with a pair of sacks. “This means everything going toward an undefeated season. Obviously, we want to win a D6 title and see what we can do in states.”
Game notes: Huntingdon improved to 5-0 in the Mountain League. … The Bearcats entertain Philipsburg-Osceola next Friday, looking to remain undefeated for their Mountain League showdown with Central on Oct. 20. BEA travels to Clearfield next Friday. … There were no penalties in the first half. … Bald Eagle Area was celebrating homecoming. Emma Murgas was crowned queen.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Huntingdon 0 17 28 0 — 45
Bald Eagle Area 0 0 0 0 — 0
H–Price 51 pass from Hudy (Scaccia kick), 8:23.
H–Scaccia 40 FG, 1:41.
H–Border 3 run (Scaccia kick), 0:12.
H–Price 75 kickoff return (Scaccia kick), 11:48.
H–Border 2 run (Scaccia kick), 9:06.
H–Werner 32 pass from Hudy (Scaccia kick), 3:18.
H–Weglarz 13 run (Scaccia kick), 0:55.
RUSHING: Huntingdon–Border 11-40, Hudy 4-15, Weglarz 4-22, Wagner 2-5, TEAM 1-(-1). Bald Eagle Area–Roberts 13-39, McClenahan 5-28, Henry 9-28, Snyder 1-11, Reese 3-9, Wible 1-(-2), Ja. Jones 7-(-24).
PASSING: Huntingdon–Hudy 9-14-0-174. Bald Eagle Area–Ja. Jones 4-8-0-36, Henry 0-6-2-0.
RECEIVING: Huntingdon–Price 3-66, Werner 2-70, Miller 1-14, Wagner 1-9, Weglarz 1-6, Border 1-3. Bald Eagle Area–Reese 2-30, Henry 1-11, McClenahan 1-(-5).
INTERCEPTIONS: Huntingdon–Mykut, Fisher. Bald Eagle Area–none.
TEAM STATISTICS H BEA
First downs 8 7
Rushes-yards 22-81 39-89
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 9-14-0 4-14-2
Yards passing 174 36
Total yards 255 125
Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-0
Penalties-yards 1-10 2-10
Punts-avg. 3-33.0 6-32.8