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Lewisburg over Central Mountain

Written by: on Saturday, August 31st, 2019. Follow Matt Beltz on Twitter.


LEWISBURG – Friday’s Central Mountain Lewisburg game looked like it was surely headed for the mercy rule after Max Moyers’ second touchdown of the night one play into the second quarter gave Lewisburg a 21-0 lead.

Instead, the remainder of the game played out much more even than the first quarter or so. Although Lewisburg came away with an otherwise lopsided 48-18 victory, they were never able to get into mercy rule territory, as Central Mountain completed pass after pass from the second quarter on. The Wildcats threw the ball 46 times on the evening, completing 28 of them for 314 yards, and giving Lewisburg head coach Marc Persing some things to work on with his team over the next week before the Green Dragons travel to Mount Carmel next week.

“For as good as we played offensively, we played that poor at times defensively and with all due respect to Central Mountain, Mount Carmel is going to be a completely different animal, so we need to shore things up in a hurry before we give up 50 points next week,” said Persing.

Lewisburg gave up three touchdown passes to Central Mountain in addition to the 314 yards through the air. They also held Central Mountain to only 75 rushing yards after the early deficit and a pair of injuries up front caused the Wildcats to largely abandon the run early on.

Down two offensive linemen that went out with injuries, including senior captain Jake Welch, Central Mountain was forced to throw the ball much more than the game plan would have otherwise called for. Zane Probst threw for 280 yards and three touchdowns on 22-of-34 passing and also had one interception. Peyton Johnson and Conner Soo each hauled in seven passes for 78 yards and a touchdown, while Rocco Stark had six catches for 99 yards and a score.

“We had to go with two young kids on the offensive one that just weren’t ready to handle kids that big and aggressive so we had to try to put it on our quarterback to move around a little bit,” said Central Mountain coach James Renninger. “Jake is our best offensive lineman so we were playing some JV kids on the offensive line and it’s tough to run the ball when you’re doing that.”

“But Zane is a player. He’s got all of the tools to be a big-time quarterback. We haven’t had a ton of success for multiple reasons but he comes to play. He can sling it, has a big-time arm and we’ve got a lot of receivers that can make catches and make plays but if you’re going to win football games you have to be able to run the ball a bit.”

While the Lewisburg defense struggled at times, the Green Dragon offense had little trouble moving the ball for most of the night and carried Lewisburg to its first win of the season after struggling against Selinsgrove last week. Moyers ran for 126 yards, two touchdowns and also caught one. Ethan Dominick had 104 yards on just five carries and two touchdowns, one on a 60-yard run late and one on a fumble return early.  Nick Shedleski threw for 112 yards and a pair of touchdowns on just six completions. Lewisburg also scored a pair of touchdowns off two Central Mountain turnovers.

“Our overall effort was way better than Week 1 and that’s what we’re looking for,” said Persing. “We’ve got some inexperienced guys and we’re just asking them to get better on a weekly basis. Our focus next week is going to be on securing the secondary because at times it just looked like we were lost.”

“Our kids fight, they don’t give up, but we’re not a good enough football team where we can turn the ball over multiple times,” said Renninger. “I thought we were sharper execution-wise last week but got manhandled a little more last week. We just had a lot of miscues with our snaps, had some penalties and turned the ball over twice and you’re not going to beat a good football when you do that.”

The Wildcats went three-and-out on their opening possession and then Lewisburg took its possession 48 yards on 11 plays capped by the first of Moyers three touchdowns, this one from one yard out, to take an early 7-0 lead.

On Central Mountain’s ensuing possession, Camron Sonnie fumbled after hauling in a Zane Probst pass and it was recovered and returned 22 yards by Dominick to put the Green Dragons up 14-0.

After a Central Mountain punt on its next drive, Lewisburg needed just four plays to go 65 yards and go up 21-0 when Shedleski found Moyers with a nicely thrown ball in the corner of the end zone.

