Central Mountain finds way in second half vs. Bellefonte
MILL HALL – Imagine opening a game with four turnovers and two four-and-out series.
That’s exactly how Central Mountain opened a very winnable game against Bellefonte. But, luckily for the Wildcats, there was still a second half to be played.
Clinging to a one-point lead after the first two quarters, CM?coach Vinnie Kishbaugh simply challenged his team at halftime.
The result was 27 unanswered points in the third quarter en route to a 41-6 win over winless Bellefonte.
“We needed to come out an play the first half like we did the second half tonight,” Kishbaugh said. “We can’t let teams in games like that.”
Nigel English, who rushed for 175 yards on 16 carries, highlighted the opening third quarter drive for the Wildcats. He carried the ball four times for 19 yards, capping the drive with the first of three third-quarter touchdowns.
“He’s obviously a tremendous weapon,” Kishbaugh said. “That’s one thing I can say about the offense this year. We spread the ball around to enough players that teams can’t just key on one guy.”
English controlled the rushing attack for Central Mountain (1-3) with both touchdowns coming in the third quarter. That included a 72-yard run in the final 30 seconds.
It was a quite the bounce-back for English, who fumbled on his first carry of the game.
The Wildcats used eight different runners in the contest, rushing for a team total of 255 yards. Along with English’s three touchdowns, Bryce Bitner also ran in a touchdown.
Defensively, the Wildcats were led by Tyler Pavalko, who finished with a team-high three interceptions. That total included a 33-yard touchdown return to put Central Mountain up 34-6.
“I wasn’t getting very many balls thrown my direction the last couple weeks,” Pavalko said. “I was just being patient, and when I saw my chance I just took advantage of it.”
Both of Pavalko’s third-quarter interceptions were turned into points for the Wildcats. He ran his final one in for a fourth-quarter touchdown.
Pavalko also pulled down four catches for 110 yards and a touchdown as a receiver. He showed his skills when he took a short pass and turned it into a 62-yard touchdown.