PUNXSUTAWNEY — Behind a 227-yard, three touchdown rushing performance by Perry Arrinington, the Chucks ninth-grade football team defeated St. Marys 36-6 Wednesday evening in Punxsutawney.
Punxsy struck first in the contest with 4:41 remaining in the first quarter on a 32-yard touchdown run by quarterback Dakota Thomas, who followed up Arrington's 227 yards with 68 of his own on the day.
"Our 328 team rushing yards is the kind of statistic that a college or professional team would be envious of," Punxsy head coach Jason Grusky said.
The two-point attempt failed for Punxsy, but the Chucks were ahead 6-0.
Arrington's first score came two minutes later on a one-yard run, and Punxsy failed to complete the conversion again, setting its lead at 12-0.
Early in the second quarter, Travis Perry became the third Punxsy player to score a rushing touchdown when he scampered 11-yards into the end zone. Arrington added a two-point conversion run to extend Punxsy's lead to 20.
St. Marys answered with a long drive to the Punxsy five-yard line late in the second quarter, but Punxsy's defense tightened and stopped St. Marys with 1:39 to play in the first half.
Arrington ripped off a 54-yard run on the first play from the five, but Punxsy's drive also stalled as the half ended.
Punxsy didn't waste any time adding to its lead in the second half when Arrington ran for a 45-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. Perry added a two-point conversion to set Punxsy's lead at 28-0.
Arrington put the cherry on top of his impressive day with a 66-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quar- ter, and Ruben Taylor added the two point conversion to complete Punxsy's scoring.
"Perry Arrington had a great game," Grusky said. "You don't see many 200-plus yard rushing performances at the junior high level. He's the kind of player that gives his all on every play and leads this team by example."
Of course, any good rusher has to have the blockers ahead of him, and Grusky noted that one particular blocker stood out Wednesday.
"Travis Perry did an outstanding job at the full-back position opening up holes for Perry," he said.
The only glitch in an otherwise flawless defensive performance for the Chucks was a 65-yard touchdown run by St. Marys with five minutes left in the game, its only score of the day.
"Our defense played a great game, as well," he said. "Luke Shiock and the Maines brothers, Cody and Dalton, really made some huge tackles from the defensive line to shut down St. Marys."
Arrington earned his 227 yards and three scores on 14 carries, while Thomas' 68 yards came on seven carries.
Perry had three carries for 18 yards, while Ruben Taylor added five yards, and Kaleb Young carried once for 10 yards.
In the passing department, Dakota Thomas was 3-for-8 for 47 yards.
Punxsy had three receivers with one reception each, including a 39-yard reception by Andy Fedigan and a seven-yard catch by Dakota Byers.
Punxsy's next scheduled contest was set for next Wednesday against Moniteau, but Punxsy is searching for a new opponent, as Moniteau doesn't have a ninth-grade squad this season.