Southmoreland grinds out win against South Allegheny in Interstate Conference opener

Friday, September 17, 2021 | 11:04 PM

Anthony Govern ran for three touchdowns and threw for two more in Southmoreland’s 33-19 victory over South Allegheny on Friday night at Russ Grimm Field in the Interstate Conference opener for both teams.

Govern ran for 107 yards on 18 carries and passed for 160 on seven completions. Isaac Trout pulled in five receptions for 110 yards and a score. JJ Bloom caught a touchdown pass for the Scotties (3-1, 1-0).

“The kids knew that this game was the conference opener, and they had to come out ready to go,” Southmorland coach Dave Keefer said. “They really stepped up. Anthony is a bull and a really tough kid. He is a ball player and just takes the hits and keeps on coming. I don’t know why people keep on trying Isaac Trout, but hey, let him go.”

Up 14 entering the fourth quarter, Southmoreland executed the 4-minute offense well, as the Scotties relied on the legs of bruising back Noah Phillips, who gained most of his 55 yards late. Southmoreland had possession for 11 minutes, 53 seconds in the fourth.

“It was the situation,” said Keefer when asked about his team’s ball-control offense in the fourth. “We’re up by a good bit, and you just got to kill the clock. We got the running game going, and Noah Phillips really stepped up in that fourth quarter and started taking control. The line started controlling and we ran that clock out.”

The Scotties drove the ball to the Gladiators’ 40 before punting with 5:11 remaining before Trout intercepted a South Allegheny pass on next play, as the home team was able to run out the clock.

“We had a good gameplan, but our execution was a little bit off,” South Allegheny coach Armand Martin said. “We had some mistakes early that hurt us. We should have been down by only one score at halftime, but we had a 15-yard penalty that they went down and scored on. We just have to clean up what we are doing wrong and move forward. Luckily, the season grows. We are going to focus this week on a quick start against Yough and, hopefully, play from ahead.”

The Scotties jumped out to an early 13-0 lead 4:13 into the game, as Govern scored on a 9-yard run and Bloom pulled in a 35-yard touchdown reception before the Gladiators (0-4, 0-1) cut the deficit to 13-6 on Ethan Kirkwood’s 23-yard touchdown reception from Eric Wehrer with 6:55 remaining in the second. Wehrer passed for 139 yards and two touchdowns.

Bloom recovered a fumble by South Allegheny to set up Southmoreland’s second score.

Govern’s 7-yard run with 36.9 seconds left in the second extended the Scotties’ advantage to 20-6 after Jake Kaylor made the second of three PATs.

Govern’s five-yard run pushed the home team’s lead to 27-6 with 6:13 left in the third before the Gladiators’ Kavan Markwood scored on a five-yard run to cut the deficit to 27-13 after Gavin Cleary’s extra point with 3:03 left in the third.

Trout’s 25-yard touchdown reception from Govern with 13.1 seconds left in the third put the Scotties in front, 33-13, but South Allegheny answered on Akell Carrington’s 42-yard touchdown reception from Wehrer as time expired in the third. Carrington caught four passes for 83 yards.

“It was a physical game,” Keefer said. “They really are a tough team. We just need to clean up on the penalties. We played behind on the sticks way too much.”

Southmoreland travels to rival Mt. Pleasant next week, while the Gladiators host Yough.

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