DUKE CENTER – The Elk County Crusader football team shut out the Otto-Eldred Terrors 48-0 on Friday evening, winning on the road to remain undefeated. While there were showers in the area, the rain held off for the duration of the game in Duke Center.
"It was a slow start, but it was a complete game offensively and defensively," said ECC coach Travis Skrzypek. "They finished well. We were a little worried in the third quarter there, but they got it together. It was a total team effort. Everybody got time tonight. Everybody responded, everybody played well."
The Crusaders were led on the ground by Cole Gerber with 146 yards on 12 carries. Brock McCullough gained 54 yards on 13 carries, Joe McLaughlin had 52 yards on seven carries, and Shaun Chiesa added 51 yards on five carries. Quarterback Mitchell Vallone was five-of-seven for 94 yards.
"Mitch is kind of taking control of the offense a little bit, keeping everybody in line," Skrzypek said. "He's doing a good job with throwing. He needs to set his feet a little bit but he's making strides every game."
Joe McLaughlin caught a pass for 34 yards and Ben Cortina caught a pass for 22 yards.
Scott Krellner was also six-of-six on PAT attempts.
"We worked on it this week. We've got to hold up the inside a little bit more, but Scotty's doing a good job for sure kicking back there," Skrzypek said.
For Otto-Eldred, Sam Colebert finished with 21 yards on six carries. Quarterback Dakota Vaughn was two-of-13 for 15 yards and an interception.
For the Crusader defense, Clayton Housler had an interception.
"I thought the offensive and defensive lines played really good games," Skrzypek said. "They were really solid up front and we had some sustaining scoring drives. It's nice to see that."
Elk Catholic won the opening coin toss and deferred to the second half.
Otto-Eldred took the opening kickoff but failed to move the chains and were forced to punt. The Crusaders needed 11 plays to march the ball 66 yards to get on the board for the first time on a four-yard touchdown run by McCullough. Krellner added the extra point to make the score 7-0 in favor of ECC with 4:04 remaining in the first quarter.
On their next possession, Otto-Eldred was again unable to get a drive going and this time turned the ball over on downs at their own 48-yard-line. This time the Crusaders needed just three plays to find the endzone as Gerber scored his first touchdown of the evening on a 26-yard run. Krellner added the PAT to put the Crusaders up 14-0 with :44 remaining in the first quarter.
The Terrors again were unable to put a drive together on their next possession and, despite picking up some penalty yards on a pass interference call on Elk Catholic, they ultimately punted the ball back to the Crusaders. Elk Catholic started their drive at their own 11-yard-line and needed 10 plays to make it back to the Terrors' endzone, this time on a four-yard run Cappiello. Krellner's PAT extended the Crusaders' lead to 21-0 with 4:43 remaining in the half.
On the ensuing kickoff Otto-Eldred's Dakota Lee fumbled but was able to fall on the ball; however, on the very next play the Terrors fumbled again and this time Elk Catholic recovered. The Crusaders were not able to capitalize though as they coughed up the ball two plays later to give it back to Otto-Eldred.
Otto-Eldred was able to pick up some yardage, but eventually punted the ball back to the Crusaders. Elk Catholic took over at their own 29-yard-line and, six plays and 71 yards later they were in the Terrors' endzone once again as Gerber added his second touchdown of the game. Krellner's PAT made the score 28-0 with :24 remaining in the half.
Both teams traded punts to start the second half; however, Otto's punt went awry and only traveled for seven yards, setting up the Crusaders with excellent field positions. A nine-yard rush by McCullough extended their lead and Krellner's PAT put the mercy rule into effect with the Crusaders up 35-0 with 6:39 left in the third quarter.
On their next possession, Otto-Eldred turned the ball over on downs, with Elk Catholic taking over at the Terrors' 37-yard-line. Five plays later, Gerber had his third touchdown of the evening and Krellner's PAT made the score 42-0 with 1:15 left in the third.
The Terrors made some progress on their next drive, but Housler intercepted a pass by Vaughn to give Elk Catholic back the ball. Seven plays later Shaun Chiesa scored the Crusaders' final touchdown of the game. The PAT failed, making the score 48-0 with 5:26 remaining.
The game ended on the Terrors' ensuing drive, giving Elk Catholic their second win of the season 48-0.
The Crusaders are now 2-0 overall and 2-0 in the Allegheny Mountain League.
Elk Catholic will play host to the Coudersport Falcons next Friday night at 7 p.m. at Dutch Country Stadium.
Unofficial game statistics
First downs 18 3
Yards gained rushing 351 51
Passes attempted 7 13
Passes completed 5 2
Intercepted by 1 0
Yards gained passing 94 16
Total yards 445 67
Punts-average 1-37 4-27
Penalties-yards 7-70 3-22
Fumbles-lost 3-1 3-1
Offensive plays 54 38
Score by quarters
Elk Catholic 14 14 14 6 - 48
Otto-Eldred 0 0 0 0 - 0
First quarter - Elk Catholic - Brock McCullough 4-yard run. Scott Krellner kicked PAT, 7-0 4:04.
First quarter - Elk Catholic - Cole Gerber 26-yard run. Scott Krellner kicked PAT, 14-0, :44.
Second quarter - Elk Catholic - Hank Cappiello 4-yard run. Scott Krellner kicked PAT, 4:43.
Second quarter - Elk Catholic - Cole Gerber 41-yard run. Scott Krellner kicked PAT, 28-0, :24.
Third quarter - Elk Catholic - Brock McCullough 9-yard run. Scott Krellner kicked PAT, 35-0, 6:39.
Third quarter - Elk Catholic - Cole Gerber 4-yard run. Scott Krellner kicked PAT, 42-0, 1:15.
Fourth quarter - Elk Catholic - Shaun Chiesa 38-yard run. PAT failed, 48-0, 5:26.
Rushing - Elk Catholic - Brock McCullough, 13 carries, 54 yards; Cole Gerber, 12 carries, 146 yards; Joe McLaughlin, 7 carries, 52 yards; Shaun Chiesa, 5 carries, 51 yards; Hank Cappiello, 4 carries, 42 yards; Mitchell Vallone, 3 carries, 1 yard; Nick Erich, 2 carries, 1 yard; Wes Brennen, 1 carry, 4 yards. Otto-Eldred - Lucas Kerr, 4 carries, 4 yards; Coy Hoffman, 4 carries, 4 yards; Dakota Vaughn, 5 carries, 14 yards; Sam Colebert, 6 carries, 21 yards; Seth Bigley, 1 carry, -1 yards; Dakota Lee, 5 carries, 9 yards.
Passing - Elk Catholic - Mitchell Vallone 5-7-94. Otto-Eldred - Dakota Vaughn 2-13-15.
Receiving - Elk Catholic - Montana Schneider, 1 catch for 10 yards; Ben Cortina, 1 catch for 22 yards; Joe McLaughlin, 1 catch for 34 yards; Clayton Housler, 1 catch for 10 yards; Ryan Childs, 1 catch for 18 yards. Otto-Eldred - Coy Hoffman, 2 catches for 15 yards.