Football 4

BOSWELL, Pa. – A lack of offense and an inability to stop the run throughout the second half led to North Star’s downfall in a 25-13 setback to Claysburg-Kimmel on Friday.

The Bulldogs (3-4) outscored the Cougars 19-6 in the second half after a rather dismal first two quarters.

“We just told our kids to stick to the fundamentals,” Claysburg-Kimmel coach Matt Bilchak said about what the message was at halftime. “There were so many mental mistakes that we made in the first half. North Star really played competitively. It was a great matchup for us.”

With just over nine minutes to play, Claysburg-Kimmel quarterback Caleb Oakes ducked under a tackle and went into the end zone untouched for a 3-yard TD, which eventually held up as the game-winner.

Claysburg senior running back Pressten Imler rushed 27 times for 170 yards and a TD. He kept the chains moving on multiple scoring drives and had a key 25-yard carry late in the third quarter on the same drive the Bulldogs took the lead for good.

“He ran like a man tonight,” Bilchak said of Imler. “We’ve put a lot on his plate. He’s a senior, and he’s done a lot of good things for us. When it came to crunchtime, there wasn’t a question what we were going to do. We were going to feed the man.”

Junior running back Cole Claycomb totaled 105 yards on 18 carries and sealed the game with a 6-yard TD burst with a minute to play. Claycomb also had a crafty 37-yard punt return for a TD after North Star was forced to punt from its own end zone on its first drive of the third quarter.

North Star punted six times and just never really got into a rhythm offensively.

“I’m anxious to watch the film and see what was going on,” said North Star coach Bob Landis. “I think we’re going to see some things that we can correct.”

The Bulldogs limited the Cougars to just 61 yards rushing, with 44 of those coming on quarterback Connor Yoder’s 44-yard rushing TD on North Star’s second play from scrimmage.

The Cougars (2-5) failed to pick up another first down in the first half and did not move the sticks again until the latter stages of the third quarter when they went on to take a brief 13-12 advantage.

“I think it was execution on our part, but I also think they (Claysburg) were throwing a couple different looks at us that the guys in the game didn’t recognize,” Landis said about the offensive struggles. “We had some guys in there tonight that aren’t normally in there, so a learning curve for those guys.”

On the brighter side of things, the Cougars had just three penalties for 15 yards, a step forward after being badly plagued by penalties for the last couple of weeks.

Senior wide receiver Carter Weible caught three passes for 78 yards, including a huge 59-yard catch and run that set up the Cougars second score, a 3-yard TD plunge from Tim Tretter.

North Star currently does not have a game scheduled for next week, while Claysburg is slated to visit Northern Bedford.

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