Brutal quarter costs Charleroi against Jayhawks
There are times when final scores just aren't indicative of an athletic contest.
One look at Friday's final score in Jeannette's 62-27 win over Charleroi at McKee Stadium would make most think the game was a one-sided affair.
Outside of a brutal eight-minute stretch in the third quarter, the Cougars (0-2, 0-2) played the Jayhawks (2-0, 2-0) relatively even.
But unfortunately for Charleroi and its second-year coach Ed Jenkins, the outcome was measured on the full 48 minutes and not just 40.
“We had that rough eight-minute stretch,” Jenkins said. “It was a few mistakes and we will work to improve on them.”
After forcing a Charleroi punt on the initial drive of the game, it didn't take Jeannette long to score.
Aided by a 15-yard personal foul on the Cougars, Jeannette only needed two plays to go 47 yards and they took a 6-0 lead on a 17-yard scoring strike from Julian Batts to Miles Sunder.
Batts ran in a two-point conversion, and just like that the Jayhawks led 8-0.
Charleroi bounced right back going 71 yards on 11 plays, and Brandon Bowman raced untouched on a 24-yard counter from the pistol shotgun formation.
Sean Cole's extra point cut the Jeannette lead to a single point, 8-7.
Jeannette answered right back as it went 60 yards on eight plays to extend its lead.
Batts connected on his second touchdown pass in as many possessions, this time to Damone Morton from 25 yards out.
Michael Wise's extra point pushed Jeannette's lead to 15-7, and the score held into the second quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, Dakota Moorer returned the kick 45 yards to the Jeannette 40 and seven plays later Moorer caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Brennan Matthews.
Charleroi went for two, but Matthews was stopped short of the goal line and Jeannette maintained a 15-13 lead.
It did not take Jeannette long to counter.
Wise returned a kick to midfield, and on the next play, Terell Canady raced around the right end and scored from 50 yards out.
Wise's extra point gave Jeannette a 22-13 lead heading into halftime, but a key Charleroi defensive stand before halftime kept Jeannette from adding points before the break.
Jeannette got down to the Charleroi 18, but Keenan Griffith pressured Batts into an interception inside the five by Moorer.
“Going into the half, the players felt good with where we were down nine,” Jenkins said. “We needed to get one stop, but things unraveled.”
Jeannette scored on the initial drive of the second half when Batts picked up his own fumble and raced 45 yards to extend the Jeannette lead to 29-13, and the Jayhawks scored three more touchdowns over the next six minutes to induce the mercy rule.
“(Batts) fumbled the ball, picked it up and ran for a score,” Jenkins said. “Then we gave up the (69-yard) punt return touchdown (by Morton) and we botched a punt attempt and gave them the ball at the four.
“It's the little things.”
To add insult to the injury, Jeannette recovered a Matthews fumble and once again had a short field to work with as Kareem Hall went in from 26 yards.
Mateo Garner scored from five yards out for Jeannette with four minutes to go, but Charleroi's Jimmy Smith raced 90 yards for a score with 3:31 to go and Griffith returned a fumble with 3:!4 to close the scoring for Charleroi.
Seth Spino closed the scoring when he raced for a 22-yard touchdown for Jeannette on the last play of the game.
Despite the loss, Jenkins is seeing improvement.
“I am very proud of the kids for the effort they gave tonight, even after we got way down,” he said. “Now the guys see that we can play with better teams, and we have to get ready for Washington at home.”
GAME NOTES: Brandon Bowman, who Jenkins called a leader for Charleroi, led all rushers with 81 yards on 14 carries … Matthews finished 7-15 for 60 yards, but only completed one out of eight passes in the second half … Jeannette had 17 first downs while Charleroi had 14 … Jake Lemmon had a sack and blocked extra point for Charleroi.
Bill Hughes is a freelance writer.