Sports Tyrone Daily Herald Archives

MAFC getting down right offensive

Heading into the third week of the season, the offenses of the MAC Nittany Division was utterly offensive.
Penns Valley was leading the conference and averaging 8.5 points per game. Tyrone, which had spent its first three seasons in the Nittany Division putting up numbers most teams only dream of, was averaging 18 points per game. After just two games, three teams had been shut out.
Part of that was outstanding defense. Through four weeks, both Tyrone and Penns Valley have proven their defensive credentials are legitimate.
But a lot of it was offenses that hadn’t yet found their stride.
However, Week 4 may have been a turning point offensively in the Nittany Division, as three teams recorded season-high point totals. Tyrone had its best offensive game of the season, rolling up 326 yards and 28 points in a win over Bald Eagle Area. Penns Valley scored more against Lewistown – 24 – than it had in its first three games combined – 20. And the offensive machine that is Philipsburg-Osceola kept on pumping out points, hanging 49 on Clarion Limestone.
The opportunity is there in Week 5 for more big numbers. Tyrone – with running back Johnny Franco back from injury – faces the conference’s softest defense in Lewistown, which is surrendering 31.5 points per game, and Philipsburg-Osceola hosts winless Bald Eagle Area, which has allowed 20 or more points in three of five games this season.
A Case of the Drops
One truism that hold a lot of weight in the game of football is that teams who turn the ball over lose more often than not.
Central is proof of that this season. The Dragons are 0-4 and just a half game out of last place in the Nittany Division at 0-2, but it’s not for a lack of ability to move the football. Quarterback Chris Kurtz is the leading passer in the conference, having completed 33 of 51 passes (64.7 percent) for 571 yards.
The problem for the Dragons has been keeping possession of the football. Central has turned the ball over 12 times already – for an average of three turnovers a game – putting the Dragons on pace for 30 turnovers this season.
Some of it is to be expected for an offense that relies so heavily on the pass, and that shows in Kurtz’s seven interceptions. But it reached a new level last week against Bellwood-Antis when Central coughed the ball up four times on fumbles in a 26-15 loss. One of those fumbles was returned 12 yards for a go-ahead score in the first quarter by Anthony Jenkins.
Conference Leaders
B-A’s Brandon Humphreys scored three touchdowns in that win over Central and rushed for 152 yards on 28 carries to lead the Nittany Division in rushing for Week 4.
Kurtz’s passing total in the same game was also a division high. He completed 14 of 23 passes for 205 yards, tossing a pair of touchdown passes.
Dragon receiver Shane Cafferty topped the receiving charts with 6 receptions for 77 yards and one touchdown.