By DENNIS WELLER
Journal Register News Service
BUCKTOWN — Owen J. Roberts would have had a tough enough time as it was against a strong offensive and defensive football team like West Chester Rustin on Friday night. Then the Wildcats made it doubly hard on themselves by turning the ball over four times in the first half.
Those mistakes led to four Golden Knight touchdowns as Rustin ran out to a 49-7 lead by the half ... and that’s the way it ended in the non-league contest at Wildcat Stadium.
Adam Burke ran for three touchdowns and caught passes for two more and the Knights (2-0) turned the ball over only one time all night. Jarrad Pinelli hit Matt Raymond on a 70-yard pass play for the only score for OJR (0-2), Brendan Murray ran for 71 yards, and Tyler Reitnour recovered a Rustin fumble in the second half.
“They’re a good football team,” Wildcat coach Tom Barr said concerning the Golden Knights. “They controlled the line of scrimmage and we turned the ball over. They scored two touchdowns after fumbles and two touchdowns after interceptions. They had a big kickoff return after we scored. If you make five big plays, you’re going to win. They had five big plays on us in the first half and we didn’t have any.”
“The offense was efficient tonight,” Rustin coach Mike St. Clair said concerning his team’s 365 total yards on 44 plays. “I think we had a good week of practice and that carried over tonight. Tom (Barr) always does a good job. They play tough and they play hard. Fortunately, we came up with those turnovers and they figured in the scoring.”
Rustin scored on the first possession of the night, a 64-yard drive that took a little over two minutes and finished with a 28-yard run by Burke. OJR’s first try and Rustin’s second each ended in a punt, but Tyler Seal picked off a pass and returned it 30 yards into the end zone for a 14-0 advantage with 2:30 in the first quarter and Dave Fithian passed to Burke for 29 yards and another score before the end of the quarter after a Wildcat fumble.
“That was one thing we stressed all week,” Barr said concerning the turnovers. “We played well against Conestoga (in a 49-21 loss last week), but we turned the ball over and they all turned into scores.”
The Wildcats scored on the first play of the second quarter when Raymond grabbed a toss from Pinelli and sped down the left sideline. But the long return on the ensuing kickoff gave the visitors good field position and Burke ran in from nine yards out for a 28-7 advantage just 1:30 later.
More turnovers and three more scores boosted the lead to 49-7 by the half as Burke caught a 37-yard TD pass and ran in from 23 yards and Terry Loper carried the ball in from 21 yards out with 45 seconds to go until the intermission.
The Wildcats wound up with 216 total yards, including 41 on the ground by Wyatt Scott.
“My defensive coordinator, Joe Carr, does a great job, week-in and week-out,” said St. Clair. “He has the kids fundamentally prepared.”
Burke did not play in the second half after racking up 103 rushing yards on nine tries and his two catches for a total of 66 more.
“Adam’s a great kid,” St. Clair added. “He works really hard. He runs hard. He’s just a very good football player.”
A lot of players from both teams got a chance to carry the ball in the second half as OJR wound up with eight different ball carriers and Rustin 16 on the night.
“I think we got all our ninth graders in there,” Barr added. “We played two tough teams to get us ready for our league.”
West Chester Rustin 49
Owen J. Roberts 7
W.C. Rustin 21 28 0 0 — 49
Owen J. Roberts 0 7 0 0 — 7
WCR-Burke 28 run (Jenkins kick)
WCR-Seal 30 interception return (Jenkins kick)
WCR-Burke 29 pass from Fithian (Jenkins kick)
OJR-Raymond 70 pass from Pinelli (Hughes kick)
WCR-Burke 9 run (Jenkins kick)
WCR-Burke 37 pass from Fithian (Jenkins kick)
WCR-Burke 23 run (Jenkins kick)
WCR-Loper 21 run (Jenkins kick)
1st Downs 15 8
Yards Rushing 299 143
Yards Passing 66 73
Total Yards 365 216
Passes C-A-I 2-2-0 2-5-2
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 4-3
Penalties-Yards 4-30 4-30
Punts-Avg. 1-47 3-29.3
Rushing - West Chester Rustin: Burke 9-103, 3 TD; Loper 4-35, 1 TD; Lamberjack 3-28; Pernsley 6-28; Muliawan 3-18; Labus 2-13; Kirk 2-13; Ricci 2-12; Simpkins 1-11; Romanowski 1-10; Muscarella 1-9; Fithian 2-7; Peterson 2-6; Love 1-2; Jordan 1-2; Devers 2-2. Owen J. Roberts: Murray 11-71; Scott 10-41; Arch 4-18; Horrocks 2-11; Strus 2-10; Scherfel 1-1; Thomas 1-(-2); Pinelli 4-(-7).
Passing - West Chester Rustin: Fithian 2-4-66, 2 TD. Owen J. Roberts: Pinelli 1-4-70, 1 TD, 2 INT; Thomas 1-1-3.
Receiving - West Chester Rustin: Burke 2-66, 2 TD. Owen J. Roberts: Raymond 1-70, 1 TD; Marks 1-3.
Interceptions - Rustin: Seal 2.
Sacks - Rustin: Steinmetz 2.