Turnovers doom Kiski Area in loss to Pine-Richland
Kiski Area had intentions of sending fans home with a victory on homecoming night, but Pine-Richland had other plans.
Pine-Richland took advantage of three Kiski Area turnovers and rolled to a 56-28 victory over the Cavaliers in a Class AAAA nonconference game at Davis Field.
The Rams (3-2) scored points off all three turnovers against the Cavaliers (2-3).
“Any turnover is bad,” Kiski Area coach Dave Heavner said. “We're not going to win another football game if we turn the ball over like we've been turning the ball over the last three games.”
The most costly turnover came late in the first half. With the score tied 21-21, sophomore quarterback Chad Kuhn looked to hit senior receiver Joe Brungo on a slant route, but the pass was high and bounced off Brungo's hands into the waiting arms of Pine-Richland junior defensive back D'Ondre Gastion, who sprinted 36 yards for the touchdown.
Kiski Area went into halftime trailing 28-21.
Kiski Area recovered a fumble early in the second half but squandered the opportunity. Kuhn was picked off for the second time, by junior Michael Merhaut. That led to junior running back Connor Slomka's 37-yard touchdown run.
Slomka finished with 219 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns.
As a team, Pine-Richland gashed the Kiski Area defense for 379 rushing yards.
“That's what we make our living on,” Pine-Richland coach Eric Kasperowicz said. “We want to be a physical downhill running team. That's what we preach, and we came in tonight and did that.”
Pine-Richland junior quarterback Ben DiNucci added 154 yards and three touchdowns through the air as the Rams amassed 533 total yards.
Kiski Area started strong, marching down the field on a six-play, 64-yard drive capped by a 40-yard touchdown pass from Chad Kuhn to Shane Kuhn.
Chad Kuhn led Kiski Area on the ground and through the air, passing for 149 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 106 yards on 17 carries. Shane Kuhn caught three passes for 93 yards and one touchdown.
D.J. Vasil is a freelance writer.