Southmoreland ruins Charleroi's Carr-to-Moorer highlight reel
How draining was Southmoreland's 30-27 heart-pounding win over Charleroi in an entertaining Interstate Conference game Friday?Both Charleroi coach Ed Jenkins and Southmoreland mentor Mark Adams were spent when the contest had ended.
“I need a minute,” said Adams, managing a smile as he sat down. “I'm beat. Winning isn't supposed to be this tough, but losing for us has been tough, too, so what the heck? We'll take it.”
“I feel drained, so I can only imagine how my kids feel,” said Jenkins, sweat pouring down his face. “Our kids gave it their all. Both teams did. It was a very good football game to watch.”
That it was.
The game boiled down to Southmoreland's backfield of Jake Pisula and Aaron Bailey trying to outduel the Charleroi pass combo of Matt Carr to Dakota Moorer.
Carr, making his first start of the year since suffering a broken collarbone in the first pre-season scrimmage, and Moorer may have gotten the best of it in the stats book, but Pisula and Bailey got the win.
Carr completed 24 of 38 passes for 339 yards and four touchdowns — all to Moorer, who caught 13 passes for 225 yards.
Pisula rushed for 192 yards on 27 carries and scored two touchdowns, while Bailey rushed for a season-high 151 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. Bailey scored the game-deciding TD on a 76-yard kickoff return.
“Matt and Dakota put on a heck of a show,” Jenkins said. “It would have been something to see what they could have done if they had a whole season together.”
“This is a good win for us because 90 percent of our kids will be back next year and we are learning this year how to play good football on the road,” Adams said.
Pisula gave Southmoreland (3-5, 3-4) a 13-0 lead with scoring runs of 46 and two yards before Moorer and Carr started heating up for Charleroi (1-7, 0-7).
The duo hooked up for scoring plays of 20 and 30 yards to tie the score at 13-13 in the third quarter.
After Southmoreland regained the lead at 16-13 on a 22-yard field goal by Mike Garlowich, Bailey made it 23-13 by bolting 46 yards up the middle with 5:42 left in the third quarter.
But the Cougars came storming back behind Moorer and Carr.
The two hooked up for a 42-yard scoring play to pull the Cougars within 23-20 with 9:01 to play in the game.
On Charleroi's next possession, Carr hit a leaping Moorer in the end zone from 19 yards out to give the Cougars a 27-23 lead with 2:22 to play.
Bailey came through with his winning play on the ensuring kickoff, going 76 yards to make it 30-27.
But the Cougars weren't done.
With the aid of some big penalties against the Scotties, Charleroi drove 49 yards to the Southmoreland 26-yard line.
A pass from Carr to Greg Arnold in the end zone barely missing pulling off a comeback on first down.
And for all the passes Moorer caught, the one that got away came on third down when he went up in the end zone for a pass and seemingly had it, but the ball was wrestled loose for an incompletion as he hit the turf.
On fourth down, Carr's desperation pass to Trey Doulon was incomplete.
“I'm proud of our kids,” said Jenkins. “They kept fighting back. They left everything they had on the field.
And apparently, so did the coaches.
GAME NOTES: After the game, Jenkins exchanged hugs with nearly every Southmoreland player outside the dressing room. He was the Scotties' offensive coordinator before getting the Charleroi job ... At one point in the second half, Carr completed nine straight passes. He completed 17 of 29 passes in the second half for 227 yards and three TDs.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.