Karns City Captures Their Sixth Straight District Championship
Written by: Phil Myers on Friday, November 10th, 2017
The Karns City Gremlins won the D-9 AAA championship for the second year in a row by defeating the Punxsutawney Chucks 42-14 at Clarion University’s Memorial Stadium Thursday night. That is their sixth straight D-9 title, which included four at AA before the PIAA moved to six classifications. “It never gets old and it never will,” stated Gremlin head coach Ed Conto.
The purple and gold clad Gremlins used their patented running game to do most of the damage. Dalton Beham led the way with 124 yards and four touchdowns. Clay Garing chipped in 107 yards (on only 8 carries) and a touchdown. Quarterback Anthony Kamenski accounted for the other K.C. tally.
Punxsy opened the game by driving 70 yards to draw first blood. Mixing in passes with efficient runs, the Chucks effortlessly moved the ball down the field. Tyler Richardson capped the drive by grabbing a Dylan Ishman seven-yard pass and less than four minutes into the contest the Chucks led 7-0.
From that point on the Gremlins proceeded to take control of the game, offensively and defensively. The white and red clad Chucks could not stop the Gremlin offense, nor could they muster up another good offensive thrust until their last drive of the game. In fact, Punxsy’s first and last drives accounted for 146 of their 248 total yards for the night. Karns City rushed more guys than Punxsy could handle, especially on passes, plus appeared to shoot gaps very effectively after that first Chuck possession.
Karns City tied the game on their first offensive opportunity when Beham took a short pitch and practically walked the three yards into the end zone. In quarter two, Garing ran seven yards on a jet sweep to give his team the lead for good. The Gremlins, for all intents and purposes, salted the game away by scoring two touchdowns in 40 seconds near the end of the second quarter which increased their lead to 28-7 at halftime.
Karns City began its fourth possession of the night at their 31 with 2:41 remaining in the second quarter. Garing took an inside reverse 37 yards to Punxsy’s 32. In addition, the Chucks were assessed a 15-yard penalty for a late hit out of bounds. On the third play thereafter, Beham toted the pigskin five yards for a touchdown, extending the Gremlin lead to 21-7. Then Karns City forced Punxsy to punt from their own 43 after two incomplete passes and a 6-yard run. But the punt was blocked by Mitchell Kelsea who also recovered the ball at the Chuck 12. On the second play of the drive, Beham took the short pitch seven yards to the house.
Karns City’s Devin Ryan returned the second half kick to the Punxsy 44. From there it took just over a minute for K.C. to go up 35-7. On the third play of the drive, Beham took the handoff, faked giving the ball to Garing on the inside reverse, and scooted 33 yards untouched to the end zone fooling every one of the Chucks, people in the stands, and even the radio announcers.
A minute and forty-nine seconds later, Kamenski faked a handoff to his running back and kept the rock himself, scampering 23 yards for the final Karns City touchdown of the evening and putting the Gremlins up 42-7. With the lead being 35 points, the Mercy Rule kicked in prompting the clock to run continuously. Punxsy’s last touchdown came on another Ishman to Richardson scoring toss, this time for fourteen yards.
Game Notes: Karns City had beaten the Chucks 42-32 earlier in the year. Punxsutawney finished the season at 4-7. Ishman led the Chucks by completing 14 of 32 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns. Richardson had 221 all-purpose yards. He caught 5 passes for 76 yards, returned a punt 53 yards, and returned four kickoffs for 92 yards. Karns City had 377 total yards, of which 319 was on the ground. The Gremlin four team captains were all seniors which is not unusual, but they were not dressed because they all were injured. Hanna Bassinger did an excellent job singing the National Anthem. She is a junior at Karns City. The Gremlins upped their record to 7-4 and will meet the winner of the Sharon-Mercyhurst Prep game.
Follow WesternPAFootball.com on Twitter @WPAFootball