BROOKVILLE — Punxsy running back Perry Arrington led his team to victory as he scored two touchdowns, including a 96-yard interception return with 30 seconds left in the game, and the Chucks' ninth-grade squad beat the Brookville Raiders, 12-0 Wednesday night on Brookville's home field.
"(Perry) has had some big plays this year," Punxsy head coach Jason Grusky said following the game. "He's been a leader, and we expect big plays from him, and he delivered again today as he has most of the year."
The game started slow for Punxsy, as it only achieved one first down in the opening quarter, but the Chucks regained the ball after a stop on fourth-and-two from their own seven.
Punxsy's ensuing drive was plagued with a few questionable calls — one unsportsmanlike conduct against the Punxsy coaches and a holding call against Travis Perry — and the Chucks were forced to punt.
The Raiders went three-and-out on their next drive, which gave Punxsy favorable field position at the Brookville 39.
Three consecutive runs by Arrington led the Chucks to a first-and-goal, but Punxsy quarterback Dakota Thomas was sacked by Brookville's Jonah Sampson, and three consecutive incompletions turned over the ball, giving Brookville one last shot on offense before halftime. Punxsy's defense held, and the scoreboard stayed at 0-0 heading into the third quarter.
The Raiders fumbled on their first snap of the second half, and Punxsy's Thomas recovered, but the Chucks could not capitalize.
Brookville's offense then made a costly mistake when Haugh threw a pass, which was intercepted by Punxsy's Dylan Stanford.
The Chucks had another chance with the ball from the Raiders' 29 yard line. They worked their way into the red zone before Arrington scored on a one-yard run. Despite Thomas being unable to complete a pass for the two point conversion, the Chucks had a 6-0 lead heading into the final quarter.
During the Raiders' first drive of the fourth quarter, they quickly found themselves at fourth-and-one, but Sampson was unable to earn the yard, and Punxsy's offense entered the game again. Brookville's defense had a strong attempt, forcing a three-and-out, and the Raiders had a final chance to tie the game.
Starting for their own 15, the Raiders quickly made their way downfield, earning six first downs. But when the Raiders finally made it within ten yards of the end zone, Haugh threw an interception, which was returned by Arrington for a 96-yard score, ensuring the Chucks' victory.
"Just before he picked that off, I was standing next to one of our coaches, and I said, 'This might be the biggest play of our season,'" Grusky said. "(Brookville) scores there; maybe they get the two-point conversion; maybe they win the game; and we have that feeling that we let one slide. But we stepped up when we had to."
Despite winning and continuing their undefeated season, Grusky said the Chucks struggled throughout the game, and he was happy to have the victory under his belt.
"I don't think it was a very pretty win," Grusky said. "We made some mistakes, but I think it was just an evenly matched game. It could've gone either way. ... We just happened to get a big play there at the end."