Connect with us

Football

Keystone Snags Small School South Title With Blowout Win Over Elk County Catholic

KNOX, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Coming off two consecutive disappointing losses and needing a win to to keep their Small School South Division title hopes alive, the Keystone football team was looking for a spark.

It got one from Kyle Nellis and a finally healthy offensive line.

(Photo by Shelly Atzeni)

Nellis rushed for 155 yards and scored on runs of 8, 11 and 40 to lift the Panthers to a 48-20 home win over Elk County Catholic on Friday night.

Heeter Lumber Logo 2 (1)
Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and D9Sports.com is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

The victory, coupled with Redbank Valley’s 28-6 win over Union/A-C Valley, gave Keystone its second division title in three years.

In 2019, the Panthers, Union/A-C Valley and Redbank all shared the division crown.

“The guys were really excited,” said Keystone coach Ryan Smith. “We like being the underdog. Before the season started, we weren’t picked to finish in the top two (in the Small School South). We used that to go out and prove people wrong.”

Keystone (6-2) is finally on the mend.

With two offensive lineman missing the last two weeks, the running game suffered.

With Gunnar Heeter and Landon Hurrelbrink back in the lineup up front, Nellis and Keystone ran wild on Elk County Catholic (3-5).

Nellis also caught a 35-yard TD pass from Bret Wingard as the Panthers piled up 243 yards rushing in the victory.

“All the kids played really well tonight,” Smith said. “We minimized the mistakes and self-inflicted wounds. We got off the ball well.”

Wingard completed two passes and they both went for touchdowns. He also connected with Zander McHenry, who missed last week’s game against Smethport as well, on a 22-yard TD.

This division title was won all the way back in August.

In Week 1, Keystone beat Redbank Valley, 22-20. That game proved huge in the standings all season.

“We lost a heartbreaker to Union/A-C Valley by two, but we were fortunate to play Redbank Valley early and win by two. That team is playing through the roof right now.”

Keystone will close out the regular season at Moniteau next week and then await its playoff fate.

“It’s for seeding,” Smith said. “We want to try to get in the top three. We’ll see what happens. I’m really proud of the guys.”

Heeter Lumber Logo 2 (1)
Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and D9Sports.com is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.



Advertisement Enter ad code here