The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

October 28, 2012

Penn Cambria rallies to trounce Westmont

JOHNSTOWN — Penn Cambria concluded a week of surprises, distractions and uncertainty with a decisive performance on the field.

Unfortunately for Westmont Hilltop, the Panthers brought an attitude to Price Field on Saturday afternoon. This motivated group shrugged off the stunning news of coach Ernie Fetzer’s abrupt midweek resignation and resembled the unit many had picked to win the LHAC during the preseason.

Penn Cambria needed only 11 seconds to score the game’s first eight points and collected three touchdowns and 24 points in the opening 6 minutes, 15 seconds. By the time Westmont regrouped, the Panthers were on their way to a 46-8 victory that snapped a four-game losing streak and rekindled 6-AA playoff hopes.

“We had a lot to prove. We’re way better than our record shows,” said senior running back-linebacker Devin Lawhead, who was a force on both sides of the ball. “We had a tough week of practice. It was tough for everybody. We stuck together and we showed who we are today.”

Fetzer resigned as coach and athletic director on Wednesday after eight seasons with a 48-36 record at Penn Cambria. His top assistant, Tony Tomaselli, became interim head coach.

Tomaselli previously had the top job at Penn Cambria for six seasons from 1993-98.

“We had great senior leadership from our captains Devin Lawhead and Mack Behe,” Tomaselli said after Penn Cambria improved to 5-4. “They really got the team to stick together. Once we got to practice during the week, the focus was there. I have to credit my assistant coaches as well.”

Penn Cambria’s Jake Schwaderer returned the opening kickoff 73 yards for a touchdown. Behe caught Brendan Eckenrode’s two-point conversion pass for an 8-0 lead at 11:49.

“That was momentum. That got us going,” Lawhead said.

Westmont had the ball for only 1:25 before punting. Seven plays later, Lawhead scored on a 6-yard run. Nathan Przybys ran the conversion.

Przybys intercepted a pass to set up another Panthers scoring drive.

Eckenrode’s 33-yard pass to Behe was the big play of the drive capped by Behe’s 5-yard touchdown run. Lawhead’s conversion run made it 24-0 at 5:45 of the opening quarter.

“We stressed all week that we had to weather the storm early, and we didn’t do it,” Westmont coach Pat Barron said of his 1-8 squad.

“They took it to us in the first 8 minutes of the game and that put us in a huge hole that we never could climb out of.”

Westmont did manage an eight-play, 73-yard scoring drive. Liam Moran had passes of 16 yards to Collin Barron and 30 yards to Lukas Kleinmeyer. Moran ran 7 yards for the score and then passed to Collin Barron for the conversion at 2:54 of the first.

“The guys up front have worked hard all year and they put together a drive,” Barron said.

Lawhead stopped Westmont’s momentum with a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter. Przybys ran the conversion.

“My hat is off to Devin Lawhead,” Tomaselli said. “We practiced against that all week. We were prepared for it. They were focused and that was an example of it.”

Behe closed the first-half scoring with a 5-yard touchdown run.

“Those guys have been unreal for a couple years now, and when you prepare for a team like that, you’ve got to contend with those guys,” Barron said of Behe and Lawhead. “I tip my hat to Tony, and we wish Ernie the best. They were the much better team today.”

Przybys scored on a 3-yard run late in the third quarter. Justin Fuller’s conversion run set the final as a running clock went into motion.

“We really practiced hard and the seniors took ownership of this team,” Tomaselli said. “Our leaders got the team ready to play.”

Lawhead rushed for 99 yards on 13 carries. Penn Cambria ran for 215 yards on 43 attempts. Eckenrode passed for 61 yards. Westmont’s Moran went 6 of 16 for 79 yards. Sam Curry ran for 41 of Westmont’s 77 rushing yards.

“It wasn’t as big of a transition as you’d think it was,” Lawhead said of the coaching change. “We’ve been around these guys all year. Coach Tomaselli and his staff did a great job. They kept us together. They got to us on a personal level and kept us together as a family.”

 

To read stories in their entirety, visit one of these links:

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Pirates cut down by Reds’ Cueto

    April 23, 2014

  • Penguins 0422 Blown leads are troubling trend in series

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sunnehanna makes changes to tourney week

    April 22, 2014

  • Penguins 0421 Penguins finish hot to grab 2-1 series lead

    Brandon Sutter, Lee Stempniak and Jussi Jokinen scored in a span of 2:13 of the third period to revive the Penguins from yet another two-goal deficit in a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0421 Pirates walk off against Reds to halt home skid

    Ike Davis became the first player to hit grand slams for different teams in the same April, and Neil Walker had a winning run single with two outs in the ninth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates twice overcame deficits to beat the Reds 6-5 Monday night.
    Pittsburgh trailed 2-0 before Davis’ fourth-inning homer off Mike Leake.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sitting Bulls bring home national sled hockey title

    The Johnstown Sitting Bulls disabled sled hockey team recently won a national championship.
    The team, comprised of disabled athletes from Cambria, Somerset, Indiana, Bedford and Blair counties, finished first in the Youth B Division at the USA Hockey National Disabled Hockey Festival held April 11-13 in Marlborough, Mass.

    April 21, 2014

  • Local Sports Briefs

    April 21, 2014

  • APTOPIX Boston Marathon.jpg Marathon men’s winner has names of victims on bib

    The winner of the Boston Marathon men’s race had the names of last year’s victims written in marker on the corners of his race bib.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates Brawl 0420 Brewers top Pirates in game highlighted by dustup

    Ryan Braun homered in the ninth inning to tie it, then Khris Davis hit a home run in the 14th that put Milwaukee ahead for good.
    Yet those were hardly the big blows that attracted all the attention Sunday in the Brewers’ 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Football team ends boycott of embattled coach

    Minnesota State University-Mankato’s football team has ended its boycott of reinstated head coach Todd Hoffner, who successfully fought child pornography charges and other misconduct accusations that removed him from the job for 20 months.
    Hoffner said he assured the players, who refused to take the practice field Wednesday, that interim coach Aaron Keen, who led the team in Hoffner’s absence, will continue in a major role with the team.

    April 20, 2014

AP Sports Video
Poll

Should the NFL get rid of the extra-point attempt after a touchdown?

Yes
No
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow