CHAMBERSBURG — It was a good fight … for about a quarter and a half.
Then Central Dauphin took advantage of several mistakes, got the Brady Straub-to-Grant Smith connection tuned up, scored 17 points in the final nine minutes of the first half and went on to hand Chambersburg a 44-7 defeat in a Mid Penn Commonwealth football game Friday night at Trojan Stadium.
It was the 17th consecutive loss by the Trojans (0-8, 0-4 MPC).
While the offense never threatened early, Chambersburg’s defense worked hard to limit the Rams’ scoring. It gave up some yards, but surrendered only a pair of field goals by Ethan Van Buskirk.
But the 6-0 lead ballooned quickly. On the second play after the second field goal, Chambersburg quarterback Tyler Collier did not see CD linebacker Adam Burkhart, who picked off his pass and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown. 13-0.
A sack of Collier by Mitchell Talbott ended the Trojans’ next possession, and on the second play of CD’s drive, Straub found Smith behind the Chambersburg defense for a 69-yard scoring strike. 20-0.
The next Rams’ possession, which included a 25-yard pass from Straub to Smith, set up a 45-yard field goal for Van Buskirk. 23-0.
“We played good football for more than a quarter,” Chambersburg coach Mark Luther said. “It was different than how we’ve played lately.
“But we have a lot of guys going both ways and CD is really big and strong. I think by the second quarter we were getting tired and started making some mistakes we weren’t earlier. It was only 13-0 and if we’d gotten a good drive and scored after that interception, we’d have been it it. But we had to punt and they hit that big pass.”
One of the Trojans’ big problems was that the CD defense was exceptional against the run. It took 24 rushing plays to pick up just 36 yards on the ground.
Luther said, “That just shows their advantage in strength up front.”
Collier (6-for-8, 50 yards) completed his first five passes when the Trojans hit several bubble screens to open the game. But after the pick and sack, Luther decided to give the ball to Brady Stumbaugh. He completed 10 of 26 for 92 yards and was intercepted twice, one on a Hail Mary at the end of the half.
“Once things started unraveling, it was just too hard to stop it,” Luther said.
In the third quarter, two more Straub-to-Smith passes led to a 12-yard run by Mike Wise-Belle (17 runs, 135 yards) for a score, then Smith caught a 53-yarder for a TD. He finished with six catches for 193 yards and two TDs, while Straub was 9-for-16 for 230 yards.
Chambersburg finally scored in the fourth period, helped by three penalties on the Rams that resulted in first downs, when Stumbaugh hit Seth Brouse from three yards out.
NOTES: Brouse caught 6 balls for 59 yards and Cota Heckman got four for 45 … Heckman dropped a potential long gainer, but the next time he was targeted he made perhaps the catch of the year … Keyshawn Jones was an eyelash from a pick six for the Trojans, but couldn’t make the catch when he was bumped by the receiver … The Rams are 5-3 (3-2 MPC) … Chambersburg travels to State College on Friday, 7:00.
Central Dauphin 44, Chambersburg 7
Central Dauphin 3 20 14 7 — 44
Chambersburg 0 0 0 7 — 7
CD — Ethan Van Buskirk 19 field goal, 8:00
CD — Van Buskirk 28 field goal, 9:54
CD — Adam Burkhart 22 interception return
CD — Grant Smith 69 pass from Brady Straub (Van Buskirk kick), 4:26
CD — Van Buskirk 45 field goal, 0:21
CD — Mike Wise-Belle 12 run (Van Buskirk kick), 4:42
CD — Smith 53 pass from Straub (Van Buskirk kick), 3:28
Ch — Seth Brouse 3 pass from Brady Stumbaugh (Nazeer Taylor kick), 7:42
CD — Kollin McCullough 72 run (Van Buskirk kick), 6:47
First downs 19 16
Rushes-yards 35-265 24-36
Passing yards 230 142
Total offense 495 178
Passing 9-16-0 16-34-3
Fumbles 0-0 0-0
Punts-average 0-0 6-30.2
Penalties-yards 8-116 3-23
Rushing — CD, Wise-Belle 17-135, McCullough 3-79, Burkhart 4-17, Straub 5-16, Myahl Chapman 3-13, Mason Griffiths 1-6, Tyrese Fuller 1-0, Myron Brooks 1-(-1). Chbg, Stumbaugh 5-31, Keyshawn Jones 7-7, Clay Myers 8-6, Tucker Heckman 1-0, Andrew Shetter 1-0, Tyler Collier 2-(-8).
Passing — CD, Straub 9-16-0-230. Chbg, Stumbaugh 10-26-2-92, Collier 6-8-1-50.
Receiving — CD, Smith 6-193, Burkhart 2-25, Corey Daniels 1-12. Chbg, Brouse 6-59, Cota Heckman 4-35, Keaton Morris 3-15, Jones 1-13, Shetter 1-8, T.Heckman 1-2.
Interceptions — CD, Burkhart, Kyle Minnich, Mitchell Talbott.