SOMERSET – The Golden Eagles were soaring high on Friday evening, as the Somerset football team continued its perfect season with a 54-14 rout of the Bishop McCort Crimson Crushers.
Somerset’s Jake Heiple might easily have been mistaken for a roadrunner at the rate he was churning out yards on the ground, as the junior running back tallied 185 yards on seven carries while scoring four touchdowns.
Heiple also added a 43-yard punt return to his effort.
“He is a great football player,” Somerset coach Bob Landis said. “Sometimes I catch myself just watching him do some things. He’s a phenomenal young man and does a great job for us.”
Landis was also quick to credit his offensive linemen for the job they did clearing the way for Heiple and his fellow ball carriers.
“I think it really starts with our offensive line,” Landis said. “Those guys up front don’t get their names in the papers a whole lot, but they are very much responsible for the great things that happen with our skill guys.”
Somerset (7-0) opened the game with Heiple putting on a skills exhibition, as he corralled a Chris Miller punt at the Somerset 21 and picked up a quick 43 yards to the Bishop McCort 36.
On the ensuing play, Heiple took a handoff from quarterback Dylan Barnes and outraced the Crushers defense for the score at 9:21.
Wes Reed added the extra point to put Somerset in the lead 7-0.
Following another Bishop McCort punt to midfield, Heiple again displayed an extra gear with a burst of speed down the left side for a 51-yard score at 6:06. Reed added the kick to make it 14-0.
Bishop McCort (2-5) was able to mount a seven-play, 48-yard drive to the Somerset 32, but the Golden Eagles defense was able to dig in and force a turnover on downs.
Giving Heiple a breather, Barnes took the reins and quickly moved his squad to midfield with a 23-yard run. Raven Beeman followed up with a 28-yard dash to the Crushers 27 and Barnes tacked on another 11 yards with a pass to George Coyle.
Heiple stepped back into the mix and finished the drive with a 12-yard run for a touchdown at 1:09. Reed added the kick for a 21-0 advantage.
Bishop McCort quarterback Levi Cook answered back with a scoring run of 80 yards to close out the first quarter. Miller added the extra point to pull the Crushers back within striking distance at 21-7.
Any hopes of a comeback were quickly quashed in the second quarter, as Barnes flipped a short pass to Beeman at midfield and the senior back weaved his way through the defense for a 53-yard score at 11:31.
Reed’s extra point put the Eagles up 28-7.
Somerset slowed its pace on its next possession, as Barnes marched his squad 83 yards on eight plays, which included a 2-yard scoring pass to Logan Eller at 7:28. Reed’s kick sailed wide, but Somerset led 34-7.
Heiple added his final score of the evening just two minutes later with a 45-yard run that saw him start right before cutting back across the field to open ground. Austin Hemminger added the 2-point conversion run to make the score 42-7.
The Somerset defense closed the first half with a score of its own, as Hemminger stepped in front of Cook’s pass at the Crushers 38 and scampered untouched into the end zone at 2:57. The 2-point attempt failed, leaving the score at 48-7.
Following a scoreless third quarter, Bishop McCort mounted a five-play, 49-yard drive that Cook capped with a 4-yard run at 7:13. Miller’s kick split the uprights to make the score 48-14.
The Golden Eagles answered with an eight-play drive of 74 yards that featured Dan Talley’s 42-yard run. Zac Laue finished the drive with a 1-yard run to set the final.
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