EMPORIUM – The Elk County Catholic Crusader football team picked up a big win on Friday night, defeating the Cameron County Red Raiders 43-0 in a contest played at Cameron County High School in Emporium.
The Crusaders took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, were up 17-0 at the half, and led 30-0 at the end of three quarters.
"I'm glad we didn't stop playing. We kept on playing a full four quarters of football finally, even through a little bit of the rain and muck out here. The guys did a nice job," said ECC coach Travis Skrzypek.
"They (Cameron County) coughed up the ball a couple times and we made the best of it," Skrzypek added. "We huddled up, ran some nice plays, and tried to hang on to it (the ball) as best we could."
Junior Ryan Seelye also had a solid night kicking for the Crusaders. He was 4-for-6 on PAT attempts and also made a 23-yard field goal in the second quarter.
"Ryan Seelye is doing a great job. We had some trouble earlier in the year and he's been coming up before practice every night and sticking around and kicking extra. It showed. For a younger guy on the team in his first time playing football, he did a great job," Skrzypek said.
Skrzypek also remarked that senior Devin Constable has really been stepping up his play on defense.
"[Devin has been] playing some solid defense for us, and that's nice to see. He worked hard," Skrzypek said.
Brock McCullough led the Crusaders on the ground with 108 yards on 14 carries. Joe McLaughlin added another 45 yards on 10 carries.
ECC quarterback Mitchell Vallone was 3-for-5 for 52 yards. Vallone threw for two touchdowns and also had a one-yard run for a touchdown.
Clayton Housler caught all three of Vallone's passes, two of which were for touchdowns.
Cameron County was led by Andrew Lathrop with 45 yards on 11 carries.
Red Raider quarterback Tucker Britton was 5-for-11 for 42 yards.
Cameron County won the coin toss and elected to receive. The Red Raiders were only able to get to their own 27-yard line on their opening drive before fumbling the ball away to Elk Catholic. It took the Crusaders just six plays for Vallone to make the one-yard run into the endzone. Seelye added the extra point, giving the Crusaders a 7-0 lead with 8:52 left on the clock in the first quarter.
Neither team was able to get into the endzone during the remainder of the quarter, and Elk was forced to punt at the beginning of the second quarter after their drive stalled out around their own 43-yard line.
A series of good pass plays by Britton took the Red Raiders all the way to ECC's 5-yard line with Cameron County threatening to even the score. There was a fumble on the snap on second and goal, though and the ball was kicked and ended up sliding down the wet field until it was recovered by Crusader Hank Cappiello at Cameron County's 48-yard line. Five plays later and the Crusaders were back in the endzone, this time on a 20-yard pass to Housler. Seelye again added the PAT to extend Elk's lead to 14-0 with 5:41 left in the half.
On the first play of Cameron County's ensuing drive, Britton's pass was picked off by McCullough, but this time the Crusaders were only able to get as close as Cameron's 6-yard line. Rather than trying to run the ball in on fourth down, Elk Catholic opted to have Seelye kick a 23-yard field goal, which he easily made, giving Elk Catholic a 17-0 lead, which they would hold on to for the remainder of the half.
Elk kept their momentum going on their opening drive at the start of the third quarter. It took five plays for Vallone to connect with Housler on a three-yard pass to make ECC's lead 23-0 with 9:14 remaining in the quarter.
The Red Raiders coughed the ball up again on their next possession, this time on a punt that was blocked by Crusader Shea Meyer. The ball ended up bouncing right into the arms of Cappiello, who returned the ball 24 yards to Cameron County's 5-yard line before he was taken down. After a penalty on Elk Catholic on the next play, McLaughlin took the ball into the endzone on an 8-yard run, and Seelye's PAT gave the Crusaders a 30-0 lead with 5:38 left in the quarter.
After fumbles by both teams to start the fourth quarter and an injury delay, Cameron County went to punt but the punter fumbled the snap and his knee inadvertently touched the ground, giving the Crusaders the ball at the Cameron County 10-yard line. Jonathan Dippold ran in the 10-yard score for the Crusaders, giving them a 36-0 lead after Seelye's PAT attempt was blocked.
Cameron County was unable to pick up much ground on their ensuing possession and again went to punt the ball away. This time the punter was able to get the ball away, but it was fielded by ECC's Dan Singer, who promptly ran it back 57 yards for the Crusaders' final score of the game. Seelye went on to make the PAT and ECC won 43-0.
The Crusaders are now 3-0 on the season and 3-0 in the Allegheny Mountain League.
Elk Catholic will be back in action on Friday as they host Ridgway at Dutch Country Stadium at 7 p.m.
Unofficial game statistics
First downs 12 7
Yards gained rushing 197 -23
Passes attempted 5 11
Passes completed 3 5
Intercepted by 1 0
Yards gained passing 52 42
Total yards 249 19
Punts-average 2-24 4-28
Penalties-yards 7-40 4-35
Fumbles-lost 2-2 3-3
Offensive plays 45 48
Score by quarters
ECCHS 7 10 13 13 43
Cameron 0 0 0 0 0
First quarter - Elk Catholic - Mitchell Vallone, 1-yard run. Ryan Seelye added PAT, 6-0, 8:52.
Second quarter - Elk Catholic - Mitchell Vallone to Clayton Housler, 20-yard pass play. Seelye added PAT, 14-0, 5:41.
Second quarter - Elk Catholic - Ryan Seelye kicked 23-yard field goal, 17-0, 3:07.
Third quarter - Elk Catholic - Mitchell Vallone to Clayton Houlser, 3-yard pass play. PAT failed, 23-0, 9:14.
Third quarter - Elk Catholic - Joe McLaughlin, 8-yard run. Seelye added PAT, 30-0, 5:38.
Fourth quarter - Elk Catholic - Jonathan Dippold, 10-yard run. PAT failed, 36-0, 6:22.
Fourth quarter - Elk Catholic - Dan Singer, 57-yard punt return. Seelye added PAT, 43-0, 2:03.
Rushing - Elk Catholic - Brock McCullough, 14 carries, 108 yards; Hank Cappiello, 11 carries, 36 yards; Joe McLaughlin, 10 carries, 45 yards; Mitchell Vallone, 2 carries, 1 yard; Andrew Gebauer, 1 carry, -3 yards; Tom Wolf, 1 carry, 0 yards; Jonathan Dippold, 1 carry, 10 yards. Cameron County - Andrew Lathrop 11 carries, 45 yards; Tucker Britton, 9 carries, -62 yards; Eric Spehalski, 4 carries, -18 yards; Dylan Armstrong, 1 carry, 2 yards; Zack Cokely, 3 carries, -1 yards; Daunte Woloshun, 1 carry, -3 yards; Nate Andrus, 1 carry, -2 yards; Rusty Setzer, 1 carry, 2 yards.
Passing - Elk Catholic - Mitchell Vallone - 3-5-52. Cameron County - Tucker Britton 5-11-42.
Receiving - Elk Catholic - Clayton Housler, 3 catches for 52 yards. Cameron County - Andrew Lathrop, 3 catches for 21 yards; Dylan Armstrong, 2 catches for 21 yards.