New-look Knoch cruises
Shotgun formations, no-huddle offense, four-receiver sets, 70-yard passes — this is a strange new world for Knoch football.
The Knights’ flashy new attack was on display Friday night in a 42-6 blowout of visiting Hampton in Greater Allegheny Conference play.
Andrew Rumburg-Goodlin rushed for 181 yards and three scores — two on direct snaps — and quarterback Kyler Kenyon threw two touchdown passes, including a 70-yarder to Mac Megahan.
Even coach Mike King can’t believe the evolution of his traditionally plodding offense, comparing it to a middle-aged man trading his truck in for a sports car.
“I’m going through a mid-life crisis,” King said, breaking into a smile. “It’s been tough, but you study it, and the fun thing is you watch (college) football now and you know what it is. It’s been work on everybody’s part, but they all bought into it. With the kids we have, I would be foolish not to do it.”
There was nothing fancy on the other side of the ball. The defense swarmed Hampton ball-carriers all game, holding the Talbots to five first downs and 70 rushing yards. Sixty of those came from C.J. Arch on Hampton’s final possession.
Anthony Bianco managed 0 yards on 14 carries, leaving coach Jacques DeMatteo frustrated.
“Our kids need to wake up, start believing in themselves and start getting a little bit tougher,” he said. “We knew what (Knoch) was going to do. They just did it better.”
Running out of the Wildcat, Rumburg-Goodlin scored on Knoch’s first two possessions for a 14-0 lead. Hampton had a chance to cut the deficit in half, driving to the Knoch 1-yard line thanks to some sharp passing by Jon Nigro. But on fourth-and-goal, Nigro lost the snap, and the Knights took over.
“We’ve done that several times this year already,” DeMatteo said. “Good programs don’t do that. We’ve got a decent ballclub; we just have to keep working and not try and reinvent the wheel.”
The Knights took a 28-0 lead into halftime on Kenyon’s TD passes to Ben Tackett and Megahan. Three minutes into the third quarter, Rumburg-Goodlin ripped through a seam on the left side and dashed 64 yards for another touchdown on his final run.
Knoch then stopped Hampton’s fake punt for an 11-yard loss, and Tackett soon scored from 3 yards for a 42-0 lead.
Arch spoiled the shutout with 17 seconds left, following his 45-yard gallop with a 3-yard plunge.