Jeannette dumps Southmoreland, 49-21
Southmoreland coach Mark Adams knew his Scotties needed to play mistake free football if they were to be competitive with Interstate Conference power Jeannette.
But Southmoreland turned the ball over four times and dropped a 49-21 season-opening loss to Jeannette (1-0, 1-0) at California (Pa.)'s Adamson Stadium.
The game was to be played at Southmoreland but was moved to Cal because of flood damage at the Scotties' home field.
“That killed us,” Southmoreland coach Mark Adams said. “We get back in the ballgame. Then, the big plays killed us. I tip my hat to them. They are a good football team. They know how to win and they've been doing it for years.”
Jeannette's defense forced an early first-quarter fumble deep in Southmoreland (0-1, 0-1) territory and turned it into a quick touchdown.
The Jayhawks' Quenth Rickard ran it up the middle for a 7-yard score.
Rickard struck again midway through the first when he took a draw handoff, broke several tackles and raced 63-yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
It was evident early that the Jayhawks speed would be a deciding factor.
“We do have a good bit of team speed,” Jayhawks coach Roy Hall said. “But you've got to have those guys up front, too. That seemed to be the difference in the game.
Southmoreland's defense appeared poised to make a big stop near midfield early in the second quarter after Jake Beistel stuffed Damone Morton deep in the Jayhawk backfield.
But Julian Batts found Wise for 17 yards on fourth-and-14.
Another 17-yard strike to Wise put the ball on the Southmoreland 7-yard line, and Batts followed with a 7-yard run scoring run around right end for a 21-0 lead.
The Scotties' offense responded when Aaron Bailey found a hole and raced 36 yards down to the Jayhawks 32-yard line.
Quarterback Brennan Coles ended the 69-yard march when he followed strong blocking and scored on a 1-yard run, cutting the lead to 21-7.
Jeannette's Zack Alteri restored the three-score lead for Jeannette when he took a pitch from Batts, eluded two defenders and scored on an 11-yard run.
Jeannette added another score when Cruz White intercepted a Coles pass and rumbled 17 yards for a touchdown and a 35-7 halftime lead.
“That can't happen,” Adams said. “But we're a young program, and things like that happen sometimes.”
Jeannette's Terrell Canady raced 90 yards with the second-half kickoff to put the game out of reach.
Pisula scored on two 4-yard runs in the second half for Southmoreland. and finished finished with 142 yards on 21 carries.
Rickard led Jeannette's rushing attack with 90 yards on five carries. Batts completed 8 of 9 passing for 115 yards for the Jayhawks.
“I've always said that being a defensive coach you hate to see a quarterback like Batts that can run, scramble and throw the ball,” added Hall. “He did a nice job of keeping them off balance.”
David Whipkey is a freelance writer.