Pass-happy Penn-Trafford surprises, routs Connellsville

Friday, October 15, 2021 | 10:15 PM

Connellsville prepared all week for the hard-charging rushing attack of Penn-Trafford in Friday’s Class 5A Big East Conference game at Connellsville Stadium.

What the Falcons got was a steady dose of the Warriors’ ability to move the ball through the air.

Carter Green threw two touchdown passes and Conlan Greene tossed another, all in the first quarter, as the Warriors raced out to a 28-0 lead on their way to a dominating 45-6 victory.

“(It seemed) like they threw the ball 25 times total before this game, and it seemed like they threw the ball 25 times in the first quarter,” Connellsville coach Bill Maczko said. “They are a good team, and they executed.”

Penn-Trafford scored on each of their four first-quarter possessions. Wisconsin commit Cade Yacamelli got the Warriors (6-2, 3-0) off and running with a 35-yard touchdown pass on the second play from scrimmage. After a Connellsville punt, the Warriors went back to work and scored when Tommy Kalkstein hauled in a 41-yard touchdown strike from Green.

Moments later, Jacob Haynes was the recipient of a 10-yard touchdown toss from Green, which helped Penn-Trafford grab a 21-0 advantage.

Green completed 8 of 12 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns. And before the first quarter was over, Jacob Otto made a combat catch on a pass from Greene. Otto fought off a receiver and raced 59 yards for the score.

“We definitely wanted to do some work with our passing game,” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said. “We thought we could move the ball through the air, and we’re going to do what we think will work.”

Penn-Trafford kept the pressure on in the second quarter as Yacamelli scored on an 8-yard run. Yacamelli finished with 85 yards rushing on just seven carries. Before the half was over, Garrett Mattes scored on a 2-yard run and kicker Nathan Schlessinger booted a 48-yard field goal to give the Warriors complete control at the half, 45-0.

With a running clock in the second half, the teams battled through a scoreless third quarter.

But in the fourth, the Falcons (0-8, 0-3) finally got on the board. Ethan Shultz made a nice catch on a 28-yard pass from Grayden Gillott, which set Connellsville up at the Penn-Trafford 3-yard line. From there, Xavier Malone finished off the drive with a short touchdown run to complete the scoring.

Unfortunately for the Falcons, the game got away from them early.

“A couple of times we were in position to make plays and we didn’t make them,” Maczko said. “But the kids kept battling.”

Connellsville is off to Gateway for another conference game next week while the Warriors host Franklin Regional.

After the game, Ruane said he was pleased with his team’s effort, particularly after a big win over Gateway in Week 6.

“We know that Connellsville is down some players, and that’s a tough situation,” Ruane said. “But I was happy with our guys for not having a letdown after a big game last week.”

Listen to an archived broadcast of this game on Trib HSSN.

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