T-D HS Football

Mountaineers run past Blue Jays

By: Alex Charlton

BERLIN — Numbers don’t lie. Plain and simple.
It can sometimes be hard to believe the numbers that Berlin’s Braden Fochtman puts up each night. You may even have to see a game for yourself just to put those sky high stats in perspective.
The sophomore sensation is not showing any signs of a slump as he rushed his way to 278 yards and three touchdowns as he and his Mountaineers claim a 48-7 showing against Conemaugh Valley for their fourth straight victory this season.
As expected, Fochtman went right to work early in the game with a 46-yard touchdown, completing a speedy three-play drive. The Mountaineers proved that they have access to other offensive weapons that are just as lethal.
Berlin’s E.J. Custer completed a pair of strikes to Nick Stockwell tallying 44 yards and another touchdown midway through the first to put the Mountaineers up 14-0.
The Mountaineer offense was absolute dynamite for the rest of this game.
Fochtman started the second quarter with similar style, slipping through defenders for a 35-yard score. That touchdown was taken back after the flags flew on a Berlin holding call.
Just as quickly as the officials jogged back the ball, Fochtman managed to do the exact same thing. Only this time, the wiry tailback was able to trudge 46 yards just inside the 1-yard line. He completed his efforts shortly thereafter with a quick score.
Taylor Cahill and Zane Yanosky joined the club as they both contributed touchdowns to the scoreboard for Berlin.  
While the explosive offense is exciting to watch, it is the consistent defense that continues to win games for the Mountaineers.
Bryce Fochtman, a vocal leader who also added a touchdown spoke on behalf of this dynamic Mountaineer squad by giving some much deserved credit to its defense.
“Coach (Paul) has been telling us since the beginning of the season that defense wins our games,” Fochtman said. “I could not agree with him more. Our defense is truly the anchor for this team. People talk about our offense and the numbers that we put up, but it really comes down to the hard work that we put in [on defense] game in and game out.”
The defense gave Conemaugh Valley fits all night. Aggressive play by Taylor Cahill, David Gontis, and Dante Paul (16 combined tackles) halted the Jays’ attack.  
Valley young guns Brandon Galasso and Anthony Hutzell were unable to generate a whole lot of offense until the fourth quarter.
The two talented tailbacks shared running duties and carried their team deep into Mountaineer territory. Adam Gephart topped off the spirited drive with a nifty quarterback keeper for a 7-yard touchdown. Unfortunately this impressive showing of offense was a too little, too late for the Jays (1-3.)
Conemaugh Valley will look to rebound against Shade while Berlin looks to stay perfect as it travels to Boswell to spar with North Star.
“Winning at home always feels great, there’s no doubt about that.  We can enjoy it for little but that’s it,” Fochtman said. “We have to get right back to work and start focusing on North Star.  That is our mindset as a team, we take the season week by week, game by game.  We need to keep up with this intensity and keep our heads on straight.  The moment that we lose that mentality is when we lose our success.”