When it comes to offensive lines at Berlin Brothersvalley High School, they don’t get any better than the starting group from 2004. That year, the line led the Mountaineers to an undefeated record in WestPAC play, a District 5-A championship and an appearance in the PIAA playoffs.
This year’s group isn’t far behind.
Collin Stoltzfus, Wyatt Horning, Dante Paul, Stew Trulick, Levi Bowser and tight end Luke Sprowls displayed their dominance Saturday afternoon as Berlin ran over Rockwood, 49-12, to remain unbeaten and clinch at least a share of the conference title.
The Mountaineers (9-0) can win the title outright Friday night at Windber.
“Those guys just played a great game,” Berlin coach Doug Paul said. “I know this is the best line we’ve had in a while, but that 2004 line was a dominant line. These guys have done a great job of controlling the line of scrimmage all year offensively and defensively. A game like this is won up front.”
Eight different runners combined to rush for 372 yards for Berlin, and three runners gained at least 100 yards.
Senior Drew Glotfelty, who entered the game with 1,155 rushing yards, gained 119 and a touchdown on 14 carries.
Glotfelty also caught a 49-yard touchdown pass from Blake Miller in the final seconds of the second quarter to give Rockwood (1-8) a 42-6 halftime deficit.
Glotfelty didn’t see the field much after his touchdown receptions, but that didn’t matter for Berlin.
Junior Collin Belcher finished with 12 carries for 107 yards and a 2-yard touchdown run during the Mountaineers’
28-point second quarter.
Freshman Braden Fochtman checked in with 100 yards and touchdown runs of 10 and 20 yards on 11 carries.
“Up front, everybody gets along and we work well together,” said Bowser, who is in the midst of an all-conference caliber season as a lineman and kicker. He made all seven extra-point attempts against the Rockets.
“What really helps us is that the backs all run hard,” Bowser added.
What made Berlin’s performance up front more impressive against an aggressive Rockwood defensive front was that the Mountaineers were missing senior starter Mitchell Walker, who was out because of injury.
“Anytime you have three running backs, your line has done a great job,” Paul said. “We wanted to come out and send a message, and we wanted to get as many seniors out of the game healthy was we could. You have to feel for a team like Rockwood. They have 20 kids for this game, and here we are with 40-some.”
Rockwood managed 68 rushing yards, with most of that coming on the Rockets’ game-ending drive, which was capped when quarterback Matt Seifert connected with Brayden Kerr for a 35-yard touchdown pass as time expired.
There’s no doubting Berlin’s offensive and defensive front left an impression on Rockets coach Jerry Kaizen.
“That’s a good football team, one I’ve been watching all year, and that’s probably the best line on both sides of the football that I’ve seen in at least a half-dozen years,” Kaizen said. They’re big. They’re strong. They’re fast. That the best football team we’ve played. They’re solid in all phases.”
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