Trojans can't get anything going

September 09, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER /Staff Correspondent

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - In preparing for its home opener Friday night, the Chambersburg football team tried to imitate State College.

The Trojans soon found out that the Little Lions accept no imitations.

State College ran past Chambersburg seemingly at will, leading to a 42-0 thumping and making for a gloomy opening at the newly renovated Trojan Stadium.

"I thought we worked on a lot of stuff that they do," said Chambersburg coach Dave Carruthers, "but you can never duplicate it exactly. There were a couple of times somebody took the wrong person. ... We told them to stick to their assignment, but they just go jumping on the ball."

Chambersburg (0-2) stopped State College's first-string offense twice - once on a recovered fumble and then on fourth-and-17 at the Chambersburg 31 on the following drive. The other four times the Little Lions had the ball on offense, they moved it on their own terms.


State College (2-0) opened the game with a six-play, 86-yard drive, spanning just 2 minutes, 10 seconds, to take a 7-0 lead. Matt Leclair scorched the Trojans for back-to-back runs of 23 and 28 yards before culminating the drive with a 5-yard touchdown.

On the ensuing drive, Chambersburg had the ball for a little more than a minute before punting to Andrew Kerr, who returned it 53 yards for a touchdown to put the Little Lions up 14-0 with 8:25 still left in the first quarter.

"The difference is they're stronger. Not bigger, but stronger," Carruthers said. "You can't get any bigger, but you can get stronger and then you can play more aggressive. That's what they do."

When the first quarter ended, Chambersburg had a net gain of only 26 yards. Meanwhile, State College added two more touchdowns - a 4-yard run by Nate Stupar and a 26-yard pass from Brook Hart to Kerr - to take a 28-0 lead.

Hart hit Kerr again for 26 yards just before halftime to put the Little Lions ahead, 42-0. Hart finished with 149 passing yards and the two scores.

"I had a lot of people to work with," Hart said. "We have a lot of weapons and a lot of opportunities. The wideouts had great games."

Kerr, who also returned an interception 51 yards for a score, finished with 84 yards receiving - 23 more than Chambersburg had in total offense.

Except for a 19-yard run by M.J. Davis and an 8-yard scramble by quarterback Cheston Smith, Chambersburg had no runs of more than 5 yards.

"I wouldn't say that this was the best talent we've played against, but they just came out and did what they had to do," said Smith, who threw for 32 yards. "That's what we have to do. We need to stop getting on each other all the time and just do our job."

State College reserves entered the game in the second half and preserved a shutout for the second straight game.

Chambersburg has yet to score a point.

"You never say you expect to see something like that," said Carruthers, who compared the Little Lions to some of the Urbana teams that he had so much success with before taking over at Chambersburg. "That's where we want to be."

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