Lions dominate Berlin
SOMERSET — Chestnut Ridge entered the District 5 Class 2A playoffs on a two-game losing streak, and Lions coach Max Shoemaker wasn’t quite sure what to expect when his team took on Berlin Brothersvalley in a semifinal game Friday.
“I thought we warmed up flat,” Shoemaker said. “I thought we didn’t seem to be intense at all, but this group is kind of hard to read at times.”
Fortunately for the veteran coach, his read was way off.
The Lions scored 21 first-quarter points and got a pair of interceptions, one returned for a score, from Jared McGill in a 49-7 rout.
Quarterback Logan Pfister ran for a game-high 103 yards and two touchdowns on just seven carries and added a pair of scores through the air.
“Our run game was going strong early,” Pfister said. “That allowed us to open the pass game up more. When we have both going, our offense really gets clicking.”
Pfister is in his first year under center for Chestnut Ridge but made it through the rigors of the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference schedule and passed most of his tests with flying colors on the way to leading the Lions to an 8-2 mark in the regular season.
“He’s our trigger man in our offense,” Shoemaker said. “He’s only a sophomore, so we’re hoping he continues to grow and improve. He’s certainly been a key to our success this year.”
McGill added a rushing score to go along with his interception return, and Jacob Mowry caught a touchdown pass and also picked off a pass.
Matt Whysong caught a 25-yard touchdown pass and then relieved Pfister at quarterback midway through the third quarter. He did his best impression of the starter by dashing 35 yards for a score on just his second carry.
“Anyone on my offense is a threat,” Pfister said. “I know if I get the ball to them, they can go and score and make a big play happen.”
Though the offense put up more than 40 points, Shoemaker pointed to McGill’s early interceptions as they key that really broke the game open.
“We stumbled a little bit offensively against Berlin’s front six early,” Shoemaker said. “Those two turnovers were monumental in getting us out to a big lead.”
The Mountaineers (4-7) didn’t get much of anything started against the Chestnut Ridge defense. Berlin converted just three first downs, and most of its 111 yards of total offense came on Cole Blubaugh’s 60-yard run in the second quarter. Two Mountaineers quarterbacks combined to complete more passes to Chestnut Ridge (three) than their own team (two).
Blubaugh added a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown just before the start of the fourth quarter to allow Berlin to avoid a shutout.
“That team has so much offense, and there’s a bunch of veterans on that team,” Berlin Brothersvalley coach Doug Paul said. “They have been there before, and we’re kind of like a junior varsity team out there with how many young guys we have on the team. I want our guys to work hard in the offseason, because Chestnut Ridge is where we want to be in one or two years.”
Shoemaker’s Lions will play the winner of tonight’s Meyersdale at Everett game in the District 5 2A championship next Friday at a neutral site.
Getting back on the winning track after close losses to Bishop Guilfoyle and Richland to close out the season and setting the tone early was important to Shoemaker, who added that winning the district title is an annual goal for his squad.
“It’s huge to bounce back after a couple tough defeats,” Shoemaker said. “It was important to get out of the gate early with some success.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Berlin Brothersvalley 0 0 7 0 — 7
Chestnut Ridge 21 14 14 0 — 49
CR–Pfister 39 run (Anderson kick), 8:35
CR–Mowry 3 pass from Pfister (Anderson kick), 2:14
CR–McGill 36 interception return (Anderson kick), 0:43
CR–Pfister 37 run (Anderson kick), 1:15
CR–Whysong 25 pass from Pfister (Anderson kick), 0:06
CR–McGill 1 run (Anderson kick), 5:22
CR–Whysong 35 run (Anderson kick), 0:21
BB–Blubaugh 90 kickoff return (Glessner kick), 0:06
TEAM STATISTICS BB CR
First downs 3 16
Total yards 111 418
Rushes-yards 26-98 34-255
Passing (com.-att.-int) 2-10-3 13-19-0
Punts-avg. 6-25 1-40
Fumbles-lost 2-0 3-2
Penalties-yards 2-10 4-20
RUSHING–Berlin Brothersvalley, Blubaugh 11-79, Sager 5-13, Etris 1-5, Paul 6-1, Countryman 3-0. Chestnut Ridge, Pfister 7-103, Weyandt 5-57, Whysong 2-35, McGill 9-28, Bollman 5-13, Harbaugh 3-9, Holderbaum 1-6, Hillegass 1-5, TEAM 1-(-1).
PASSING–Berlin Brothersvalley, Countryman 1-8-2-9, Paul 1-2-1-4. Chestnut Ridge, Pfister 13-16-0-163, Whysong 0-2-0-0, TEAM 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING–Berlin Brothersvalley, Blubaugh 2-13. Chestnut Ridge, Weaver 3-39, Crocker 3-44, Mowry 3-17, Holderbaum 1-29, Whysong 1-25, Harbaugh 1-6, McGill 1-3.