Blue Devils defuse Rockets in battle of unbeatens

·5 min read

Sep. 17—SLIPPERY ROCK — The Sharpsville-West Middlesex co-op recovered a fumble early in the second half. They turned it into a 16-play drive to take the lead.

The Blue Devils used that momentum to power their way to a 28-14 win over Slippery Rock on Friday night on the road.

The game was tied at 14 to start the second half. The Rockets (3-1, 1-1 Region 3) got the kickoff and we're driving. But a fumble by Maddox Allen gave the Blue Devils (4-0, 2-0 Region 3) the ball at their own 19-yard line.

Sharpsville, who was throwing the ball all over the yard, slowed down the tempo. They focused on the run game and held the ball for nearly eight minutes. Quarterback Caullin Summers found Dalton Byerly on a post route to take a 21-14 lead.

"Slippery Rock was favored to win (Region) 3," Caullin Summers said. "That's a good team we played out there."

Caullin Summers was all over the field. He finished 13-for-24 passing with 203 yards and four touchdowns. He also led the Devils in rushing, compiling 128 yards on 24 carries.

Garen Levis had three catches for Sharpsville for 117 yards and two scores. Dalton Byerly caught two passes for 33 yards and Braedon Summers had four grabs for 33 yards. Braedon Summers also ran the ball eight times for 25 yards.

Slippery Rock quarterback William Mokel was 15-for-27 passing for 216 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.

Brett Galcik had a team-high 93 yards rushing on nine carries. Allen recorded 28 yards on the ground with a touchdown on six attempts.

John Sabo had game-highs in receptions (eight) and receiving yards (129) for the Rockets. Sam Schwartz caught three balls for 41 yards, and Galcik added two catches for 36 yards.

The first half was a different story. The two teams traded touchdown passes to open the scoring.

Sharpsville got on the board first with a 62-yard streak from Caullin Summers to Levis on the Devils' second drive.

The Rockets responded when Mokel found his favorite target, Sabo, just beyond the goal line on their next drive.

Slippery Rock took its only lead of the game after Galcik broke a 47-yard run up the middle. Allen punches the ball in from 4 yards out for a 14-7 advantage.

But on the next drive, the Devils gave their counterpunch. Similar to the first touchdown, Caullin Summers connected with Levis. That score was a 53-yard TD pass down the sideline to tie the game at 14.

The pass also put Levis over 1,000 career yards receiving.

"What's nice is when you can get an easy score on a bomb — we had two of them tonight — it not only keeps you in the game, but it keeps you fighting back on defense," Sharpsville head coach Paul Piccirilli said. "As long as it stayed close, I thought it'd come down to the last two minutes of the fourth quarter.

"Defense stepped up and that kid right there (Caullin Summers) had one heck of a game."

The Devils went on their long drive to take the lead in the third quarter.

Caullin Summers found Byerly for a second time in the fourth quarter for a 6-yard touchdown pass to push the game out of reach.

For Slippery Rock, mistakes hurt their chances as the game continued. An interception, a fumble and a snap over the punter's head led to an inability to sustain drives in the second half.

"We continue to have the same mistakes and the same mistakes," Slippery Rock head coach Larry Wendereusz Jr. said. "So we either got the wrong guys there or it's an attention to detail. We got to try to figure out which one it is, and to me, that's on coaching."

While when he wasn't taking hits — like on that long drive — Caullin Summers was fishing them out. Due to injury, the Devils' quarterback stepped in on defense.

He recorded the first turnover of the game, an interception of Mokel on a potential touchdown pass in the end zone.

"I'm getting slammed back there. I'm the one taking the big hits," Caullin Summers said. "But when I'm on defense, I'm the one trying to hit other people. That makes me happy. It's what I like to do."

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SHARPSVILLE 7 7 7 7 28

SLIPP. ROCK 7 7 0 0 14

Scoring plays

SH — Levis, 62 pass from C. Summers (Campbell kick)

SR — Sabo, 10 pass from Mokel (Zandi kick)

SR — Allen, 4 run (Zandi kick)

SH — Levis, 53 pass from C. Summers (Campbell kick)

SH — Byerly, 27 pass from C. Summers (Campbell kick)

SH — Byerly, 6 pass from C. Summers (Campbell kick)

Team stats

SHARPSVILLE S.ROCK

15 First downs 11

171 Rushing yards 108

203 Passing yards 216

24-13-0 Att-comp-int 27-15-2

374 Total yards 324

1-0 Fumbles-lost 3-1

4-36 Penalties-yards lost 12-98

Individual stats

Rushing: SHARPSVILLE — C. Summers 24-128, B. Summers 8-25, Snyder 2-23, Whalen 1-(-5); SLIPPERY ROCK — Galcik 9-93, Allen 6-28, Mokel 5-(-13).

Passing: SHARPSVILLE — C. Summers 24-13-0-203; SLIPPERY ROCK — Mokel 27-15-2-216.

Receiving: SHARPSVILLE — Levis 3-117, B. Summers 4-33, Byerly 2-33, B. Campbell 3-18, Snyder 1-2; SLIPPERY ROCK — Sabo 8-129, Schwartz 3-41, Galcik 2-36, Allen 2-10.