Rockets’ offense too much for Mo Valley’s ‘D’
By Todd Irwin
HOUTZDALE — Southern Huntingdon’s halftime offensive statistics in Friday night’s season opener against Moshannon Valley seemed like they were out of football coaches’ dreams.
The Rockets had 111 yards rushing and 111 yards passing.
“I told the guys before the season we want to be balanced,” Southern Huntingdon coach Ryan Garlock said. “I’ll certainly take the yardage thing. That’s fantastic.”
Southern quarterback Scott Garlock completed four passes in the first half, and three of them went for touchdowns to three different teammates, including a 53-yard screen pass to senior tailback Eric Patton, who ran for 67 of his 109 yards in the first half of a 25-6 win over the Black Knights at CNB Bank Stadium.
“It wasn’t great,” Mo Valley coach Mike Keith said. “We missed the ball in the end zone. We drove the ball fairly decent a couple of times. Defensively, we let them run the ball a little bit too much. They’re a good football team. They’re athletic, very fast, and they deserved to win.”
“Overall, we did things well defensively,” Coach Garlock said. “We threw the ball well at times and had some running game. We mixed it up, and I’m pleased.”
The Rockets led, 18-0, at halftime, but the Knights had their chances. Two different Knights dropped touchdown passes, and Mo Valley reached the Southern 4 in the final minute of the first half, but the clock expired before the Knights could score.
After the Knights dropped a TD pass in the end zone and turned the ball over on downs on their first possession, the Rockets scored on their fourth offensive play. Garlock hit Patton on a short screen, and Patton did the rest, racing 53 yards for a touchdown.
“We didn’t cover the screen,” Keith said, “and that’s all she wrote.”
Mo Valley couldn’t gather in a sure touchdown pass from Jacob Matchock on fourth down on the second series, the Rockets went on a 12-play, 66-yard drive that finished with Garlock hitting Jordan Bailey for a 31-yard touchdown pass 1:55 into the second quarter.
“He’s usually pretty accurate,” Coach Garlock said of his son and QB. “That’s the biggest thing with him. He made a few mistakes, but overall, for his first varsity start, that was a pretty good game for him. I’m his coach, but I’m a proud dad as well.”
The Rockets converted on a fake punt to prolong the series. Southern reached deep into the playbook a few times, using the reverse to pick up some big yards at key times.
Southern, which amassed 400 yards, including 265 on the ground, went on a 10-play, 76-yard drive later in the quarter and completed the march with a Garlock to Mason Smith 15-yard touchdown pass.
Mo Valley’s Jon Dale, who ran for 131 yards on 24 carries, led the Knights on a 12-play drive at the end of the half. His 3-yard run to the 4 gave Mo Valley a first down. But a Matchock spike to stop the clock was followed by a Dale 4-yard loss with no timeouts. Another spike ended the half.
“It really hurt when we didn’t punch it in at the end of the half,” Keith said. “There’s a lot of things that happened during the game that we could have taken advantage of. And that’s a learning experience for us.”
Keith inserted Ben Murawski at quarterback and moved Matchock to wide receiver in the second half, but the Knights sputtered on offense.
“Jake is our quarterback,” Keith said, “but he also has very good hands. He’s very good when the ball is in the air. You’re probably going to see a lot of that because he’s a weapon.
The Rockets made it 25-0 on a 10-play, 65-yard drive that finished with Bailey darting 22 yards for a touchdown 52 seconds into the third quarter.
The Knights finally scored when Dale scored on a 1-yard run with 7:55 left in the game.
“I’m happy with the effort that they gave,” Coach Garlock said. “We knew we were going to make mistakes, and we’re going to have to be patient for a few games.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
So. Huntingdon…………. 6 12 0 7 –25
Moshannon Valley……..0 0 0 6 — 6
SH–Patton 53 pass from Garlock (pass failed), 7:30
SH–Bailey 31 pass from Garlock (pass failed), 10:05
SH–Smith 15 pass from Garlock (kick failed)
SH–Bailey 22 run (Marino kick), 11:08
MV–Dale 1 run (kick failed), 7:55
TEAM STATISTICS SH MV
First downs 19 10
Total yards 400 188
Rushes-yards 42-265 41-171
Yards passing 135 17
Pass(comp.-att.-int)….. 6-13-0……. 3-10-0
Punts-avg. 3-31.6 2-32.0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 9-52 2-32.0
RUSHING: Southern Huntingdon–Patton 18-109, Bailey 6-80, Garlock 8-47, Hunsinger 7-22, Marino 2-8, TEAM 1-(-1). Moshannon Valley–Dale 24-131, Bacher 8-14, Murawski 3-13, Matchock 6-13.
PASSING: Southern Huntingdon–Garlock 6-13-0-135. Moshannon Valley–Matchock 2-5-0-14, Murawski 1-3-0-3, TEAM 0-2-0-0.
RECEIVING: Southern Huntingdon–Patton 1-53, Bailey 1-31, Marino 1-23, Smith 1-15, Hunsinger, 2-13. Moshannon Valley–Bacher 1-9, DeLattre 1-5, Matchock 1-3.