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Kittanning flattens Apollo-Ridge

| Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008

KISKI TOWNSHIP -- Stats do not always tell the story of a game. In Kittanning's case, they tell the whole story.

Kittanning scored on its first six possessions en route to a 48-26 win over Allegheny Conference opponent Apollo-Ridge on Friday at Owens Field.

"The kids had a great week in practice," Kittanning coach Sam Panchik said. "The kids played very well on offense and defense."

On offense, Kittanning (2-3, 2-3) racked up 482 yards of offense and only surrendered 190.

Senior running back Chris Shepard gave Apollo-Ridge (2-3, 2-3) fits all night. He led Kittanning with 221 rushing yards on 17 carries and two scores. He caught a pass out of the backfield for a 35-yard score in the second quarter.

"Our offense is starting to click now," Panchik said. "With (quarterback) Ross (Harmon) throwing the ball, we are going to give some people some trouble."

Harmon ended his night with only 3 of 7 passing for 78 yards, but he did connect for two scores late in the second quarter to break the game open for Kittanning.

Running backs Logan Atwood and Jake Burdett combined for 141 yards on the ground. Atwood rushed 11 times for 71 yards and two scores, and Burdett rushed for 70 yards on eight carries.

Kittanning gained 350 total yards in the first half.

"Defensively, we just weren't doing what we were supposed to be doing," Apollo-Ridge coach John Simon said. "We were getting blown off the ball. We were getting trapped on our behind."

Despite the difference in the yards, Simon feels there are positives that can be taken away.

"I think offensively we did pretty well," Simon said. "Our special teams did a great job, two touchdowns run back. It was just a little too late, I think."

By the time Apollo-Ridge got on the board, it may already have been too late.

Senior receiver Clay Altemose returned the kick after Kittanning's third score 73 yards to cut into Kittanning's lead to make it 21-7.

Altemose was nearly caught at the 35-yard line. He appeared to backpedal out of the pile, and turned the corner up the left sideline for the score.

Altemose added another score on a kickoff return to open the second half. His 90-yard return cut into Kittanning's lead to 41-12.

"He is doing exactly what we expect of him," Simon said. "We need to utilize him more."

Senior running back Derek Bandurak gained 49 yards on nine carries, including a 25-yard score in the fourth quarter.

Junior quarterback Blake Painter finished with 6 of 19 passing for 72 yards.

Kittanning continues conference play next week against Deer Lakes (2-3, 2-3). Apollo-Ridge will play host to Burrell (2-3, 2-3).

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