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Marion Center Breezes by Purchase Line

Written by: on Wednesday, September 12th, 2018


Purchase Line junior Cullen Goncher (35) scores the first defensive touchdown of his high school career against the Marion Center Stingers. TAMMY SCHMITTLE PHOTO

With Purchase Line being one head coach down due to illness, defense-coordinator Coach Max Falisec had to step up to the role, and take on the Marion Center Stingers full swing. Both teams, still looking for that first win, were willing to do whatever it took to make it happen. The previous time these two teams faced off, Purchase Line beat Marion Center, 20-0. This time, it was not exactly the same. The Stingers defeated the Dragons, 20-8, leaving the Dragons still without a win. Junior Andre Wray said, “It was a hard-fought game. It’s terrible that we didn’t win, but we need to focus on next week.”

The first quarter was a quiet one for both teams. Defensively and offensively, they both played hard, and ran the ball when they could. Neither of the teams were successful in breaking through each other’s lineups. Throughout the long 12-minute quarter, the score remained 0-0.

Purchase Line’s senior Kaleb Yarger (71) and Sophomore Clayton Patrick (56) team up to tackle Marion Center’s Austin Rinehart (32). TAMMY SCHMITTLE PHOTO

The second quarter was more eventful. A touchdown from the Stinger’s Aaron Brewer, with a 19-yard pass from Palko was scored early on. The extra point attempt failed, making the score 6-0. Not long after, the Dragons capitalized, with a defensive touchdown, scored by junior Cullen Goncher. Goncher’s response to his touchdown was, “It was my first defensive touchdown in my career, but I thought it was pretty cool.” Goncher and junior Jacob Barnett, helped the team gain two points during the conversion. Directly after the score, Barnett kicked the ball to the Stingers. The ball was fumbled, and the Dragons were able to make the recovery. After a few more smart plays by the Dragons, Purchase Line flew into the half with advantage, and a score of 8-6.

The ball went back and forth between the teams during the third quarter. A lone touchdown was scored by Marion Center’s Zachary Hicks, with a 48-yard pass from Palko at two minutes and thirty-one seconds left in the third quarter. Garet Wells received a pass from Ty Ryan, making the two-point conversion successful. The fourth quarter mirrored the third, quiet and not a good one for the Dragons. Hicks struck again with a 5-yard pass from Palko with one minute and seven seconds left in the game. The opportunity for Purchase Line to catch up was missed, and Marion Center took the win of 20-8.

Purchase Line’s junior Kyle Day (37) tackles Marion Center’s Garet Wells (33) during the teams’ matchup. TAMMY SCHMITTLE PHOTO

Following the game, temporary Head Coach Max Falisec said, “Marion Center made the big plays when they had too. We just couldn’t get any consistency on the offensive side of the ball. Moving forward we need to get back to the basics: blocking and tackling. We all need to work hard and make ourselves better.”

The Dragons turn their attention now to the undefeated Northern Cambria Colts, while the Stingers turn to the Homer Center Wildcats.

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