MECHANICSBURG – Unbeaten Mechanicsburg took a little longer to get rolling than usual, but the outcome was the same as every week this season. The Indians blew out visiting rival Triad, 48-8, Friday night in OHC action.
“Our defense has played really well all season,” M’burg Coach Kurt Forrest said. “We have a lot of great athletes, a lot of intelligent kids. I was very proud of the defense.”
Triad opened the game with an onside kick, but Mechanicsburg was ready and recovered the kick. The Indians drove down the field and scored with an 18-yard strike to Jacob Bowers to make it 7-0.
Triad drove deep on each of its first two possessions, bolstered by aggressive play-calling and a few fourth-down conversions.
The Cardinals actually took an 8-7 lead early in the second quarter when Trent McIntyre scored on a 13-yard scramble. He found Cameron Atchison on a fade for the two-point conversion.
That lead lasted less than a minute, with Phil Cook finding room up the middle and dashing 53 yards to the end zone. Kaleb Romero ran the ball into the end zone for the two-point conversion and M’burg took a 15-8 lead.
Cook struck again just before the half ended, sweeping to the right side for an 8-yard score. Romero again converted for two points and the Indians took a 23-8 lead into the locker room.
The Mechanicsburg defense took over and put the game away in the second half.
Colton McMannis snagged an interception and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown. Romero found Wade Smiddy for a two-point conversion from 13 yards away after a penalty backed the Indians up.
On the next offensive play for Triad, David Harvey intercepted another pass and took it 25 yards for a touchdown. The extra point put M’burg out in front 38-8 and activated the running clock.
“Turnovers in the second half hurt us – took us out of our game,” Triad Coach Payton Printz said.
The Indians picked off another pass on the next play from scrimmage, with Romero leaping to grab the ball and falling to the turf.
“Anytime your defensive secondary comes out and gets three picks in a row and takes two to the house, it’s hard to give anyone a hard time,” Forrest said.
Mechanicsburg put the ball in with a terrific run by Romero from 42 yards away and the Indians pushed the lead out to 45-8 before putting in reserve players.
Alex Rhine tacked on a 38-yard field goal to round out the scoring with just a few minutes left on the clock.
Cook finished with 90 yards on 10 carries with the pair of touchdowns. Romero had 68 yards on 7 carries and Gavin Erwin had 48 yards on 7 carries.
McIntyre was 16 of 27 passing for 159 yards but threw the three interceptions for Triad.
“Truth be known, we’re just thin,” Printz said. “If we’re talking honestly, we got beat by a better team.”
Next Friday night, the Indians play at WL-S and Triad (1-4, 0-2) hosts Cedarville.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller