CHERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Karns City quarterback Eric Booher came to the sideline after throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown by Moniteau’s David Dessicino and nodded confidently.
There was no panic. No lowering of the head. No handwringing, even though the pick-6 cut the Gremlins’ lead to 14-6 midway through the second quarter and sent the Moniteau fans into a frenzy.
“On the sideline, he was like, ‘Hey, let’s forget about it. Let’s keep going. Let’s get rolling,’” said Karns City coach Joe Sherwin. “That’s what you want out of your quarterback — a guy who doesn’t have a real good memory and forgets those bad plays.”
By the end of the night, Booher was all smiles and that interception was long forgotten as Karns City scored 30 unanswered points on the way to a 44-6 win Friday night.
“I just shook it off,” Booher said. “There was still more time in the game to make bigger plays.”
Booher tossed two touchdown passes after throwing the pick — 25 yards to Micah Rupp with a little more than a minute left in the first half for a 30-6 lead at the break, and a 63-yard strike to Cooper Coyle in the fourth quarter that put the finishing touches on the win.
Booher wound up 5 of 9 for 157 yards and the two scores.
Coyle was his favorite target on this humid night, catching three passes for 114 yards.
“Every receiver on this team is special,” Booher said. “Each of them has their different skill —tall, short, fast, big — and I love it. It’s just see who’s open and get them the ball.”
(Photo by Kathy Sutton)
Karns City (4-0) already has a dominant running game. Booher is giving the Gremlins a potent passing attack, too.
Combine them and, as Booher said, “I think we could be very, very amazing.”
As good as Booher was at regrouping, the real momentum shift happened mere seconds after Dessicino’s touchdown.
On the ensuing kickoff, sophomore Zach Kelly scampered 61 yards for a score, breaking a couple of tackles before sprinting away from the pursuit.
After Luke Garing walked in virtually untouched for the 2-point conversion out of Karns City’s “Hogs” Wildcat formation, suddenly the Gremlins were up 22-6.
The momentum the Warriors had seized was lost in a blink.
“I was thinking (after the Dessicino touchdown), ‘Here we go. Now we have a football game,’” said Moniteau coach Bob Rottman. “Then the kickoff return.”
“(Kelly) is one of our fastest guys,” Sherwin said. “I’m so happy for him because he’s worked hard. Believe it or not, he didn’t score many touchdowns in junior high, but he’s scored his first touchdowns for us on the varsity. He just turned on the jets there.”
Moniteau (0-3) did a good job for the most part containing Karns City’s running game. A week after piling up 325 yards on the ground, the Gremlins had 213 on 30 attempts.
Garing led the way with 43 yards and two touchdowns. Zach Blair added 42 yards on just three carries — including a 35-yard touchdown run — before he left the game with an arm injury. Jayce Anderson also added 39 on the ground.
Dessicino and Maverick Sutton both had huge games on defense for the Warriors. They were constantly around the ball.
“There’s always positives to take out of every game, and I think we had some positives tonight, even though there were a bunch of negatives,” Rottman said. “But those are the things we work on and try to get better at and turn those into positives, too.”
Karns City’s defense was again stout.
Matt Martino rushed for 51 yards on 12 carries, but Moniteau was held to just 124 yards of offense.
The Gremlins’ first-team defense has only given up two touchdowns in four games.
That makes Booher smile, too.
So does the direction the offense is heading.
“Our line is very solid,” Booher said. “Our run game is very solid. If we can get the passing game going like we did tonight, it’s gonna be scary.”