Hilltop ground game too much for Red Devils
By Calem Illig
For the Mirror
JOHNSTOWN — It was a “ground and pound” type of game for Westmont Hilltop on Saturday.
With only one pass attempt throughout the entire game, eight different players combined to pick up 350 yards on the ground for the Hilltoppers as they defeated Central Cambria, 45-6.
While Westmont Hilltop (2-1) ran the ball on all but one play, much of its offensive success was in thanks to someone who had only nine touches in the entirety of the game.
Mason Muto, who totaled 126 yards, scored four touchdowns to lead his team.
He said that while it was a good game for himself, his offensive line was what opened up the playing field.
“The line blocked well and opened up holes for me,” Muto said. “I was just able to find the hole and take off.”
Westmont Hilltop coach Pat Barron agreed.
“Those guys up front paved the way and the backs ran hard,” Barron said. “I give a lot of credit to those guys.”
But Barron also showed support for his running backs, who said they bailed his team out with limited options in its air attack.
Muto scored on runs of 3, 4, 32 and 37 yards.
“He’s a tough kid,” Barron said of Muto. “He’s an unbelievable athlete, he’s a tough, hard-nosed runner and when teams try to take away our toss, he’s usually our answer. He had a great game today, and hats-off to him.”
Also contributing to the run game was Camden Moors, who totaled 115 yards on 10 carries, which included the first score of the game.
“No matter who runs the ball, every other person is blocking,” Moors said of his offensive unit. “We just have to keep playing as a team, hold on to the ball and keep turnovers in our favor.”
While the offense racked up points against the Red Devils, Westmont Hilltop was grounded by its defense. Central Cambria was held in check for the most part, picking up only 70 yards on the ground.
The air attack was also stifled, and quarterback Nathan Knopp threw three interceptions. Zane Blackburn got two of them.
“We’re just a good team that has good communication,” Blackburn said of his defense. “Everyone is just playing their position. When you have a man to your left doing what he’s doing and the man to your right doing what he’s doing, it just all comes together.”
With everything clicking for Westmont, it caused headaches on the Central Cambria (1-2) sideline.
For the second week in a row, coach Shane McGregor said, his team was out-matched in the trenches.
“It’s a line of scrimmage game,” McGregor said. “We got beat on the line of scrimmage and they controlled it on both the offensive and defensive lines, so they controlled the game. Not trying to sound like a broken record, but that’s how it is.”
McGregor said that while he expects his team to rebound for next week, it was tough to come out today and put that type of showing up against a great team.
“(Barron) has a great system that he’s established,” McGregor said. “It’s different and it’s weird, but they do it really well, so it works. Just like Navy does it and Army does it in college football, it allows them to find success in a pretty good league. A hat-tip to them and we have to get better for next week.”
Score by quarter
Central Cambria 0 0 0 6 — 6
Westmont Hilltop 7 20 12 6 — 45
WH — Moors 10 run (Kaseler kick), 8:01
WH — Muto 3 run (Kaseler kick), 10:37
WH — Muto 4 run (kick failed), 6:40
WH — Muto 32 run (Kaseler kick), 4:45
WH — Muto 37 run (run failed), 11:11
WH — Holbay 5 run (run failed), 4:44
WH — Mastovich 4 run (run failed), 9:01
CC — Dill 14 run (kick failed), 3:24
Team statistics CC WH
First downs 7 12
Total yards 210 350
Rushing yards 70 350
Passing yards 140 0
Kick returns 8-81 2-33
Comp-Att-Int 12-25-3 0-1-1
Punts 2-35.5 0-0
Fumbles-lost 2-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 4-40 3-35
Rushing: Central Cambria, Dill 5-43, Fryer 1-12, Gauden 6-3, Long 3-3, Little 1-12. Westmont Hilltop, Muto 9-126, Moors 16-115, Kushner 9-48, Holbay 7-37, Mastovich 5-17, Roddy 2-5, Panebianco 2-2, Ray 1-0.
Passing: Central Cambria, Knopp 7-15-3-76, Gauden 3-7-0-21, Little 2-2-0-26. Westmont Hilltop, Polacek 0-1-1-0.
Receiving: Central Cambria, Gauden 4-52, Knopp 2-27, Melnyk 1-19, Farabaugh 1-17, Wentz 1-9, Long 1-5.