WILKES-BARRE — Coughlin football players Tim Pilch and Josh King were part of the school’s homecoming court prior to Friday night’s game against Williamsport.
While neither Crusader picked up the honor of being named the homecoming king, they earned something better: a dominating victory over the Millionaires, 39-19 at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium.
Running back Paul Cole led the thrashing, picking up a bruising 235 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 31 carries. It was more than the senior Cole, though, who praised his offensive line of Anthony Khalife, Pat Pilch, Brandon Jones, Jason Evans and Frankie Wojtash. Overall on the night, the Crusaders rushed for 372 yards, which included 92 from quarterback Pilch.
“It wasn’t only me. It was the line. I gotta give them credit. I give them credit every time, everyday. They’re working hard, hitting the sleds. They just keep pushing forward,” said Cole, who is now nearing 900 yards on the ground this season.
Coughlin (5-1) got off to a great start offensively as Pilch connected with Darik Johnson for a 25-yard TD pass on the team’s first drive of the game to go ahead 6-0 with 8:26 left in the first quarter. The Millionaires (2-4) answered with a score of their own tying the game on their next drive when Justin Hoffman capped a three-play, 55-yard drive with a 39-yard TD run equaling the score at 6-6.
After that, though, the next two quarters were dominated by the Crusaders and Cole. Coughlin’s first drive of the second quarter was a bruising 14-play, 75-yard stanza in which Cole took a handoff 11 times for 57 yards, including a 4-yard TD plunge giving the Crusaders a 13-6 lead.
“I was getting a little tired. I can still improve my conditioning,” Cole added. “I plan on doing that starting Monday.”
That’s about the time the Crusaders defense got in a zone. Before the Coughlin JV team took over in the fourth quarter, the defensive unit only allowed a total of 45 yards, sacked Williamsport quarterback Dale Berkheimer four times and the defensive line completely dominated the line of scrimmage.
A big third quarter put the game away out of reach as Cole ran for a pair of TDs (3 and 7 yards) sandwiched around a 1-yard touchdown by Pilch. To begin the fourth quarter, running back Tyler Layton tacked on a 4-yard score for the Crusaders, who jumped out to a 39-6 lead with 7:49 remaining before the Millionaires scored twice in the final 6:29 against Coughlin’s reserves. Layton also had a nice game. The junior may have only picked up 15 rushing yards, but he set up many of Cole’s runs as the leading blocker.
“Tyler Layton, he deserves a lot of credit,” Coughlin coach Ciro Cinti said. “He blocked admirably today. He had a hell of a game blocking, along with our line. But I thought Tyler Layton played a great game filling in at fullback and he blocked exceptional today. So I give him a lot of credit.”
Coughlin 39, Williamsport 19
COU — Darik Johnson 25 pass from Tim Pilch (kick blocked), 8:26
WIL — Justin Hoffman 39 run (kick blocked), 3:27
COU —Paul Cole 4 run (Brandon Butry kick), 4:41
COU — Paul Cole 3 run (kick failed), 9:09
COU — Tim Pilch 1 run (Brandon Butry kick), 5:14
COU — Paul Cole 7 run (pass failed), 1:59
COU — Tyler Layton 4 run (Nick Stavinski kick), 7:49
WIL — Tanner Bashnick 50 pass from Christian Diggs (Malik Wilson kick), 6:29
WIL — Jerah Reeves 10 pass from Christian Diggs (pass failed), :30
RUSHING — WILL, Isaac Foust 13-28, Justin Hoffman 3-39, Javon Brown 5-44, Dale Berkheimer 4-(minus-31). COU, Paul Cole 31-235, Tyler Layton 5-15, Darik Johnson 1-6, Tim Pilch 14-92, Tom Mitchell 6-19, Jacob Soller 1-6, TEAM 1-minus-1).
PASSING — WILL, Dale Berkheimer 2-8-0-12, Christian Diggs 5-6-0-91. COU, Tim Pilch 1-7-1-25, Jacob Soller 0-0-0-0
RECEIVING — WILL, Tanner Bashnick 2-62, Isaac Foust 1-0, Jerah Reeves 4-41. COU, Darik Johnson 1-25
INTERCEPTIONS — WILL, Justin Hoffman
MISSED FGs — none