Pine Richland plays tough against Kiski Area
Playing in front of a packed house at Pine Richland Stadium on homecoming night, Kiski Area wanted nothing more than to play the role of spoiler, and send Pine-Richland fans home with the sour taste of defeat.
The home-standing Rams didn't let that happen. Pine-Richland (2-3) defeated the Cavaliers (2-3), 31-14, in a non-conference game.
Pine-Richland exploded for 21 second-quarter points and didn't look back, led by a dominating ground game that racked up 258 yards.
With the score tied, 7-7, Pine-Richland embarked on an 11-play drive that featured 10 runs by sophomore Conner Slomka and a 38-yard completion on 3rd-and-29 that kept the drive alive. The drive was capped by a 7-yard touchdown run from Slomka.
“We got people out of position,” Kiski Area coach Dave Heavner said. “We have a player in the secondary that doesn't play much there. He did his best job. I give credit to Pine-Richland. They made plays when we didn't.”
Slomka finished with 150 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries.
Pine-Richland later strung together a 10-play drive late in the fourth quarter that resulted in a 42-yard field goal by senior kicker Grant Goldberg. The drive featured six runs, five of them by Slomka.
Kiski Area was victimized by big plays all night, the main one right before halftime when senior quarterback Ricky Carter was intercepted by senior linebacker Nico Elms, who returned the pass 66 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-7.
Aside from the interception, Carter was a bright spot for the Cavaliers, going 10 for 16 for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
“Ricky is a great leader,” Heavner said. “It's his first full year playing quarterback. He's someone we are going to lean on the rest of the year. Even though we lost, I'm pleased with our effort.”
D.J. Vasil is a freelance writer.