POTTSVILLE — Berwick had come to play. The Bulldogs put together a near perfect first half of football, scoring on five of six possessions while racking up 296 yards of total offense. Complimented by an aggessive defense that finished at minus-1 yard rushing allowed for the game, Berwick turned in a 56-7 dismantling of Pottsville.
“I told our kids, when you come to a strange area, you have to play extra hard,” Berwick coach George Curry said. “You don’t know what you’re going to get officiating-wise. You don’t know what you’re going to get playing on grass. A good team is going to play.
“I don’t care if we have to play in the rice patties of Vietnam, we have to be able to play football. The kids did what they had to do.”
After facing eight- and nine-man fronts against Crestwood last week that stifled the running game, Berwick got Dain Kowalski going in Week 2 with three touchdowns in the first half.
“They gave us a bunch of holes,” Kowalski said of his offensive line. “I just found them and hit them. Our wide recievers also blocked for me too. I only had to put a move on the safety, which was a one-on-one matchup.”
Kowalski led the charge on the first drive, then the Bulldogs used a more balanced attack on their second possession. C.J. Curry connected with Andrew Force on a 43-yard pass to set up another Kowalski score.
The onslaught continued on Berwick’s next possession when the duo of Curry and Force hooked up again on a 66-yard pass to convert and 3rd-and-18, moving the ball to the Pottsville 9. Berwick’s lead grew to 21-0 on Kowalski’s third score.
“Last week, Crestwood had nine in the box, and we threw all over them,” Kowalski said. “(Pottsville) saw how we passed, and they went nickel trying to cover us more. So we just pounded the ball up the middle.”
Berwick (2-0) made it four touchdowns in as many possessions when Curry hit Kyle Trenholm on a 66-yard scoring strike.
“When you get protection, you can score,” Curry said. “They were more prepared to cover the pass, but we still the middle and intermediate routes. They covered the deep ones, but the intermediate ones, like the one where we hit Trenholm on were there.”
Berwick’s only first-half blemish came on a fumble, but the Dawgs returned the favor on the next play, as A.J. Vandermark recovered a fumble. Two plays later, Jorden Stout scored on a 4-yard run that increased the lead to 35-0 with 1:36 left before halftime.
Although the Bulldogs were able to rest their starters for most of the second half, their head coach didn’t necessarily see that as a good thing.
“I like to play four quarters,” Curry said. “You practice your butt off all week, and you hate (coming out). You want to get tested. The only way you learn how to play football is in tough games.”
Berwick 56, Pottsville 7
BER — Dain Kowalski 1 run (kick failed), 5:29
BER — Kowalski 2 run (Kowalski run), 0:00
BER — Kowalski 1 run (Olivia Seely kick), 9:18
BER — Kyle Trenholm 66 pass from C.J. Curry (Seely kick). 4:56
BER — Jorden Stout 4 run (Seely kick), 1:36
POT — John Toomey 13 pass from Tyler Moser (Kolby Kleckner kick), 4:58
BER — Andrew Force 38 pass from Curry (Seely kick), 2:05
BER — Nick Talanca 1 run (Seely kick), 9:02
BER — Daquan Hellenthal 2 run (Seely kick), 3:01
RUSHING — BER, Dain Kowalski 13-53, Alex Klinger 3-32, C.J. Curry 4-27, Kyle Trenholm 1-17, Daquan Hellenthal 3-16, Nate Maczuga 3-13, Nick Talanca 3-9, Matt Shannon 1-9, Jorden Stout 2-3, Alex Koch 1-1, Marcus Welliver 1-0, Mike Force 1-(minus-2), Dallas Arner 1-(minus-4). POT, Darion Jacoby 12-23, Carey Bostick 3-1, Brett VanderMeer 2-1, Brandon Daubert 1-0, Travis Blankenhorn 1-(minus-9), Tyler Moser 8-(minus-17).
PASSING — BER, Curry 9-15-0-250, Arner 1-1-0-3. POT, Moser 8-16-0-86.
RECEIVING — BER, Andrew Force 3-147, Trenholm 2-71, Ian Mazonkey 1-21, Will Updegrove 1-13, Klinger 1-6, Trevon Simmons 1-3, Kowalski 1-(minus-8). POT, John Toomey 4-30, Timmy Vaz 1-26; A.J. Stevens 1-13, Jacoby 1-11, Blankenhorn 1-6.
INTERCEPTIONS — None.
MISSED FGs — None.