RUSSELL, Pa. – Shawn Pascuzzi connected with Kris Bunk for more than 100 yards and three touchdowns in the first half as Eisenhower rolled past Cochranton, 49-19.
Rewatch the game (technical difficulties created some gaps in game action):
Bunk had all five of his receptions in the first half. He had 107 yards to go along with the three scores. His play on the defensive side of the ball, a sack and multiple quarterback pressures, and a pair of fumble recoveries earned Bunk the Jim Kelly Player of the Game powered by the Allegheny Grille of Foxburg.
“They were reading a lot of my routes off the bat, but Penley called us over in a timeout and we can make those adjustments real quick,” Bunk said. “I feel like that’s one of our strong suits this year, our change on the go.”
See Bunk’s full postgame interview:
That change was evident in the middle quarters.
After a slow start to the game offensively, the Knights turned to the air in the second quarter. Facing a 4th-and-goal inside the Cochranton five, Pascuzzi faked a handoff to Tucker Lindell off left tackle. Pascuzzi then rolled right and found Bunk open for a 4-yard score to put the Knights in front 14-7.
Just four minutes later, Pascuzzi and Bunk connected again. This time on a crossing route that Bunk stretched for a 36-yard score.
Less than three minutes later, Pascuzzi found Bunk down the middle for a 43-yard touchdown that gave the Knights a 28-7 advantage.
On the ensuing Cochranton series, Bunk hit Cardinals quarterback Walker Carroll as he threw and Cole Kellogg was able to come up with an interception to set Eisenhower up near midfield.
A fumbled exchange on the snap on third down resulted in Cochranton getting the ball back on the Eisenhower 25 with less than 20 seconds to play in the first half. Fumbles were an issue for both teams all game long. Eisenhower had five fumbles, two lost, while Cochranton had four fumbles, three lost.
Carroll dropped back on first down, avoided pressure, and found Isaiah Long wide open for a touchdown.
After throwing for over 100 yards in the first half, Pascuzzi nearly ran for 100 in the second.
On the first possession of the half, Pascuzzi found himself in trouble in the pocket. He got a throw off at the last second and connected with Derek Childs for a 20-yard strike that put the Knights in the red zone.
Pascuzzi faked an inside handoff then kept it himself around the left side for a 20-yard touchdown to push the lead to 35-13.
On a third down later in the quarter, Pascuzzi took another keeper off left tackle. This time he got to the sideline and raced 61 yards to paydirt.
An Eisenhower fumble recovery on the Cochranton 25 set up their final scoring drive. Lindell took an inside handoff, cut left, and went 18 yards into the end zone.
Blake Foulk nearly had a pick-6 for the Cardinals late in the fourth quarter but was pushed out of bounds at the 2-yard-line. Two plays later Long ran it in from 2 yards out for the final points of the night.
Logan Penley opened the scoring with a 2-yard run after the Knights recovered a Cardinals fumble on the first play from scrimmage.
Noah Cummings answered with a 2-yard run of his own with just over two minutes to play in the first quarter.
Kellogg was 7-7 on PATs.
Carroll was 4-8 passing for 85 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Long had 74 total yards with two touchdowns.
Pascuzzi finished 11-14 for 171 yards and three TDs through the air and ran nine times for 106 yards and two scores. Lindell had nine carries for 56 yards and a touchdown, while Ryan Chambers ran four times for 51 yards.
Cochranton hosts Saegertown, a 26-13 winner over Maplewood, next week.
The Knights travel to Cambridge Springs for a playoff rematch with the Blue Devils.