By BRENT GLASGOW
BERWYN – Conestoga coach John Vogan found few faults in his team’s effort Friday night, as the Pioneers rolled to a 38-7 victory over visiting Penncrest.
“I’m very proud of all phases of our game tonight, and our coaches had a great plan that the kids executed,” Vogan said. “Our defense bent a little bit but stiffened up when they had to, and our offense, take away the first series and they did exactly what they wanted to.”
Conestoga’s Marcus Burton ran for 188 yards and three touchdowns, and Joe Viviano went 14-of-22 for 199 yards and accounted for two TDs as the Pioneers scored on five straight possessions after being stopped on their first drive.
“We found our groove,” Burton said. “First drive was a little iffy, but after that we kept going and pounded the ball down the field.”
Conestoga’s blocking was superb, as Burton enjoyed some big running lanes.
“The line and my fullback Sam Cook were great tonight,” Burton said. “Sam really opened some great holes hitting the linebacker.”
Andrew DeStefano had eight catches for 115 yards, as Viviano connected with his favorite target despite increased attention.
“Teams are kind of catching on and trying to put two guys over him or trying to shade a safety up there, but he just really knows how to get off the press coverage and knows exactly where to break,” Viviano said. “He’s a real good player, and I’m lucky to have him.”
Conestoga’s defense did its part, with a key fourth-down stop in the first quarter and a fumble recovery early in the second to set the tone. Penncrest didn’t come close to the end zone until its only touchdown of the game, which came after the running clock went into effect with just under two minutes left in the third quarter.
Along with hitting all of his extra point attempts, Conestoga kicker Blaise Toroni split the uprights with a 36-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
Penncrest’s Shane Donnelly finished 10-of-24 for 170 yards, with a touchdown and an interception, while Joe Gartland ran for 75 yards on 13 carries. Donnelly was sacked four times for minus-25 yards.
“That’s a tough team with a lot of athletes,” Vogan said. “They played very hard, and we needed a great effort to get this kind of result.”
Conestoga improved to 4-2 overall, 3-2 in the Central League, and the Pioneers face a big road trip to Strath Haven next Friday.
“We’ll enjoy this tonight and then worry about Strath Haven,” Vogan said. “Because of those two losses, we can’t afford another one, and we know that.”
Conestoga 38, Penncrest 7
Penncrest 0 0 0 7 – 7
Conestoga 7 21 7 3 - 38
C-Viviano 21 run (Toroni kick)
C-Burton 20 run (Toroni kick)
C-Dorsey 35 pass from Viviano (Toroni kick)
C-Burton 9 run (Toroni kick)
C-Burton 2 run (Toroni kick)
P-Anderson 28 pass from Donnelly (Gonzales kick)
C-Toroni 36 field goal
First downs 13 17
Yards rushing 116 239
Yards passing 170 199
Total yards 286 438
Passing 10-24-1 14-22-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties 1-5 3-20
Punts-Avg. 3-29 1-34
RUSHING – Penncrest: Gartland 13-75, Donnelly 12-20, Batipps 3-14, Trusty 1-5, George 1-2. Conestoga: Burton 21-188, Viviano 3-48, Prestipino 1-3.
PASSING – Penncrest: Donnelly 10-24-1-170. Conestoga: Viviano 14-22-0-234.
RECEIVING – Penncrest: Trusty 6-91, Young 2-35, Anderson 1-28, Frame 1-16. Conestoga: DeStefano 8-115, Dorsey 4-62, Quinn 1-19, Prestipino 1-3.
SACKS – Conestoga: Prestipino, Cox, Dolente, Pritchett.
INTERCEPTIONS – Conestoga: Gallagher.