Baker hits milestone in Dragons’ victory
WINGATE — Longtime Central and Williamsburg football coach Dave Baker picked up his 200th career win as the Scarlet Dragons avenged a pair of losses from last season, including one that ended their season in the District 6 semifinals, with a 33-9 triumph over Bald Eagle Area on Friday.
“It’s a good thing and a nice milestone, I guess,” said Baker, who is coaching his 41st season. “The better thing is coming down here and getting a win, where we’ve had trouble winning lately. I don’t celebrate birthdays and stuff like that. You don’t want to say it’s just another game, but for everyone else it’s just another game. No one else really cares, but it’s good to get the win.”
Jeff Hoenstine threw for 226 yards and three touchdown passes, and Central’s defense completely dominated the line of scrimmage as the Eagles lost 39 yards on 24 carries for the game.
Play of the game: Central’s Demetrious Harbaugh made several Bald Eagle Area defenders miss then got to the sideline and out ran everyone on a 65-yard punt return for a score just 21 seconds before halftime that made the score 21-2.
Coaching move of the game: The Eagles got the ball back with just 1:02 left in the half on their own 20-yard line, and Central called two timeouts and took advantage of an incomplete pass to keep some time on the clock for Harbaugh’s return.
Player of the game: Hoenstine’s three touchdown passes were to three different receivers — Hunter Smith, Hunter Klotz and Ethan Eicher. He also ran for 34 yards and a couple key first downs.
Unsung hero: Bald Eagle Area’s Owen Irvin caught four passes for a game-high 103 yards and a touchdown. He also had an interception and was tackled at the 1-yard line on another catch.
Most vital statistic: Central forced five turnovers and also tackled the BEA punter before he got one of his kicks off.
Hold it, won’t ya?: The Scarlet Dragons and Eagles combined for fumbles on three straight plays that eventually led to BEA’s only first-half score, a safety with 8:41 to play in the second quarter.
Something to work on: Central committed 13 penalties for 92 yards that wiped out two touchdowns and a fumble recovery.
Small crowd: Just 26 fans were allowed into Bald Eagle Area’s stadium. Band parents watched their children perform before the game and then were asked to leave the property and were replaced by parents of football players.
Hoenstine: “This is a game we definitely wanted to win out of most of our games. We were ready for them. I think scoring early on them really set the tone, and they knew we came to play. I’m just so grateful to be playing. I love this game. It’s my favorite sport, and I’m so happy to get out here with my guys and get a win.”
Baker: “They beat us twice here last year, and it’s nice to get this win. They are a good team. They can do some things. They have speed, and they are going to come on. I just don’t think they are quite ready. They are a team that will develop and be good.”
Bald Eagle Area coach Jesse Nagle: “We were down inside the 1-yard line and get a bad snap and fumble the ball. Little things like that, they are going to learn from and get better. They are inexperienced guys. That’s the unfortunate part of the game. If you miss opportunities, good teams will capitalize on that.”
Notable: Josh Biesinger, Devon Boyles and Parker Gregg had interceptions for the Scarlet Dragons. Gregg also scored on a 1-yard touchdown run. … Chase Thompson was BEA’s leading rusher with five carries for zero yards.
Records: Central (1-0); Bald Eagle Area (0-1)
Next week: Central stays in Centre County when it travels to Bellefonte (0-1), and BEA hosts Huntingdon (0-1).
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Central 14 7 12 0 — 33
Bald Eagle Area 0 2 0 7 — 9
C–Smith 54 pass from Hoenstine (Keith kick), 10:36
C–Gregg 1 run (Keith kick), 2:44
C–Harbaugh 65 punt return (Keith kick), 0:21
C–Klotz 8 pass from Hoenstine (kick failed), 9:45
C–Eicher 6 pass from Hoenstine (run failed), 3:06
BEA–Irvin 36 pass from Burns (Stere kick), 7:31
TEAM STATISTICS C BEA
First downs 14 6
Total yards 304 125
Rushes-yards 26-78 24-(-39)
Yards passing 226 164
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 17-25-1 12-32-3
Punts-avg. 3-23 7-32.4
Fumbles-lost 5-3 3-2
Penalties-yards 13-92 4-30
RUSHING–Central, Gregg 9-59, Hoenstine 8-34, Rhule 2-6, Smith 1-3, Diehl 1-2, Clark 2-(-5), TEAM 2-(-8), Daugherty 1-(-13). Bald Eagle Area, Thompson 5-0, Vaughn 2-(-1), Eckley 3-(-1), Burns 14-(-37).
PASSING–Central, Hoenstine 15-23-1-207, Daugherty 2-2-0-19. Bald Eagle Area, Burns 12-32-3-164.
RECEIVING–Central, Klotz 5-51, Smith 3-76, Boyles 3-48, Eicher 3-35, Yingling 1-10, Lingenfelter 1-9, Biesinger 1-(-3). Bald Eagle Area, Irvin 4-103, Foster 3-24, Eckley 2-19, Vaughn 2-9, Watkins 1-9.