PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. – The Karns City Gremlins posted 28 first-half points on 16 rushes, totaling 167 yards as they rolled to another mercy-rule victory over the hosting Punxsutawney Chucks, 42-8.
Karns City got the scoring started with a six-play 66-yard drive that saw Zach Blair race 37 yards down the Punxsy sideline to open the scoring.
(Photos courtesy of Alize Sullenberger and Living Proof Productions)
“There is no secret that we want to run the ball,” said Karns City head coach Joe Sherwin. “Teams are always going to try to game plan to stop that so we have to be able to throw the ball to.”
Do it all back, Luke Garing, punched in a seven-yard touchdown run capping off a five-play 59-yard drive putting the Gremlins in a commanding 14-0 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Gremlins forced a fumble in Chucks territory and Zach Kelly scooped it up on one hop and sprinted to the promised land 35 yards stealing all the momentum out of the stadium.
“I really think that getting that fast start is so important for the guys,” said Sherwin. “It really sets the tone and the tempo for the rest of the game.”
Eric Booher was 2 for 4 in the first half for 30 yards, connecting on a 19-yard pass to Cooper Coyle and an 11-yard dart to Luke Cramer.
As for the Chucks, Punxsutawney picked up 54 yards for 18 carries.
Chucks Head Coach Alan Nichol stated: “I was pleased with our offensive line, we came off the ball hard. Our running backs ran hard and that’s all you can ask.”
Sophomore Noah Weaver was 5 of 9 in the first half passing but only managed to tally 39 total yards, while featured back Gabe Kengersky hauled in four catches for 34 yards in the opening half.
“I thought Noah played really well, considering the situation that we tossed him into.”
The Gremlins didn’t let off the throttle in the second half starting hot. Jayce Anderson took the opening kickoff of the second half all the way down to the Punxsutawney 15, rumbling 57 yards and being just one blocker away from a touchdown of his own.
It was Cramer punching it in for Karns City making it 35-0 after the extra point as the mercy-rule clock started to continuously run.
The Chucks answered almost immediately with a score of their own as Wagner punched one in for Punxsy, making it 35-8 after the two-point conversion run by Zeke Bennett.
“We will get more numbers back this week and we will get a better look this week at practice,” Nichol said. “Karns City is a great team. Sometimes when you take on teams like that, you just have to tip your caps.”
Anderson added his second score of the game in the fourth quarter, heading right up the middle of the Chuck defense and scoring to make it 42-8.
Karns City finished the game with 239 yards on the ground and 48 yards through the air, while the Chucks finished with 167 yards rushing and 80 yards passing.
Now 2-0, Karns City gets set to host visiting Central Clarion, which had the night off because of COVID-19 protocols at Moniteau.
“That’s a unique situation,” said Sherwin. “We only have one game to watch, so it’s not what we are used to, so it may be a little difficult, but we will make adjustments as we need and be OK.”
Punxsy will get set to take a short trip to Brookville when they take on the Raiders at Raiders Stadium.
Garing and Cramer led the attack for the Gremlins on defense as they both racked up double-digit tackles on the night.
As for the Chucks, it was Kenergersky that was a sideline-to-sideline force for Nichol all night long, totaling double-digit tackles and also adding a sack.