Missed opportunities costly for Heights
By Rob Longo
For the Mirror
PATTON — After last week’s 6-0 loss at Penn Cambria, Cambria Heights knew it needed to get off to a much better start than the week before, especially against a high-powered, up-tempo offense like Richland.
The Highlanders got the quick start it needed, forcing a fumble on the opening kickoff and starting just the first offensive drive just outside the red zone. The issue was, Cambria Heights couldn’t move the ball, as the drive stalled deep in Richland territory. That was after four first downs, two more than the Highlanders had the entire first half last week.
That opening drive was an omen for Cambria Heights, as the Highlanders dropped their second-straight game, this one to Richland, 35-6.
“We did a nice job playing with them for three quarters, possibly part of four,” Cambria Heights coach Jarrod Lewis said. “I thought the kids played hard,
Where Cambria Heights was unable to make a splash on offense, the defense made up for it. Richland was held to a 3-for-7 effort on third downs, and couldn’t convert on two fourth-down attempts. The biggest play came in the second quarter, where Zack Farabaugh stepped in front of a Joe Hauser pass, taking the return down to the 26-yard line. Cambria Heights was able to punch it in from 6 yards out later on the drive for its lone score of the game. That made it 14-6, in favor of the Rams, at that point.
“I was dropping back in coverage; it was zone coverage,” Farabaugh said. “I saw (Hauser) throw the ball over my way, and the ball bounced off the receivers’ hands and I just took off. We got enough to score that drive.”
On the opening drive of the third quarter, Farabaugh hit for a 50-yard run, by far the longest play from scrimmage for Cambria Heights. Later in the drive, the Highlanders fumbled the snap right at the Richland goal line. From there, the Rams chewed up copious amounts of clock and scored with 1:31 to go in the period, capping off a 98-yard drive. It was the second backbreaking score by Richland, with the first one coming with 1.8 seconds to go in the first half, which put the Rams up 14-6 at halftime.
“Obviously the fumble at the goal line was a big momentum changer,” Lewis said. “As a football team, you can’t do that, it’s that simple. I hate to make it as simple as that, but when you get your opportunities to score, we have to score. We’ll fix it.”
Last week, the Highlanders accumulated 150 yards of total offense. Friday was a different story for Cambria Heights, thanks mostly to Farabaugh, who rushed for 108 yards off 14 carries. Although he is a senior, this is his first year of varsity action.
“I played football from fifth to eighth grade, and (Lewis) wanted me to play this year,” said Farabaugh, who also plays baseball and runs track. “I gave it some thought and thought it would be a good experience, and so far it’s been a good experience.”
Even though Farabaugh has only played two games, he’s already fallen in love with the culture of Friday night lights.
“Football has to be No. 1,” he said. “You don’t get the feeling at home games or even away games (as other sports).”
While Farabaugh may still be in his honeymoon phase of the season, Cambria Heights faces Bishop Guilfoyle next week, a tough task for a team that did not complete a pass Friday, in addition to going 1-for-13 on third downs.
“It doesn’t get any easier,” Lewis said. “We’re going to have a good week of practice and get ready to go.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Richland 7 7 7 14 — 35
Cambria Heights 0 6 0 0 — 6
R–Burke 29 pass from Hauser (Bodenschatz kick), 0:14
CH–Trybus 6 run (kick failed), 1:56.
R–Malzi 4 pass from Hauser (Bodenschatz kick), 0:01.
R–Vogelsburger 5 run (Bodenschatz kick), 1:31.
R–Reed 5 run (Bodenschatz kick), 6:32.
B–Tustin 23 run (Bodenschatz kick), 1:53.
TEAM STATISTICS R CH
First downs 18 8
Total yards 368 132
Rushes-yards 29-207 48-132
Yards passing 161 0
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 10-20-1 0-6-0
Punts-avg. 2-31.0 4-28.0
Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-2
Penalties-yards 3-30 3-25
RUSHING–Richland, Reed 12-78, Vogelsburger 6-22, Ford 3-16, Kocsis 2-16, Hauser 2-27, Tustin 2-30, J. Sabol 1-8, Mangus 1-10. Cambria Heights, Trybus 9-(minus 1), Link 13-32, Farabaugh 14-108, Stockley 10-12, Bearer 3-(minus 16), Maul 1-(minus 3).
PASSING–Richland, Hauser 15-28-1-161. Cambria Heights, Bearer 0-5-0-0, Link 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING–Richland, Kovachick 2-4, Tustin 1-18, Bailey 2-17, Malzi 2-14, Burke 4-85, J. Sabol 1-5, Kocsis 1-18. Cambria Heights, none.