Centurions slam Scotties
A much-watched meteorological system passed through the region early Friday, just in time for a different type of disturbance to be unleashed.
Greensburg Central Catholic used an explosive passing attack to total 29 second-quarter points in a 36-7 win over Southmoreland in a WPIAL Class AA Interstate Conference game.
Quarterback Greg Mroz was the eye of the Centurions' storm, passing for 230 yards and five touchdowns -- in the first half.
Freshman receiver Nick Sukay had four receptions for 113 yards and three touchdowns, and junior Jon Garner had two receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
"We saw a very good quarterback and a stable of receivers tonight," said GCC coach Muzzy Colosimo. "He (Mroz) is a quality kid, and the receivers are young, but (the receivers) ran their patterns well and showed speed."
"We had some breakdowns in our coverage, and a great quarterback makes you pay," Southmoreland coach Bobby Thompson said.
GCC opened the scoring with a 7-play, 67-yard first-quarter drive that featured six runs to set up a 45-yard touchdown pass from Mroz to Sukay. The freshman turned the curl pattern catch into a foot race to the endzone. Adam Waller added the extra point for a 7-0 lead at 8:34.
Southmoreland answered with a 9-play, 75-yard drive in which quarterback Shane Datz completed all four of his passes, including a 15-yard touchdown toss to Mike Mardis at 4:00 of the quarter. David Bambrey added the extra point to tie the score.
Garner's 61-yard kickoff return set up a 34-yard drive that led to a 5-yard Mroz-to-Sukay touchdown pass early in the second quarter.
"After their touchdown, they were playing their linebackers up to stop the run, so we wanted to loosen them up," said Colosimo.
Indeed. The ensuing five-minute flurry took Southmoreland out of its game plan.
Mroz -- who has been scouted by the likes of Tulane, Hofstra, Akron and several Ivy League schools -- hit Garner in stride along the sidelines for an 80-yard touchdown. The 6-foot-3 senior then hit a slanting Sukay for a 52-yard touchdown and finished the quarter off with a 30-yard rollout touchdown pass to Garner.
The Centurions improved to 4-0 overall and matched last season's win total.
Buck Smodic rushed for 112 yards behind the blocking of Alex Karabin, Matt Antram, Colin Trenk and Zack Wareham.
Defensively, GCC was led by linebackers Tommy Lazar and Jon Stem, who recorded 12 tackles each. Pat Dawson, Karabin, Smodic, Cory Walker and Kas Revers recorded tackles for losses, defensive back Mike Baker had two pass deflections and Ryan Shoplick had an interception.
For Southmoreland (0-2, 2-2), Stephen Zubach, Jeff Leonard, Duane Frund and Kevin Martinosky led the defense.
"They are a good football team, and we quickly realized how tough they are," said Colosimo.
"In order to become a great football team, you must be consistent and keep it up for the full game," said Thompson.
Southmoreland will host Brownsville next week.