Plum drops finale to Pine-Richland
Things didn't start well for Plum in its nonconference season finale Friday night at Pine-Richland.
The Rams' defense forced Mustangs senior tailback Jai Major to fumble on the game's first play. Pine-Richland senior Brock Baranowski scooped up the loose ball and rambled 31 yards to the end zone.
Just like that, Plum faced an early deficit — not the way the Mustangs wanted to start after they had posted eight consecutive losses.
The Rams tacked on two more first-half touchdowns, led by 21 at halftime and went on to a 48-14 victory at Pine-Richland Stadium.
“Pine-Richland is a good football team,” Plum coach Frank Sacco said. “We knew going in they had a potent offense, and they do a lot of nice things. We just couldn't get clicking on offense, and it put our defense in some binds. But the kids didn't quit. They didn't quit all season.”
Plum will not play a 10th game. The Mustangs conclude a season winless for the first time since 1988, when they were 0-10. Pine-Richland upped its record to 4-5.
Connor Slomka and Baranowski rushed for 144 and 106 yards for the Rams. Each tallied a touchdown on the ground. Slomka, a sophomore, eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards for the season. The running game complemented Pine-Richland quarterback Ben DiNucci, who was 14 of 21 for 144 yards and three touchdowns.
Major got Plum on the board with a 92-yard kickoff return with no time left in the third quarter.
Senior Jake DiGuilio scored on a 4-yard run in the fourth. During the drive, sophomore Will Fuhrer hooked up with senior Jeff Ruffing for a 68-yard completion.
Mustangs senior Dylan Kondis drilled an 83-yard punt in the first half. But the ball landed just beyond the goal line, so he had to settle for a net of 63 yards.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.