Chestnut Ridge opens with key win over Forest Hills
SIDMAN — As a sophomore making his first varsity start at quarterback, Logan Pfister admitted to feeling a little uneasy Friday night.
But the 6-foot-2, 168-pound Pfister performed with the poise of a polished veteran, running for two touchdowns and throwing for another to lead Chestnut Ridge to a 28-12 Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference victory over Forest Hills at G.H. Miller Memorial Stadium.
Pfister had touchdown runs of 20 yards in the third quarter and 36 in the fourth, and connected with senior slotback Mason McVicker on a 43-yard scoring pass in the first quarter.
Pfister also hit McVicker on a 39-yard route to set up Ridge’s other touchdown, a 4-yard fourth-quarter scoring run by senior back Jared McGill, as Ridge indoctrinated itself back into the Laurel Highlands Conference with an impressive victory on the road.
“He’s a sophomore, and he was uptight in the first half,” Ridge coach Max Shoemaker said of Pfister, who completed 6 of 11 passes for 120 yards.
“I told him to slow down and let the game come to him. He showed his athleticism in the second half. He’s an athlete, and he’s only going to get better. I think we have a winner there.”
Pfister gave credit to his Ridge teammates.
“I was very nervous, it was an adventure for me,” Pfister said. “But my team helped me through it. We have a great team, and I couldn’t have done it without them.”
With Ridge clinging to a 7-6 halftime lead, Pfister ran a quarterback draw 20 yards up the middle for a pivotal touchdown with 5:48 left in the third quarter to help the Lions to a 14-6 advantage.
“It was a read option and my read was to take (the ball),” Pfister said. “I got great blocking from (senior) wideout Derrick Weaver to spring me open.”
Forest Hills answered with an 11-yard touchdown jaunt off left tackle by senior back Anthony Zangaglia with 3:27 left in the third quarter to close to within 14-12, but Ridge forged a 21-12 lead with 6:55 remaining in the game when McGill, who rushed for 172 yards on 13 carries, chipped in his 4-yard touchdown run.
Pfister, who rushed for 131 yards on 19 carries, put a padlock on the Ridge victory by racing 36 yards off right tackle for the last touchdown of the game, with 3:07 remaining.
“It was another read option, I got good blocking, I had a wide open lane, and I was able to take it,” Pfister said.
Forest Hills coach Don Bailey said his team wasn’t prepared to play and was beaten in the trenches on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
“We were totally outplayed and totally outcoached,” Bailey said. “I didn’t have (the players) prepared to play. If you don’t bring your ‘A’ game against a good team, you usually get beat. They beat us up front both offensively and defensively. We couldn’t run the football, and they dropped several players into pass coverage.”
Forest Hills got on the board 49 seconds into the second quarter when senior running back Jason Wissinger ran 3 yards for a touchdown.
Ridge opened the scoring on its first possession of the game, with McVicker running a quick pattern down the right sideline and hauling in what would turn out to be Pfister’s 43-yard touchdown pass.
“It was a rollout under pressure, and I had to get it out quick,” Pfister said. “He (McVicker) made a great play.”
Friday marked an exciting way for Ridge to start its new season as a member of the Laurel Highlands.
“It’s a well-established conference, and we wanted to make a splash tonight,” Shoemaker said. “Hopefully, we can turn that splash into something bigger.”
Ridge hosts Johnstown next Friday, while Forest Hills visits Bedford.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Chestnut Ridge 7 0 7 14 — 28
Forest Hills 0 6 6 0 — 12
CR–McVicker 43 pass from Pfister (Anderson kick), 9:23.
FH–Wissinger 3 run (pass failed), 11:11.
CR–Pfister 20 run (Anderson kick), 5:48.
FH–Zangaglia 11 run (pass failed), 3:27.
CR–McGill 4 run (Anderson kick), 6:55.
CR–Pfister 36 run (Anderson kick), 3:07.
TEAM STATISTICS CR FH
First downs 11 10
Total yards 423 193
Rushes-yards 36-303 19-38
Yards passing 120 155
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 6-11-0 13-30-0
Punts-avg. 4-28 8-34.8
Fumbles-lost 3-1 2-1
Penalties-yards 8-75 6-60
RUSHING–Chestnut Ridge, McGill 13-172, Pfister 19-131, Harbaugh 2-1, Mowry 2-(-1). Forest Hills, Fyock 5-22, Zangagila 2-10, Wissinger 2-6, Cecere 8-1, Crawley 2-(-1).
PASSING–Chestnut Ridge, Pfister 6-11-0-120. Forest Hills, Cecere 13-30-0-155.
RECEIVING–Chestnut Ridge, McVicker 4-103, McGill 1-14, Crocker 1-3. Forest HIlls, Richardson 3-69, Delic 2-27, Shope 2-25, Crawley 2-9, Fyock 2-3, Wolfhope 1-20, Wissinger 1-2.