YORK TWP. — Behind a three-headed rushing attack and a dominating defensive performance, the Buckeye football team cruised to a 33-15 win over Brookside in a Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division game Friday.
Cody Fortney, Christian Petek and Trevor Thome combined for 281 yards on 40 attempts and all five touchdowns in a game Buckeye (3-3, 3-0) led 33-0 with 7:07 to play in the third quarter.
“When we saw that big storm coming in, the coaches said that we have to get the run against these guys,” Petek said. “It was going to be tough to pass. We’ve got the best running back in the league in Cody Fortney here and, again, the line. Zak Diaz, John Maslanka Brad Calta, Alex Wilk, Sean Spence and Adam Bartinelli paved holes big enough for a Mack truck to run through.”
Petek (12 carries, 91 yards, TD) drew first blood on a 14-yard quarterback keeper up the middle with 4:24 to play in the opening quarter.
With rain beginning to fall as the game started, the Bucks geared up behind their offensive line and racked up 355 yards while averaging 6.2 per carry.
The seven-play, 69-yard scoring drive on the Bucks’ second possession came after each team coughed up the ball, including a fumble by Brookside (2-4, 1-2) on its first play and a Buckeye fumble on the Cardinals 6.
Brookside came out sluggish, went three-and-out on its next possession and the Bucks started to take over.
“(Buckeye) played well,” Brookside coach Thom Lesiecki said. “We started the way we practiced all week — no urgency, no emotions, nothing at all this week. That was my concern coming into the game and how we were approaching it. We played it like we practiced it, and that was what was frustrating.”
Fortney (21 carries, 119 yards, 3 TDs; 3 receptions, 36 yards) banged in a pair of short touchdown runs and the Bucks went into the half up 19-0.
“We knew we had to step up,” Fortney said. “With PAC (Stars Division) play coming up, we knew we had to win everything and win out. Hopefully, we can make the playoffs if we keep going. The way we’re going, it’s looking pretty good.”
With the Petek-Fortney-Thome trio amassing 190 yards in the first half, the Buckeye defense didn’t let Brookside cross the 50 until the 33-0 lead.
“This is a huge confidence boost,” Petek said. “We’re ready to go. We know we have two tough matches coming up against Black River and Keystone, and this is just for us to see what’s working. We’re ready to go. We move past this, and now it’s on to Black River.”
The Cardinals offense started putting things together against the second string, as Tyler O’Malley found his rhythm and went 7-of-8 passing for 133 yards and 2 TDs on the next three possessions before Buckeye coach Mark Pinzone brought back the starters.
O’Malley (14-of-25, 190 yards, 2 TDs, INT) hit Tyree Jones (4 receptions, 66 yards) on a pair of third-quarter scores to pull Brookside back into the game.
The Bucks responded by putting together a 10-play, 39-yard drive with Petek, Fortney and Thome back in and leading the way. The 5-minute drive officially closed the door on the Brookside comeback attempt.
The Buckeye defense continued its steady improvement. With Brookside’s 168 yards on three drives against the backups factored out, the Cardinals had just 117.
“It was just good teamwork,” Maslanka said. “We kept stopping them and getting three-and-outs. We did what we needed to do and just kept going on ‘D’ and kept pressing on.”
Thome (7 carries, 81 yards) had the Bucks’ longest run of the night with a 34-yard touchdown run to put Buckeye up 26-0.
Contact Chad Grant at email@example.com.
Buckeye 33, Brookside 15
BROOKSIDE 0 0 15 0 — 15
BUCKEYE 12 7 14 0 — 33
Bu — Christian Petek 14 run (kick failed), 4:24.
Bu — Cody Fortney 5 run (run failed), 1:31.
Bu — Fortney 7 run (George Rusinko kick), 0:58.
Bu — Trevor Thome 34 run (Rusinko kick), 10:16.
Bu — Fortney 8 run (Rusinko kick), 7:07.
Br — Tyree Jones 35 pass from Tyler O’Malley (Dudley Taw run), 1:37.
Br — Jones 13 pass from O’Malley (Brandon Bellman kick), 0:25.