Avonworth runs over West Shamokin
Avonworth reminded West Shamokin on Friday night that some Eastern Conference opponents will stand tall in the face of the Wolves' grind-it-out Wing-T offense and dole out their own dose of punishment, too.
The Antelopes muscled their way to a 28-7 home win over West Shamokin at Lenzner Field.
Running back Andrew Broadus, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound junior, led the assault with 163 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries for Avonworth (3-1, 3-0). West Shamokin (1-3, 1-3), one week removed from its first win since 2007 and a 290-yard rushing performance, was held to 148 yards of offense.
“I was nervous — they have a special team over there,” Avonworth coach Duke Johncour said as he motioned to the visitors' locker room. “Our defense really stepped up because they run hard.”
Said West Shamokin coach Josh Gilliland: “We just couldn't break it like we did against Riverview (a 25-6 win). Give a lot of credit to Avonworth's offensive and defensive lines. They kind of pushed us around.”
Penalties negated several of the Antelopes' biggest first-half plays. Avonworth gained 15 yards on a quick screen on its first play from scrimmage, but a block-in-the-back call left the Antelopes with first-and-20 instead.
Broadus, however, made sure the poor start failed to slow Avonworth. He took his first carry for 12 yards to gain a first down, and two plays later, he went 43 yards up the middle for a touchdown.
Broadus' first rush on the next drive, a toss to the left, gained 32 yards, but a holding call rendered it moot. The Antelopes faced first-and-20 instead, and they ended up punting.
West Shamokin failed to turn its first defensive stop into points, and its punt nearly led to a score for Avonworth. Jesse Zubik returned the punt 80 yards to the end zone. Alas, a personal foul brought the ball back to Avonworth's 34-yard line.
Avonworth avoided flags on its next possession, and the discipline paid off. Zach Chandler connected with Anthony Tomasino for a 13-yard touchdown pass that capped a five-minute, 10-play drive.
Chandler completed 5 of 8 passes for 65 yards. Tomasino had two catches for 29 yards and also rushed five times for 34 yards.
“We know that if we're going to go anywhere in the conference, we have to have a good balance (on offense),” Johncour said. “We take what they give us.”
The second half started much like the first. A block-in-the-back call brought Chris Woodard's 69-yard kick return back to Avonworth's 27. But on the first play, Broadus went 73 yards off the right side of the line for his second touchdown.
Fullback Zac Horner finally put West Shamokin on the board with a 29-yard run about four minutes into the fourth quarter. Horner finished with 110 yards on 16 carries.
Horner and Gilliland believed last week's win lingered in the Wolves' heads a bit too long.
“All week, we did not practice like we did for last week's game,” Horner said. “We just were not prepared. ... Defensively, we were soft.”
Said Gilliland: “We didn't know how to respond to the win. … We've got to get some emotion going and play with that intensity to win every day.”
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-543-1303, Ext. 1321.