The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

HS Sports Windber

September 15, 2012

Ramblers roll to win over Rockets

ROCKWOOD — Despite a one-sided 42-7 win over Rockwood, Windber coach Matt Grohal was not happy with his Ramblers on Saturday afternoon.

“I’m hoping that these guys were looking ahead to what is coming up the next few weeks because we didn’t play well,” Grohal said after his team improved to 3-0. “Usually we don’t play well on Saturday afternoons but this was a perfect day. I’m not too happy right now with the way we played, that’s not the way we played the last few weeks. We’ve got a lot of things to work on to get better for Blacklick this week.”

Instead of controlling the line of scrimmage and eating up the clock, Windber used its offensive firepower to put points on the board.

“We made some big plays, but that’s not our style,” Grohal said. “We want to sustain long drives and keep our defense off the field and we weren’t able to do that to their credit. They are a tough, gritty bunch for having those few numbers. Not being able to sustain drives was a little disheartening to me.”

The teams traded turnovers to open the game with Joel Ansell recovering a fumble for Rockwood (1-2), but the Rockets gave the ball right back on an interception by Jake Polca three plays later.

Windber then took three plays to get to the end zone with Devon Tomlinson covering the final two yards for the touchdown. Jake Hanley hit the first of his five extra-point kicks.

The Ramblers scored on their next possession with Dan Tomlinson capping the three-play drive with a 40-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Dakota Gipe as Windber took a 14-0 lead.

The Rockets put together an impressive 10-play drive, moving down to the Windber 10 before turning the ball back over to the Ramblers on downs.

On the second play from scrimmage, Gipe again connected with Dan Tomlinson, this time on an 81-yard scoring strike. Gipe finished 5 of 9 passing, all in the first half, for 170 yards.

With less than two minutes remaining before the half, Windber scored again, this time on a Shane Almodovar 1-yard run to take a 28-0 lead.

The Rockets took the ensuing kickoff and began to move the ball, but on the third play from scrimmage, Ansell sustained a hard tackle and the ball popped out and was recovered by Windber. Ansell was injured on the play and left the field by ambulance.

“Joel was injured the first week of camp and this was his first game back and he was having a pretty good day,” Rockwood coach Jerry Kaizen said. “Naturally we got rocked when they haul Joel off the field on a board. It takes a little while to get your composure back. It was precautionary. He had movement in his extremities, but he had some pain in his neck and when it comes to neck pain, you don’t take chances.”

Windber scored on its first possession of the second half, moving 70 yards on six straight running plays, capped by a Dan Tomlinson 1-yard run. The Hanley extra point set the running clock in motion with 7:21 left in the third.

The Ramblers added one more score on a 9-yard Jared Maurizio run and Jacob Podrasky kick before yielding the Rockets lone score on a 73-yard Luke Brancato (eight carries for 95 yards) run.

“We bent a little bit,” Grohal said about his defense. “We made some good plays when we needed to and almost pitched a shutout there. Our jayvee guy was a little bit out of position. We’ll take it. The varsity guys did a great job defensively.”

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