Muthler, Dragons dominate
LOYSBURG — The Central football team returns just three starters this season on offense, but it helps when one of those starters is quarterback Noah Muthler. It certainly mattered Friday night against Northern Bedford in the 2018 opener for both clubs.
The 6-foot-1, 174-pound signal caller had a hand in four of the team’s five touchdowns in a 32-6 win for the Scarlet Dragons at Panther Community Stadium. The son of one-time Northern Bedford football star Scott Muthler, Noah ran for two scores and passed for two more.
“He is so good. He’s a slippery kid, and he really didn’t get to show off his arm that much either. He has a good arm and he can run,” Northern Bedford coach Garry Black said. “He is a seasoned quarterback who is going to lead them to a lot of victories this year.”
He led them on a 15-play, 80-yard drive to start the game, finishing things off with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Thad Albright. The Austin Keith PAT came with one second left for a 7-0 lead.
A bad snap on a punt by Northern gave Central terrific field position, needing only 10 yards and three plays for a second score, a 4-yard run by Muthler at the 8:40 mark of the second quarter and a 13-0 lead.
“He is really starting to come on as a quarterback for us,” Central coach Dave Baker said. “He can throw, he can run, he can handle the ball.”
Down 13-0 at around the five-minute mark, Northern scored on a 50-yard fake punt pass from Case Donaldson to Brady Clark. However, it was called back because of a penalty on the Black Panthers.
“I told the official he made the right call, but if he doesn’t throw that flag, we may have gotten a million views on You Tube for it because we executed that play perfectly,” Black said. “We potentially could have been tied with Central at halftime.”
That’s because Northern scored with 25 seconds left before halftime when Donaldson caught a 10-yard scoring pass from sophomore Thad Leidy to make it 13-6 at the break.
“They play hard. They are quick off the ball,” Baker said of Northern. “They will do well in the Inter-County Conference.”
Muthler helped erase any chance of a Northern comeback at the 8:29 mark of the third when he hit Casey Walters for a 65-yard touchdown pass. He finished 7-of-16 for 152 yards and no picks.
Muthler scored on a 6-yard touchdown run at the 7:25 mark of the fourth quarter to make it 25-6.
“We did more things right in the second half and I think we sort of took control of the game in the second half,” Baker said.
Zach Parks closed out the scoring with a 6-yard touchdown run at the 1:55 mark to set the final score.
“This was really important for our team to play a game like this against an opponent like them,” Black said. “We have 12 upperclassmen and we have sophomores who we are counting on for the next three years. There is no better way to grow up than a situation like this.”
Game notes: Albright picked off two passes for Central, which held Northern to under 100 yards of offense. Teammate Ben Kurtz also had a pick. … Central hosts Tyrone next Friday night. Northern Bedford is at Southern Huntingdon on Thursday night.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Central 7 6 6 13 — 32
Northern Bedford 0 6 0 0 — 6
C–Albright 20 pass from Muthler (Keith kick), :01
C–Muthler 4 run (kick failed), 8:40
NB–Donaldson 10 pass from Leidy (kick failed), :25
C–Walters 65 pass from Muthler (kick failed), 8:29
C–Muthler 6 run (pass failed), 7:23
C–Parks 6 run (Keith kick), 1:55
TEAM STATISTICS C NB
First downs 19 7
Total yards 353 80
Rushes-yards 42-203 26-54
Yards passing 150 26
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 8-18-0 8-17-3
Punts-avg. 3-16.3 4-27.5
Fumbles-lost 3-1 3-0
Penalties-yards 8-59 5-30
RUSHING–Central, Muthler 14-89, Marko 7-38, Imler 6-42, Kurtz 8-24, Parks 3-3, Walters 2-5, Quarello 1-1, Hoover 1-1. Northern Bedford, Smith 10-34, Ebersole 4-3, Donaldson 3-(-23), Heck 2-16, Clark 2-3, Snyder 1-7, Keller 1-5, Brown 1-3, Leidy 1-6, Imler 1-0.
PASSING–Central, Muthler 7-16-0-152, Kitt 1-2-0-(-2). Northern Bedford, Donaldson 6-11-3-11, Leidy 2-6-0-15.
RECEIVING–Central, Albright 3-59, Kitt 2-10, Walters 1-65, McConahy 1-18, Marko 1-(-2). Northern Bedford, Donaldson 2-16, Clark 2-18, States 1-5, Zimmerman 1-(-5), Imler 1-(-5), Smith 1-(-2).