'D' is the key for Chucks in JV win

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Chucks' defense kept Clarion-Limestone's junior varsity squad without an offensive touchdown and the running game wore down the Lions' defense leading Punxsy to a 20-6, lightning-shortened win.

The lightning struck with just under eight minutes to play in the fourth quarter with the Chucks inside the Lions' 30-yard line, and Limestone conceded the game to avoid the 30-minute delay.

The Lions received the opening kickoff and picked up two quick first downs, but a nice tackle by Christian Falgout stopped the Lions in their tracks and forced them to punt.

Punxsy's first drive didn't end any better, though, as Limestone's Davi Macefe intercepted a Nick Paulina pass and returned it to the Chucks' nine-yard line.

The Chucks' defense dug in and made a stand, though. After allowing a three-yard run by Tristen Shaffer on first down, Falgout broke up two pass attempts by Lions' quarterback Christian Bakewell forcing a fourth-and-goal from the six.

The Chucks then forced a high pass that tipped off the hands of a Lions' receiver and fell to the ground for a turnover on downs.

The momentum gained by the defensive stand was not wasted on the next offensive possesion, as two plays in, Falgout received a pitch from quarterback Nick Paulina, stopped dead in his tracks and hit a streaking Clayton Dale for an 88-yard touchdown pass.

Falgout added the point after, and the Chucks led 7-0.

The defense forced a three-and-out, and the Chucks were driving again before a holding penalty inside their own ten yard line forced them into a second and long.

Limestone stopped the Chucks for a turnover on downs, but the defense did its part again, forcing another three-and out and returning the ball to the offense with just under three minutes to play in the half.

The Chucks drove 56 yards to the Lions' 11 before it looked like the drive would sputter and stall as the clock expired, but in the final seconds Paulina connected with Dale, who broke a few tackles and stretched the ball across the goal line with 0.7 seconds left on the clock.

After a five-yard illegal procedure penalty, Falgout's point after was just wide, keeping the Chucks' lead at 13-0.

The offense picked up right where it left off in the first half on its first drive of the second, marching 76 yards in nine plays capped by a 17-yard rushing touchdown by Caesar Maruca.

Falgout added the extra point pushing the lead to 20-0.

On the first play of the next drive, the defense returned the ball to the offense one more time as Josh Schuckers intercepted Bakewell's pass.

The Chucks were unable to move the ball and had to punt it away, but Limestone fumbled the punt, and Punxsy recovered at its own 25.

Three plays later, though, Chase Alcorn recovered a fumble for the Lions to keep the Chucks off the scoreboard.

C-L tried to open up the passing game, but Bakewell and receiver Jake Neiswonger just missed connecting on two consecutive plays and the Lions had to punt again.

On Punxsy's next drive, Limestone picked up its only score of the evening when Alcorn recovered his second fumble of the night and scampered 30 yards for the touchdown.

The PAT was no good, and the final score was set, 20-6.

It was during the ensuing drive that lightning was spotted in the distance, and the officials ordered the players off the field.

With the win, Punxsy improved to 2-0 on the season after shutting out St. Marys last Monday in St. Marys.

Paulina, Falgout and Dale each had a touchdown for the Chucks in that victory, and the defense kept the Dutchmen off the scoreboard.

Overall, Punxsy head coach Todd Heigley said he was pleased with the performance of his team Monday, especially the defense and offensive line, saying they played tough and earned the win.

Punxsy's next contest will be on the road next Monday at Karns City.