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Defensive start for both teams, then came the offense from Charleroi after halftime-@athletics_sd @southmorelandHS

Written by: on Saturday, October 5th, 2019



Senior Zach Cernuto (Wearing black,#10), scrambles away from Senior Malik Nails (wearing white, #32) to throw a pass.

Conference games are always fun to watch, especially whenever there are two teams that are in some way, evenly matched.  Charleroi and Southmoreland came in tonight’s game only having lost one game apiece and in previous games, both teams have dominated their opponents convincingly.  To what started off as a very defensive game ended offensively for the Cougars as they would take down the Scotties 28-7 on the road.

Southmoreland would start off with the ball first.  Their opening drive started off good with the run game.  Then, senior quarterback, Zach Cernuto found senior wide receiver Riley Comforti for a 28-yard completion to give the Scotties some life.  After this play, however, the drive ended with a turnover on downs.

Charleroi looked to get this game going on their first drive, but the Scotties’ defense had other plans.  Senior quarterback Alex Conrad rolled out to the left side and fired a pass, but it was picked off by junior Mason Basinger all the way to the endzone for a touchdown.  Junior kicker Alex Rodiguez put it through the uprights and just like that, Southmoreland is up on Charleroi 7-0.

The Cougars were looking to rebound fast.  They knew that the opposition was going to be tough and they just proved it.  So, Charleroi started to establish the ground game with senior running back Brayden Mihalcin.  He would put a few yards on the drive as well as a couple short passes to senior wide receiver Legend Davis.

Just as Charleroi entered the Southmoreland side of the field, Conrad was picked off yet again.  This time it was senior Colt Harper that did the damage.

Harper’s interception would not lead to any points on the board for his team as the drive ended in a punt back to Charleroi to close out the first quarter.  7-0 in favor of the Scotties.

As the second quarter started, the Cougars were getting closer to tying.  Charleroi would end up getting that tie, but first Conrad would have to find Davis for a 24-yard completion in the endzone.  As well as senior kicker Joey Caruso to make the PAT.  Both of those happened so the score is 7 all.

Legend Davis (wearing white, #27) catches a pass for a touchdown while being covered by Issac Trout (wearing black,#22)
PHOTO CREDITS: @dar_gram

Southmoreland, trying to answer back, started off on the Cougar 28-yard line. They quickly moved to the Cougar 49-yard line after Cernuto’s pass was caught by senior Brandon Peterson.

It was at this point, the Scotties took a timeout.  Once they came back, Cernuto dropped back in the pocket and fired down the field.  Charleroi’s Ethan Codeluppi came up with the ball.  Unfortunately, this did not count because of a block in the back penalty on the Cougars.  The drive ultimately ended with another turnover on downs for the Scotties.

The Cougars took over on their own 45.  What had looked like a potential scoring drive, Peterson for the Scotties came through the line and sacked Conrad.  After this, Charleroi was unable to gather themselves again and was forced to punt the ball away.

The final two possessions of the first half, for both teams, were nothing of huge interest.  Southmoreland started the drive with 6:07 left until the half and punted the ball to Charleroi at 2:10 left.  Charleroi was also not active on their drive and they would bring the game to halftime.  7-7.

Charleroi starts off with the ball in the second half.  After contributions from Mihalcin and senior Dominic Pellegrini, and even after Conrad was sacked by Scotties’ Colt Harper, the Cougars were able to take the lead from a 10-yard rushing touchdown by Brayden Mihalcin.  Caruso made good on the extra point to give the Cougars a 14-7 lead.

The Scotties set up at their own 36, but without even finishing the first set of downs, on 3rd and 3, Alex Conrad intercepts Zach Cernuto’s pass, giving Charleroi the ball.

Alex Conrad (Wearing white #16) finds an open whole and is looking for more open space.

The Cougars made great off of that momentum as Conrad pushed in for a touchdown at the 1-yard line.  With the PAT good, the score is now 20-7, Charleroi.  This would conclude the third quarter.

Southmoreland could really start to feel Charleroi pulling away and they needed to do something now to stay alive.  After three incomplete passes, the Scotties were faced with the task of a 4th and 10.  They had to go for it.  To the misfortune of the home crowd and team, Charleroi’s junior Darius Cooper was able to break through and made a huge stop with the sack, resulting in a turnover on downs.

I was able to have a few words with Cooper after the game.  I asked him how he felt about being a starter and he said that he was not expecting it, but that he wanted to do what was best for the team.  Even if it means playing on the line. 

Cooper’s sack helped invigorate the Cougar offense to score one last time with Mihalcin forcing his way through for a 1-yard touchdown.  The extra point was made by Caruso, resulting in the final score being 28-7, Charleroi.

Although the Scotties were on the losing end tonight, according to Westmorland Sports Network, Southmoreland was able to clinch a WPIAL playoff berth.  The last time the Scotties did this was in 1979.

Southmoreland looks to break this 2 game losing streak as they will be on the road facing off against Shenango in a non-conference game.  Charleroi will also be on the road, but they will playing McGuffey, who is currently undefeated.  This is a conference game that is sure to be another good game.



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