Williamsport’s offense sputters in loss to Altoona

ALTOONA — After blowing away Central Mountain, 62-26, in the 2018 scholastic football opener last Friday, the Williamsport Millionaires had to be feeling good about themselves.

However, the high didn’t last long.

The Millionaires invaded Altoona’s Mansion Park last night and were thumped by the Mountain Lions, 38-0, who were coming off a lopsided loss to Hollidaysburg in their opener.

“My hat’s off to coach (Nick) Felus and the Mountain Lions,” Williamsport coach Chuck Crews said. “They came out and were ready.

“They gave us some opportunities early that we couldn’t capitalize on and, as the game went on, they got more and more momentum and kudos to them.”

Altoona received the opening kickoff and needed only five plays to cover 80 yards for the game’s first score.

Quarterback Connor McCarthy broke a 20-yard run and a 15-yard facemask penalty moved the ball to the Williamsport 45 on the game’s first play. Two plays later, McCarthy hit Jonah Brandt with a 20-yard pass to the 21. Mitchell Lawhead took it from there, gaining six before sweeping the left side for a 15-yard TD.

It was the beginning of a big night for Lawhead, who scored three touchdowns — runs of 15 and 1 yard in the first quarter and a 43-yard

pass from McCarthy in the second.

The McCarthy-to-Lawhead TD pass came with only 48 seconds in the half and pushed the Altoona lead to 26-0 lead. The other Mountain Lion score in the first half came on a 43-yard end-around by Connor Adams.

McCarthy, who passed for 197 yards, hooked up with Isaiah Barnes for a nifty 79-yard pass-run TD in the third quarter to make it 32-0 and backup quarterback Marcus Day, a sophomore, sprinted 10 yards for a score early in the fourth quarter to set the running clock in motion.

“They’re celebrating and they’ve earned it,” Crews said, watching the Mountain Lions’ post-game huddle. “But, we’ve got a game next week (at Berwick) so we’ll let this one go and see how we do next week.”

Altoona’s defense limited Williamsport to just 94 total yards, including a paltry 18 on the ground.