SCRANTON — Coughlin knew it was coming, just like Abington Heights did a week earlier.
Scranton Prep’s running attack, though, can be relentless no matter who the opponent is. The Cavaliers proved it once against Saturday afternoon.
Led by Matt Gilmartin, Prep rushed for 392 yards on the way to shutting out Coughlin 42-0 in a non-conference game at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
Coughlin (0-2) was shut out for the first time in 66 games dating back to a 28-0 loss to Valley View in Week 3 of the 2011 season. Prep (2-0) has now shut out four of its last six regular-season opponents and has surrendered two touchdowns in that span.
“We knew coming in that’s the best team in the district, easily in 3A,” Coughlin coach Ciro Cinti said of the two-time defending District 2 Class 3A champions. “I saw them last week and this week it was the same. They come off the ball, they block, they come at us.
“All I can say is the first half is the first half. I thought our kids played much better in the second half when they were challenged and that’s something we’re going to build on the rest of the season.”
Prep (2-0), which blanked Abington Heights 50-0 in Week 1, rushed for 253 yards in the first half. The Cavaliers established the running game on its first four plays with gains 14 and 21 yards by Gilmartin and 12 and 18 yards by fullback Ivan Balavage. Balavage capped the drive with a 6-yard TD catch.
Prep continued to roll, adding three more scores for a 28-0 halftime lead. Gilmartin scored two of them on runs of 9 and 4 yards. The senior, who scored five touchdowns against Abington Heights, finished with 147 yards on 26 carries.
Coughlin managed just one first down before halftime on a 38-yard catch by sophomore receiver Salem Diop at 9:51 of the second quarter. The Crusaders moved to the Prep 13-yard line late in the second on a 69-yard scramble by quarterback Vincent Todd, but an interception by Brayen McAllister ended the drive.
The Crusaders also moved to the Prep 10 early in the fourth quarter only to turn over the ball on downs.
Todd finished with 86 yards on 12 rushes. Running back Jake Cole, a 1,000-yard rusher last season, ran just four times for eight yards.
“It was just the matter of the makeup of the game, that’s all it was to be honest with you,” Cinti said. “We were behind, plus when you’re not blocking up front and their front eight are very good we have to try to throw the ball and loosen them up a little bit.”
Scranton Prep 42, Coughlin 0
SP — Ivan Balavage 6 pass from Leo O’Boyle (Alec Buttner kick), 9:23
SP — Matt Gilmartin 9 run (Buttner kick), 0:30
SP — Gilmartin 4 run (Buttner kick), 10:02
SP — Brayen McAllister 4 run (Buttner kick), 2:30
SP — Cree Coccodrilli 19 pass from O’Boyle (Buttner kick), 2:04
SP — Lucas Stage 43 run (Buttner kick), 6:59
RUSHING — Coughlin, Vincent Todd 12-86, Jake Cole 4-8, Rafael McCoy 3-17, Eric Sovan 1-3, Cole Horan 1-(minus-2), Nino Cinti 2-1. Prep, Gilmartin 26-147, Balavage 7-58, McAllister 10-74, O’Boyle 1-6, Ryan Cosgrove 2-37, Cullen Chesnick 2-10, Stage 1-43, Mitchell Simon 1-17, Ben Jones 1-6, team 2-(minus-8).
PASSING — Coughlin, Todd 4-10-199, Garrett Wardle 0-1-0-0. Prep, O’Boyle 5-8-0-87.
RECEIVING — Coughlin, Cole 1-3, Matt Strouse 1-(minus-1), Salem Diop 2-97. Prep, Balavage 1-6, Coccodrilli 2 4-8, Luke Johnson 1-5, Gilmartin 1-28.
INTERCEPTIONS — Coughlin Cole 1-9. Prep, McAllister 1-0.
MISSED FGs — none.
Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar