Missed field goal with 53 seconds left prevents Central Mountain from topping Selinsgrove
SELINSGROVE – Central Mountain fell to Selinsgrove on Friday night, 9-7, in a game dictated by both team’s defenses.
Fans in attendance saw just a pair of touchdowns between the two schools. Selinsgrove scored on a 67-yard run from Coy Bastian, and Brett Gerlach snuck it in from 1-yard out for Central Mountain.
The Wildcats had a shot to take the lead when they trailed 9-7 with 53 seconds remaining in the fourth. Central Mountain’s kicker Tyler Weaver, who had a solid day on both special teams and defense, hooked a go-ahead field goal right, and Selinsgrove took over possession.
“Our kicker routinely makes that every day in practice, the snap was a little bit high. We just came up short, that happens,” Central Mountain caoch Jim Renninger said.
Renninger was pleased to see his team overcome first half flaws, and stay competitive despite being down on the scoreboard.
“We started slow, and we had a lot of drops and mistakes in the first half,” Renninger said, “I’m really proud of the way they came out in the second half, they fought their tails off.”
The Seals’ running attack was the highlight of both offenses. Selinsgrove ran for 188 yards against the Wildcats in the win,150 more yards than the Seals had in the team’s first meeting earlier this fall.
Bastian, Selinsgrove’s quarterback, led the way for the Seals on the ground. The speedy, senior ran for a game-high 102 yards on seven carries.
Ryan Pentz led Central Mountain in rushing, the junior had 72 yards on 21 carries.
Bastian’s 67-yard keeper came at the end of the first quarter. The senior faked a handoff and went untouched for a touchdown.
The Seals led the Wildcats 6-0 at halftime.
Central Mountain’s first drive of the second half was the team’s best throughout the game. The Wildcats used a nine-play, 68-yard drive to put the ball in the end zone. Gerlach’s rushing touchdown marked his second rushing touchdown on the year. Weaver added the extra-point to put Central Mountain ahead 7-6.
The score stood 7-6 in favor of the Wildcats up until five minutes remained in the game.
Kyle Ruhl drilled a field goal from 22 yards out to give the Selinsgrove a 9-7 lead.
Ruhl finished the game 1-2 on field goals, the senior missed from 42 yards in the third quarter.
On the ensuing possession, the final of the game, Central Mountain’s offense showed promise. The Wildcats were faced with a fourth and eight and converted. Gerlach hit Peyton Johnson on a 9-yard slant to set-up the go-ahead field goal attempt. Johnson ended with a game-high six catches for 58 yards.
The narrow loss dropped the Wildcats to 4-2. Up next for Central Mountain is a home game against undefeated Jersey Shore, a team that beat the Wildcats, 55-7, earlier this fall.
Renninger said his team will be ready for the rematch a week away.
“They’ll be ready” these kids will work that’s all they know how to do,” Renninger said, “I expect us to compete and I expect our kids to play really, really hard.”