Cumberland Valley Controls Chambersburg
With two of their key players, Garret Long and Tyler Updegraff, out for the game, things were looking shaky for Cumberland Valley before they even stepped onto the field. That did not last very long. The score was close and Chambersburg was actually winning at one point through the first three quarters, but CV dominated this entire game.
A large factor in CV’s success was their control of the clock. The time of possession was completely lopsided in the Eagles’ favor starting with the opening possessions. After a three and out by the Trojans, Cumberland Valley put together nearly a six minute drive ending in QB Ben Fernback converting a 4th and goal for a 3 yard rushing touchdown. The next eight minutes were filled by sloppy play from both sides of the ball. Chambersburg quarterback Ryan Martin could not hit his open receivers and CV’s running backs Tyler Hartzel and Jeremy Salmon could not get a grip on the ball.
Finally in the second quarter, someone put together a drive. Chambersburg came alive after converting on a fourth and one. Martin connected with WR Kellen Williams who quickly weaved his way in and out of defenders for a 40 yard gain to set up a wide open 11 yard touchdown catch by Tay Charles.
Cumberland Valley quickly responded. Tyler Hartzel burst through a hole and plowed over a few Chambersburg defenders for an electrifying 55 yard touchdown run. The Trojans answered right back with a few quick rushes by running back Jamal Pickett who then finished the drive off with a tough ten yard run for the touchdown, but CV’s Jeremy Salmon blocked the extra point.
CV’s next drive was the Ben Fernback show. After going through his progressions, Fernback decided to pull it down and take off for a 45 yard run. But he was not done there. Fernback capped off his drive with a 12 yard touchdown run to put CV up 20-13 after the extra point failed.
As the half started winding down, Chambersburg started their final possession. RB Pickett, aided by poor CV tackling, put on some shifty moves to “pick” his way into Cumberland Valley territory where running back Jordan Brown punched it in for the final score of the half.
With only 40 seconds left in the half, it looked like the action was just about done. But as CV wide receiver Tommy D’Arcy went to make a catch, he got laid out from a vicious helmet to helmet hit. The entire crowd fell to a hush as D’Arcy hit the ground. After a few minutes of medical attention, he walked off the field under his own power. The teams went into the locker rooms with a tied score of 20.
Cumberland Valley chewed up nearly the entire third quarter with their opening drive. Hartzel reminded everyone how much of a workhorse that he is by running the ball play after play on this drive. Eventually he set up Jeremy Salmon for two yard touchdown run. The extra point again failed. With the clock at 3:44, Chambersburg received the ball for the first time in the third quarter. They must have been well rested because the first play from scrimmage resulted in a 65 yard touchdown reception by Kellen Williams.
Trailing for the first time in the game must have set the Eagles off because they went on to score two more times in the fourth quarter. Jeremy Salmon scored from one yard out followed by a Ben Fernback two point conversion rush. Tyler Hartzel ended the game with a beautiful cut for a five yard touchdown run. The final score Cumberland Valley 41 Chambersburg 27.
At the end of the game, two things stood out to me.
The first was the combination of Jeremy Salmon and Tyler Hartzel. These two were absolutely dominant as always. Along with QB Ben Fernback figuratively and literally ran this game. Hartzel finished with 20 carries for 146 yards and two touchdowns, Salmon finished with 26 carries for 125 yards and two touchdowns and Fernback finished with 13 carries for 139 yards (over 10 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. Fernback passed for 52 yards completing six of 11 attempts. Four of his passes went to Jeremy Salmon and the other two went to Tyler Hartzel. Outside of these three, Cumberland Valley totaled 30 yards from scrimmage.
The second was Cumberland Valley’s defense. The tackling on this team was just horrendous. CV cannot seem to stop anyone’s run game lately. Something needs to change. The Eagles head coach Tim Rimpfel agreed saying “Our tackling was still bad, we’ve got some fundamental breakdowns so we’ve got to do better on defense”.
Getting back to the basics on defense will be the main concern for CV this week while preparing for their away game at Carlisle. Cumberland Valley (4-1) at Carlisle (0-5) does not have “headline” written all over it, but it should be a good test to see if the Eagles have been able to restore their fundamentals on defense.
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