KARNS CITY, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Luke Garing was taking it easy in gym class on Monday when someone threw him a ball during a game of — well, he isn’t exactly sure what he was playing.
Garing leapt to grab it, but when he came down, he rolled his left ankle on a classmate and crumpled to the floor.
Garing, a senior fullback and linebacker for the Karns City football team, feared the worst.
“I was pretty worried,” he said. “I don’t even know what the game we were playing was called — just some kind of weird game with ball. I did exercises every day, just kind of hoping.”
He didn’t play the first series on offense or defense, but once Garing did enter the game on the Gremlins’ next possession against Central Clarion Friday night, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound pile-mover made a huge impact despite the balky ankle, which was spatted heavily.
Garing rushed 16 times for 144 yards and a touchdown. Karns City used the bruising back a handful of times in the Wildcat formation the Gremlins call the “Hogs” package with impressive results in the 37-13 win.
When the Karns City coaches unveiled the new wrinkle to the offense, Garing said he only expected it to be used sparingly — maybe a fourth-and-short here, or on-the-goal-line there.
It’s evolving into much more. Garing is using his brute force to move piles and rack up first downs.
“It’s pretty cool and it’s working for us,” Garing said. “I didn’t think we’d use it that much, but in practice the guys were just opening up huge holes. Our offensive linemen and the two backs beside me (Zach Blair and Jayce Anderson), they were blowing everybody up, and I was just kind of walking into the end zone.”
Garing is physical enough to make his own holes if need be.
Rarely knocked off stride, Garing is load to bring down. He picks up most of his yardage after first contact. He also has a stiff arm when he does get into the open field that would make Tennessee Titans’ 2,000-yard rusher Derrick Henry proud.
“It feels awesome,” Garing said. “I mean, I’d rather be the one delivering the hit instead of taking the hit, so I want to go out and punish guys.”
WARRIORS BACK ON THE FIELD — After a one-week hiatus because of COVID-19 protocols, Moniteau made the long journey to take on Ridgway and dropped a 42-14 decision Friday night.
Fullback Matt Martino rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown and sophomore quarterback David Dessicino added 34 yards on the ground and a score, but the Warriors fell to 0-2.
There were some bright spots for Moniteau.
Martino also had a big game on defense with seven tackles. Colton Thomas led the team with eight tackles.
But it wasn’t enough to counter Ridgway’s offense, which got off to a torrid start.
The Elkers (3-0) showed why they are one of the Big School favorites, leading 35-0 midway through the second quarter.
Ridgway quarterback Jonathan Hinton tossed three touchdown passes in the first 17 minutes of the game.
Moniteau will host rival Karns City and Ridgway takes on Bradford on the road Friday.
HUBBERS STILL PERFECT — Noah Lent has Smethport humming.
The senior piled up nearly 400 yards rushing and passing and accounted for all five touchdowns in the Hubbers’ 35-14 win over Port Allegany.
BIG NIGHT FOR BROOKVILLE’S DEFENSE — The Raiders’ offense gets a lot of love with Charlie Krug slinging the football all over the yard, but the defense was a big factor in Brookville’s 35-6 win over Punxsutawney.
Brayden Kunselman picked off three passes, returning one for a touchdown in the victory. The 5-foot-7 junior has four interceptions already this season out of his free safety position
Brookville forced five turnovers.
Krug and the offense were good, too, of course. The sophomore QB was 14 of 24 for 164 yards and three touchdowns.
Brookville is off to a 3-0 start for the third season in a row. The last time the Raiders got off to starts lick that in three consecutive years was in 1931, ’32 and ’33.