ST. MARYS — Brockway jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead on its way to a 34-7 win over St. Marys on the road Friday night.
Brockway (3-0) won the opening coin toss and differed to the second half, as St. Marys (0-3) took the field on offense to start the game.
After working their way out towards midfield, the Dutchmen were held to a fourth down and forced to punt.
After the punt, the Rovers took over at their own 24-yard line for their first offensive possession of the game.
Peter Downer dropped back to pass on the first play, finding Garrett McClintick, who found an open spot in the defense down the near sideline for a 38-yard gain into St. Marys’ territory.
On the next play, Downer looked to the air again, this time finding Jon Wood for a 38-yard score down the far sideline as Brockway went 76 yards on just two plays to find the end zone.
After Zane Puhala knocked through the extra point, the Rovers held a 7-0 lead at the 6:54 mark of the opening quarter.
After Brockway forced the Dutch’s offense to go three-and-out on their ensuing possession, the Rovers’ offense got back to work.
Brockway began tits second drive of the game in St. Marys’ territory after a personal foul on the punt.
Four plays later, Downer found Josh Solnosky, who made a tough catch in tight coverage, for a 25-yard touchdown pass.
After the point after, Brockway took a 14-0 lead with just over two minutes left in the first quarter.
St. Marys looked to sustain a drive on its next possession to stay in the game, but their next drive ended with the Rovers celebrating in the end zone.
On a 3rd-and-3 play, the Dutchmen went to the ground, but they had trouble with the exchange as the ball popped free.
Brockway’s McClintick came away with the fumble recovery and ran it in from 15 yards out to put the Rovers ahead 21-0 in the final minute of the first quarter.
Brockway head coach Tom Weaver said he preached to his team the importance of starting the game off strong against a young but tough St. Marys team.
“Our seniors are good leaders, and they wouldn’t let anybody take a break,” Weaver said.
Trailing by three scores to start the second quarter, the Dutchmen needed a spark on offense.
That spark came on the first play of the quarter, as Devin McGrath broke free for a 33-yard run into Brockway territory.
Four plays later, the Dutch found themselves at the Rovers’ 14-yard line, as Todd Taylor dropped back to pass and looked for a receiver in the end zone.
Taylor threw a perfect strike to Scott Potter, who rose above his defender and came down with the ball in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
Zachary Hart’s extra point cut Brockway’s lead to 21-7 with 9:47 left in the first half.
A balanced offensive attack led the Rovers deep into St. Marys’ territory on their next possession, but they were held to a field goal.
Puhala converted the 27-yard field goal to put Brockway up 24-7, which remained the score as the two teams headed into the locker room for halftime.
After differing to the second half to start the game, the Rovers’ offense got off to a fast start in the second half.
After 25-yard run by Wood, and a personal foul on the Dutch set Brockway up at St. Marys 35-yard line early in the third quarter.
Downer then delivered his third touchdown pass of the game, this time finding a wide open Ben Glasl in the end zone for a 35-yard score just 37 seconds into the second half.
Downer finished the game 9-of-15 passing for 229 yards and the three scores.
Wood led the way receiving for the Rovers with a pair of catches for 78 yards, while rushing the ball six times for 62 yards.
Tyler Serafini led the way on the ground for Brockway, finishing the game with 95 yards on 14 carries.
Weaver noted that his team’s offense was run-heavy in their first two games of the season and was pleased with his team’s balance this week.
“Pete (Downer) has a great arm, he’s got the best arm I’ve seen in a long time,” Weaver said. “Tonight he played well. This is kinda his coming out this year.”
The head coach added that as competition gets tougher, the ability to run a balanced offense becomes even more important.
Brockway finished the game with 391 total yards to St. Marys’ 218.
Cody Ritter finished the game with 78 yards on 23 carries for the Dutch, while Taylor passed for 91 yards, converting on 11 of his 18 attempts.
The final points of the game came when Puhala converted his second field goal of the night, this time from 35 yards out with 4:33 left in the game to put Brockway ahead 34-7.
St. Marys head coach Tony Defillippi said after the game that while the final score may not reflect it, his team showed improvement from their first two games.
“This was our best offensive output of the year, so we grew a little bit there,” Defillippi said.
The Dutch coach added that falling behind 21-0 really hurt his team, but after that he felt they played well.
“They (Brockway) are a good team, and they’re 3-0 for a reason,” Defillippi said. “Our guys played hard and we just gotta clean up some of the little things.”
Brockway will look to stay undefeated as they host Kane next week, while St. Marys travels to Punxsutawney in search of its first win.