Punxsy strong on both sides of the ball in win

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The A. J. Parise Youth Football Team Senior team scored on three of its first four offensive possessions of the game, and for the second straight game, dominated on the defensive side of the ball to earn a 34-8 victory over Clarion-Limestone Saturday on a rainy after-noon in Strattanville.

Punxsy started its first drive at the 40-yard line. Joey DiPietro had runs of 11 and eight yards to rev up the offense.

Patrick Fedigan's 17-yard run three plays later moved Punxsy to the 25.

On second down, Fedigan gave Punxsy a first down at the 11 after a nine-yard gain. Following a penalty that forced the Chucks into a third-and-14, Ethan Riley's  nine-yard run set up a fourth-and-one at the six.

DiPietro smashed up the middle for five yards to set up a first-and-goal, and Riley finished off the 13-play drive with a one-yard keeper to give Punxsy an early 6-0 lead.

Brady Snyder dropped the Lions' Kain Kennemuth for a three-yard loss the first time Clarion-Limestone snapped the ball, and Tyler Richard- son tackled Kennemuth for a two-yard loss on third down to force the home team to punt.

Punxsy was stopped inches short of the sticks on a fourth-and-two at the 20, turning the ball over on downs for the only time in the first half.

Alexander Neal and Snyder tackled River Young for a five-yard loss on second down, and Levi Molinari tackled Young for no gain on the next play to force a punting situation for the Lions.

Limestone fumbled the punt snap, giving the Chucks a first down at the nine.

Punxsy wasted no time finding the end zone when Trent Stouffer made a diving catch on a Riley pass for a touchdown. Fedigan's three-yard conversion run extended the Punxsy lead to 14-0.

The defense continued to shine when DiPietro tackled Sam Leadbetter for a five-yard loss on third down.

Colton Roken tackled Kennemuth on fourth down, allowing Punxsy to regain possession, at its own 49.  

A Dipietro nine-yard run on fourth-and-one kept the drive alive, and Matt Wehrle finished things off with a 31-yard touchdown run on the very next play.

Limestone stopped the conversion, and the Chucks went into halftime leading 20-0 after yielding a total of just one yard on offense to the Lions in the first half.

"The kids played really well, especially given the conditions," Punxsy head coach Joel Martin said. "Our defense continues to improve each week. Coach Joe Pascuzzo has been doing a real good job getting these guys ready."

Limestone opened the second half with three quick incompletions and a punt.

Punxsy moved the ball to the 36 but was forced into a fourth-and-11 after Riley recovered a fumbled snap.

Wehrle found pay dirt on the next play — a 36-yard touchdown run.

Stone Smith's conversion run allowed the Chucks to go ahead 28-0.

Clarion-Limesone earned its first first down of the contest the next time it had the ball, but the drive was ended when Punxsy's Issac Stouffer recovered a Limestone fumble forced by a Richard- son hit on Kennemuth.

Both teams fumbled in the next four plays from scrimmage, with Punxsy settling things down and taking over possession at the 31 late in the third quarter.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Chucks' Jack Butler scored on a 21-yard run for Punxsy's final score.

Limestone was able to sustain its only scoring drive of the game, capped off by a 34-yard touchdown run and a conversion by Kennemuth to set the final score at 34-8.

"(There were) very tough conditions today," Martin said. "It was a great effort from everyone."

Wehrle led Punxsy's ground game with 64 yards and two touchdowns.

Fedigan added 63 yards; DiPietro had 53; Butler chipped in with 24; and Riley finished with 22. The Chucks totaled 240 rushing yards.

Colton Roken made seven tackles to lead the defense. Tyler Richardson and Tyler Getch each had six tackles, and Neal followed with four.

The 12-year olds will be recognized when the Seniors (4-2) hosts Slippery Rock in their final home game of the season this Saturday night at Jack LaMarca Stadium.