Rather than folding, however, Central Mountain’s responded by going 80 yards in 11 plays in just under four minutes to get on the scoreboard, capped by a 23-yard touchdown pass from Zane Probst to Rocco Stark. The Wildcats gained five first downs on that drive, including converting on a fourth and 12 from near midfield.

Lewisburg scored touchdowns on its next two drives, one on a quarterback sneak by Shedleski and one on a 38-yard pass from Shedleski to Dante Sims. They took a 35-6 lead with 2:32 remaining in the half following a Gavin Sheriff interception near midfield.

The Wildcats responded by going 80 yards in just four plays on their ensuing drive. The drive ended with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Probest to Peyton Johnson to make it 35-12 heading into halftime.

Once again, Lewisburg appeared to be on the brink of the mercy rule taking effect after a 56-yard touchdown run by Moyers with 8:32 left in the third quarter. Central Mountain answered, this time with a 12-play, 65-yard drive that lasted 6:21 ending with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Probst to Soo.

Lewisburg countered with a 60-yard touchdown run by Dominick on the first play from scrimmage of its ensuing drive. That play ended up capping the scoring with two minutes left in the third quarter as the teams played to a draw in the final quarter.

Lewisburg 48, Central Mountain 18
Central Mountain (0-2)      0  12  6   0 – 18
Lewisburg (1-1)                 14  21 13  0 – 48

First quarter
6:24 – (L) Max Moyers 1-yard run (Logan Moore kick), 11-48, 4:23
5:00 – (L) Ethan Dominick 22-yard fumble return (Moore kick)

Second quarter
11:53 – (L) Max Moyers 26-yard pass from Nick Shedleski (Moore kick), 4-65, 1:20
7:59 – (CM) Rocco Stark 23-yard pass from Zane Probst (kick failed), 11-80, 3:54
5:58 – (L) Nick Shedleski 1-yard run (Moore kick), 5-63, 2:01
2:32 – (L) Dante Sims 38-yard pass from Nick Shedleski (Moore kick), 6-48, 2:23
1:51 – (CM) Peyton Johnson 35-yard pass from Zane Probst (pass failed), 4-80, :41

Third quarter
8:32 – (L) Max Moyers 56-yard run (Moore kick), 4-82, 1:15
2:11 – (CM) Conner Soo 12-yard pass from Zane Probst (pass failed), 12-65, 6:21
2:00 – (L) Ethan Dominick 60-yard run (kick failed), 1-60, :11

CM                      L
First downs                                24                      19
Rushes-net yards                   31-75                 30-293
Passing yardage                      314                     112
Passing                                28-46-3-1            6-12-2-0
Fumbles-lost                             5-1                     0-0
Penalties-yards                        6-61                   7-70

RUSHING: Central Mountain: Ryan Pentz (11-82), Zane Probst (9-9), Rocco Stark (4-(-2)), TEAM (3-(-11)), Brett Gerlach (2-(-7)), Camron Sonnie (1-4), Nick Long (1-0); Lewisburg: Max Moyers (13-126-2), Ethan Dominick (5-104-1), Cameron Michaels (4-27), Nick Shedleski (4-17-1), Logan Callison (3-19), Michael Farronato (1-0)
PASSING: Central Mountain: Zan Probst (22-34-280-3-1), Brett Gerlach (5-11-26-0-0), Ryan Pentz (1-1-8-0-0); Lewisburg: Nick Shedleski (6-11-112-2-0), Michael Farronato (0-1-0-0-0)
RECEIVING: Central Mountain: Peyton Johnson (7-78-1), Conner Soo (7-78-1), Rocco Stark (6-99-1), Nick Long (2-12), Camron Sonnie (2-22), Tanner Williamson (2-12), Tyler Weaver (1-8), Ashton Probst (1-5); Lewisburg: Dante Sims (3-52-1), Max Moyers (1-26-1), Ethan Dominick (1-22), Owen Ordonez (1-12)

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