One of the most impressive statistical performances of Week 1 doesn’t officially appear in the record books.
At least, not yet.
Conemaugh Valley’s Shane Corson put up numbers in the first half against visiting Ferndale that would have had him at or near the top of the leaderboards in multiple categories.
The senior fullback rushed for 242 yards and five touchdowns on 14 carries – in the first half.
But early in the third quarter, thunder rumbled and lightning was spotted on the mountaintops in the distance. That combination led to multiple mandatory 30-minute lightning delays. After about 2 hours, the WestPAC contest was halted with 7:35 left in the third quarter and Conemaugh Valley leading 40-18.
The game is scheduled to be completed at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at Thomas Yewcic Stadium.
“The coaches told the players, ‘We’ve got 75 percent of a win but there’s more work to do,’ ” Conemaugh Valley coach Winston Redman said.
The Blue Jays visit Heritage Conference opponent Penns Manor on Friday. The Comets were ranked in the state top-10 in Class A before Northern Cambria upset them last week.
After that, Conemaugh Valley visits North Star on Sept. 14, resumes play against Ferndale on Sept. 18 and hosts Berlin on Sept. 22 completing a string of nearly 2 1⁄2 games in eight days.
Corson’s quick start didn’t shock Redman.
“The kid spent so much time in the weight room this summer,” Redman said. “The kid box squatted 670 (pounds). He benches 375. He just lived in the weight room. He’s just a football player.”
Corson and the Jays linemen effectively worked the inside trap against the Yellow Jackets.
“He’s such a hard, physical kid,” Redman said. “I didn’t realize we could run that trap so well with such a young group of kids on the line.”
While Redman would have preferred to ride the momentum through the remainder of the third and fourth quarters on Saturday, he said the safety of the players, coaches and fans was most important.
“There was lightning 15 to 18 miles away. You could see lightning over the top of the mountain,” Redman said.
“There is a new rule in the PIAA. It doesn’t matter where you see the lightning, you suspend the game 30 minutes.
“Two hours later, we decided it’s getting late and we made it official we weren’t going to finish the game (Saturday),” Redman said. “Five minutes later it cleared up and the sun came out. We didn’t get a raindrop after that.”
In an ironic twist, the Blue Jays’ 2011 season ended in unusual fashion due to a heavy snowstorm. A Saturday afternoon home game against Portage was moved to Monday night on the turf at Trojan Stadium during the final week of the regular season.
The Jays stunned the Mustangs to knock Portage out of playoff contention.
Redman hopes to snap the two-season, two-game streak of bad weather this weekend.
Passing fancy: Richland’s two-man quarterback system has evolved over the past year with juniors Matt Shaffer and Nico Pecora efficiently throwing completions for big yardage in the LHAC.
A year wiser and more experienced, the duo picked apart Cambria Heights in a season-opening 38-20 victory at Patton.
Shaffer completed 12 of 14 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown. He ran for another score.
Pecora completed 5 of 8 passes for 117 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“Both do different things well,” Richland coach Brandon Bailey said. “They each compete. Both deserve to help this team win.”
Junior receiver Kyle Flick caught a Week 1-best 10 passes for 197 yards and had three receiving touchdowns.
“Kyle really worked on his speed in the offseason,” Bailey said. “He was a step faster than everyone else.”
Versatile Ram: Ligonier Valley’s Scott Fennell contributed in a number of ways during a 47-0 win at Purchase Line in the Heritage Conference.
Fennell rushed for two touchdowns, threw for a pair of scores and on defense intercepted two passes.
The 6-foot-1 junior quarterback-linebacker completed both of his passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns by Connor Maust (25 and 45 yards).
Senior fullback Ryan Torrance, who ran for 1,221 yards last season, gained 63 yards on nine carries, with a pair of touchdowns.
Coach Roger Beitel’s squad returned only three starters from an 8-3 team, but the group of 19 lettermen didn’t miss a step while building leads of 20-0 after one quarter and 40-0 at intermission.
Lights on: It’s official. Blacklick Valley will host Rockwood on Friday night at the Nanty Glo Borough’s McMullen Field.
The grass-roots effort to install lights has been a success. The light poles and lights are up and have been tested successfully. Blacklick, which played Saturday afternoon games for decades, also has switched the Sept. 14 game against Purchase Line from Point Stadium to Nanty Glo, coach Bill Zamboni said.
Upset special: Northern Cambria rechristened the newly renovated Duffy Daugherty Memorial Stadium with one of the program’s biggest wins in years.
Coach Paul Taranto’s Colts used a pair of fourth-quarter scores – and an unexpected onside kick – in a 28-20 upset over visiting Penns Manor.
The Colts finished strong, running 17 fourth-quarter plays to only five by Penns Manor, a team that entered the game ranked No. 7 in the state in Class A. The Comets are the defending 6-A champion and a state semifinalist last year behind returning all-state quarterback Danny Ferens.
The Comets beat the Colts twice last year (16-0 and 36-6) and three times in a row (47-0 in 2010).
“The kids wanted another shot at them, and they got it,” Taranto said of the marquee Heritage Conference opener.
Mike Mastovich is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat.
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