By: Chris Manning | Towanda Daily Review | October 17, 2011
CANTON - It may have been senior night for Canton football but it was the underclassmen that stole the show.
Junior Wes Moore had three touchdowns on the day, including an interception return to the end zone, while fellow junior Ryan Kutz added a 50 yard punt return for a score. Even sophomore Tim Bassett got into the act with a 61 yard rushing score late in the game.
Moore gave his upperclassmen teammates credit for his performance.
"They helped get the interception and the run I had and they did what they had to do," Moore said.
However, he enjoyed his moment in the sun.
"It felt good," Moore said about the three scores. He credited the line with his success on the ground.
"They had a good push all day."
The seniors still had their moments, too.
Three year starter under center Ben Pepper had 119 yards on nine carries and a touchdown while fellow senior Jordan Campbell added 49 yards on 13 rushes and a score, too.
This win is a little bittersweet, though, as it helps the Warriors to earn at least a share of the NTL Small School title but it also makes last week's loss to Muncy that much more painful.
"It just makes that one from last week hurt that much more," Canton coach Miller Moyer said. "We came out a little more spirited this week and played better. I'm not taking anything away from Muncy but we just came out flat as can be."
Regardless, they'll take any part of the title.
"We wanted more but we'll take what we get," Moore remarked.
The Warriors took the opening kickoff and drove deep into South territory thanks to a Pepper 20 yard scramble, but stalled out just inside the Mountaineer 30 yard line.
South would take over on downs but Canton's defense forced them to a 3-and-out.
The Warriors got the ball back at their 48 yard line after the Mountie punt. This time, though, they would finish off the drive.
On the first play Pepper ran for 24 yards, followed by Campbell getting 10 more three plays later to take it to the South 12 yard line. Pepper rushed 10 more down the two where Campbell punched it in. The extra point was no good but Canton led 6-0 with 5:02 left in the opening quarter.
South didn't do much with their next possession as Canton once again drove them back and forced a punt.
The Warrior's next drive began at their own 45 as Rockwell rushed for a seven yard game. Three plays later Moore went seven more yards.
Things began to stall one a Canton 10-yard penalty as South forced them into a 4-and-2 at the Mountie 25. Campbell would get six yards for the first, followed by Moore running 19 for his first touchdown of the day on the very next play.
The two point conversion was no good but Canton led 12-0 26 seconds into the second quarter.
South would pick up their first first down on their next drive but Canton's defense held, forcing them into another punt.
The Warriors gave it right back, though, as two plays later a fumble in the backfield was fallen on by a Mountie.
Beginning at Canton's 40 yard line they began to chip away for some yardage, getting down inside the 30.
That's when Moore stepped up again, intercepting a Tyler House pass and returning 70 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Warriors led 18-0 with 4:46 left in the opening half.
The interception also stopped what momentum South was beginning to build.
The ensuing Mountie drive didn't fare much better as two plays in Moore once again picked off a House pass, giving Canton prime field position at the Mountaineer 43 yard line.
Canton was unable to do anything with it, going 3-and-out, but Pepper's punt pinned South down inside their own 20 yard line at the 19.
The Mountie offense continued to struggle, being forced to punt again after a 3-and-out.
On first down Pepper hooked up with a Moore for a 14 yard gain down to the South 15 yard line but two plays later Canton fumbled, which was recovered by South to end the half.
South would take the second half kickoff but once again went 3-and-out and punted.
Canton would return the favor, going 3-and-out with a punt as both teams seemed stuck on offense.
The Mounties would get some offensive momentum on their next drive as Brandon Stonge had a seven yard push for a first down, which was added to by a Canton personal foul.
However, on third down House was sacked 14 yards behind the line of scrimmage, forcing them into another punting situation. A bad snap forced Dylan Bartholomew to run with the ball, but he was stopped well short of the first down, giving the ball back to Canton.
With prime field position at South's 32 yard line Canton used an 8-yard run by Campbell and an 11 yard pass play from Pepper to Moore to get inside the South 10 yard line.
Two plays later Moore ran nine yards for the score. After the Brian Jannone kick Canton led 25-0 with 1:07 left in the third quarter.
Things went bad to worse for South on their possession. They were forced to punt after another 3-and-out, but this time Kutz found a seam down the sideline. He rode that seam all the way to endzone. Jannone hit the extra point to make it 32-0 just as the clock hit triple zeros to end the third.
On the ensuing South possession they once again appeared to get some offensive momentum. A 10 yard run by Stonge along with a 21 yard pass play put them inside Canton territory.
The Warrior defense stiffened, though, forcing Stonge into a 2-yard loss on second down and eventually forcing South to punt again.
Bartholomew pinned Canton down to their own seven yard line but that didn't stop the Warrior offense.
Two plays in Kutz ran for 29 yards on his only carry of the day, followed by a 13 yard scamper from Pepper. Pepper would finish off the drive with runs of 16 and 26 yards, the second a touchdown run with 4:48 left in the game.
Jannone nailed the extra point to give the Warriors a 39-0 advantage.
After another South 3-and-out Canton took over at the Mountie 39 yard line where on the first play Bassett would run down the sideline for his score. Jannone added the extra point to make it a 46-0 final.
Moore finished the day with 45 yards on the ground behind six carries. He also had all three Canton receptions.
Pepper was 3-for-7 on the day for 28 yards. Senior Rockwell added 19 yards on 10 carries.
Canton held South to just 79 yards of total offense, with Stonge the main ball carrier. He had 45 yards on 20 carries with Bartholomew adding 36 yards on 12 carries.
House was 1-for-7 for seven yards with two picks in the game.
Moyer wants his team to continue to look ahead as they will travel to red hot Towanda next Friday. He knows his team has a daunting task ahead of them but they don't plan on rolling over.
"We're going down there with the idea were going to play a football game," Moyer remarked.
The veteran coach shouldn't have to worry about getting his kids excited for the Black Knights, though. They are already focusing on what needs to be done.
"We're going to work hard all practice," Moore said. "Make sure we know what we doing on every single play so we make no mistakes."