PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Route 28 Trophy was first, then the Route 36 Trophy last week.
That’s two trophies back in the Brookville Raiders’ hands after a one-year hiatus. Now it’s on to Clarion at home Friday night in a battle of two 3-0 teams.
Last Thursday in the Route 36 Trophy, the Raiders trailed at the outset but rode an efficient passing game led by quarterback Jack Krug in a 38-6 win over the Punxsutawney Chucks.
Krug completed 25 of 33 passes for 364 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for a score.
It was only 14-6 Raiders going into the final minute of the first half, but the Raiders forced a Chucks punt and used just two plays to go 48 yards, both of them on completions to Robert Keth for 28 and then 10 yards for the TD with 51 seconds left before halftime. That gave the Raiders a more comfortable 21-6 lead.
“That (late touchdown) was huge,” said Raiders head coach Scott Park. “They kind of helped us out by throwing that long pass there (stopping clock on third down), but we were close to punching it in there earlier a few times, but getting it in there helped the momentum and they didn’t have time to come back and score before the half. Then we came out in the second half and scored right away, so that was big.”
Three straight possessions in the second half led to points as Krug threw a 23-yard TD pass to Keth to finish off a nine-play, 70-yard drive to start the third quarter.
After a Chucks three-and-out, the Raiders went 76 yards on 10 plays with Krug hitting Keth again for a 7-yard TD pass with 2:52 left in the third quarter for a 35-6 lead.
Another Chucks punt was followed by Donavan Hoffman 19-yard field goal to set the final score with 7:22 left in the game.
Krug completed passes to four different receivers. Keth had 10 catches for 137 yards and the three TDs while Ian Thrush hauled in eight passes for 124 yards and a touchdown, his TD catch coming on the first Raiders offensive play of the game from 49 yards out.
“That’s going to be our M-O,” Park said. “I’ve been saying that for three weeks now that this is where we’re at. We did hit a quick-hitter tonight with Ian I guess, but that’s not always going to be there.
“When you had Cabe (Park) and Bryan (Dworek), they could make themselves get open and we’re not quite there yet with that. Nothing against my receivers we have, but had we done this last week against Brockway, it would’ve gone a little bit easier for us. We didn’t catch a lot of passes.”
Krug’s TD pass to Thrush put the Raiders up for good at 7-6. They scored again before the end of the first quarter on Krug’s 12-yard run with 3:30 on the clock. Krug didn’t have to run as much as the first two weeks and finished with 26 yards on six carries.
Their next two possessions ended on downs at the Chucks’ 11 and then the Chucks’ 36 on a lost fumble, so it was still close until the Raiders sparked things before halftime.
But 14 points might’ve been enough considering that the Chucks managed just 123 yards of offense on 46 plays. They managed just two yards of offense and one first down on 13 plays in the second half, punting six times and turning the ball over twice on fumbles.
Quarterback Kameron Falgout completed 3 of 11 passes for 22 yards and a touchdown while running for 42 yards on 13 carries. Max London ran for 39 yards on 11 carries.
The lone Chucks scoring drive was set up by London’s 66-yard run return of the opening kickoff. Six plays later, Falgout connected with Sam Shepler on an 11-yard TD pass at the 9:18 mark.
However, the Raiders returned the ensuing kickoff to the Chucks 49, then Krug hit Thrush for the 49-yard TD pass and Hoffman followed with the point-after to give the Raiders the lead for good 17 seconds after the Chucks’ lone score.
“I’m sure they’re not happy they gave up a touchdown, but that’s going to happen,” Park said of his defense. “They played tough. It’s nice to see that we’re capable of playing good football on both sides of the ball. I think we’re playing pretty decent football, when we catch the ball.”