SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP — The Cedar Cliff Colts made one thing perfectly clear Friday night at Roscoe Warner Stadium: they are the best team within the Mid-Penn Keystone this year.
A 30-0 road victory over Susquehanna Township, the last football team in the Colts’ way of a division title, will do that.
The win sets up a Week 10 clash with struggling neighborhood rival Red Land (1-8, 0-5). The Colts (7-2, 5-0) will be heavy favorites to win that game and are all but penciled in to finish with a perfect record in Keystone play.
Cedar Cliff dominated all three facets of the regular season’s penultimate game.
Jaheim Morris shredded a normally good Indians (6-3, 4-1) defense for 206 rushing yards and scored twice, senior Bobby Whalen returned a punt 73 yards to pay dirt, and the Colts defense surrendered a paltry 131 total yards, including 51 rushing on 33 carries.
“Towards the end of the first half, and [in the] second half, we were really able to kind of assert our will on the line of scrimmage,” Colts coach Colin Gillen said. “Whether we were running the football or pressuring the quarterback — and we really shut down their running game.”
Outside of a first-quarter Chris Dare (6-of-15, 70 yards, TD) interception, a late fumble in garbage time and seven penalties for 80 yards, Cedar Cliff played a nearly flawless game.
The defense hounded ‘Hanna quarterback Rahsaan Carlton into a 10-of-19 night for just 80 yards and sacked him three times. (Jonathan Hammond, Justin Resto and Donovan Ball).
Ball was in on numerous tackles as well, helping shut down Township’s perimeter run game. Troy Ambush managed just 18 touches for 61 stripes.
“Donovon is a son-of-a-gun on the defense, and offensively,” Gillen said of the senior that committed to Penn State wrestling a week ago.
And it was those same three seniors, along with seniors Ben Gregory and Dom Driscoll, and juniors Anthony Shires and Jayvon Godineaux that helped pave the way for another big night for Morris on the ground.
The junior first-year starter broke off a 78-yard TD run in the second quarter, then added a 27-yard TD grab after the break.
“He’s starting to come into his own a little bit. The kid is lightning quick,” Gillen said, adding that the back has learned patience in recent weeks as well. “But he don’t go down easy; he continues to churn for extra yards.”
Morris seemingly picked up half his yards on the night after contact, mixing his blend of speed and power (5-foot-9, 165 pounds) well.
“My lineman: awesome. Passing: awesome. Blocking: awesome,” Morris said simply after the game. “Everything — I just love it, I love them so much.
“When my line was blocking I just saw straight daylight, I loved it so much. A couple times there would be nothing there, but then I would just make something and just continue on pushing.”
Big plays helped the Colts build and then expand their lead in the second quarter.
After Pedro Cintron drove in from 5 yards out for his first touchdown of the season less than two minutes into the frame, Whalen return a ‘Hanna punt less than two minutes later to make it 13-0.
TOUCHDOWN: Clinton Pedro I believe with his first score this season on a 5-yard dive. @CedarCliff_AD opens the scoring up 6-0 (PAT blocked) early 2Q. Set up by a couple big Jahiem Morris runs on that drive. pic.twitter.com/5szxd29TUB— Jake Adams (@jakeadams520) October 19, 2018
Then, with 1:44 left in the half, Morris broke away from 78 yards out. He’s right around 1,300 yards and 17 total touchdowns this season.
Jack Quesenberry capped the scoring with a 31-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
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