McGuffey’s perfect season lives to see another week-@athletics_sd @McGuffeyHS
Written by: Peyton Trollinger on Saturday, October 12th, 2019
The amount of energy coming into this game was absolutely unreal. The amount of media attention this particular 2A section game got was incredible. Two great teams battling for a win, but each’s teams reason was different. McGuffey was wanting a win because they would receive the home-field advantage in the playoffs. Charleroi, because not only would they stain an undefeated Highlander team, but they would clinch the playoffs by themselves without having to rely on Brownsville to lose. Charleroi ended up losing this hard-fought game 28-14, but since the Falcons lost to Frazier, the Cougars clinched for the third straight year.
To start the game off strong for the Cougars, Charleroi’s defense was able to cause a fumble and their own senior Malik Nails landed on top, giving his club the ball on his own 31-yard line.
Charleroi was unable to capitalize on this turnover as they would find difficulty with this all night long.
After the Cougars punted the ball away, the Highlanders were eager to set up their explosive offense, but a run from junior running back Nathan Yagle turned bad and the ball popped out. Charleroi’s Evan McGuire gained possession of it and would have his team take over on their own 37.
After two false start penalties on the Cougars and a sack, they were faced with a 4th and 22. Charleroi decided to punt.
On the following drive is where the first points of the game would be scored.
McGuffey took over on the Cougar 45. Then, junior running back McKinley Whipkey managed to take the ball to the 7-yard line within two plays. Yagle was able to run for a touchdown to put his team on the board. The extra point was good, making the score 7-0, Highlanders.
Charleroi was looking to rebound fast, but that did not happen. Even though they picked up a couple of first downs with the help of senior running back Brayden Mihalcin, they still were not able to stick with anything. So, as a result, the ball was punted away.
The Highlanders also had difficulty sticking with something as they got only a few first downs. The drive ended with a turnover on downs.
McGuffey did not have to worry, because of senior quarterback Alex Conrad’s pass being intercepted by junior Conner Corbly, they would get the ball back at their own 37.
With that interception, McGuffey was able to strike again on the scoreboard with McKinley Whipkey pushing in for the Highlander touchdown. The kick that followed was good. The score is now 14-0, McGuffey.
Charleroi’s drive started promising but ended with a turnover on downs. Charleroi marched from their own 35 to the Highlander 24 just to be stopped on 4th and 3.
The Highlanders were able to squeeze one more touchdown in before the half was over thanks to a 68-yard completion from senior quarterback Marshall Whipkey to star senior receiver CJ Cole for a Highlander touchdown.
“…Any of our backs can have a big night, and we have a pretty good receiver, CJ Cole…” This quote was from Highlander head coach Ed Dalton on a player to watch for.
Charleroi’s next drive resulted in another turnover on downs and that would bring the game to halftime. It is 21-0 in favor of the Highlanders.
The Cougars were looking to change the script up as they get the ball back to start the second half, but that was not the case as they would be forced to punt.
McGuffey’s opening second-half drive was cut short as on 3rd and 1, senior Ethan Codeluppi was able to intercept Marshall Whipkey’s pass to give the Cougars the ball at the Highlander 48-yard line.
“It’s a great feeling. It gets me hype. It gets me amuse. I’m ready to go out there and pound some more people.” The words from Codeluppi himself when asked about his feelings when he gets an intercption.
Codeluppi’s turnover would fuel the offense to go down the field and score for Charleroi’s first points of the game. Conrad ran the touchdown in from the 1-yard line and senior kicker Joey Caruso was able to make it 21-7, McGuffey.
The Highlander’s following drive ended with a punt back to the Cougars.
Charleroi’s drive looked extremely promising with nothing but positive yards until McGuffey caused a fumble and freshman Kyle Brookman came up with the football.
McGuffey was unsuccessful and Charleroi’s defense forced a three-and-out.
To start the drive off right, senior Evan McGuire caught two quick passes to get the hopes up for the offense. Then Mihalcin was able to contribute and get good yards for the Cougars. They were now at the 8-yard line of the Highlanders. On 3rd and 2, Conrad dropped back and floated the ball perfectly to senior Legend Davis for another Cougar touchdown. Caruso made it 21-14 with 7:18 left to go in the game.
The kickoff after the touchdown was up and it was muffed and Charleroi’s Nikko Pellegrini got the ball back for his Cougars. There was light at the end of the tunnel. There was a chance that Charleroi could knock off the undefeated Highlanders, but this was only a mirage as the Cougars could not convert and it was turned over on downs.
To have a bit of a cushion to the lead they already had, Marshall Whipkey ran the ball in for a 2-yard touchdown. The PAT was good making the final score 28-14.
Next week, McGuffey will be on the road to battle against Avonworth. Conveniently enough, both teams are undefeated so it is sure to be a good game. Charleroi will return home to fend off the Brownsville Falcons.
McGuffey High School
— Peyton W Trollinger (@peyt_casd1234) October 11, 2019
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