CONNELLSVILLE -- Connellsville fell to Penn-Trafford, 41-7, in Big East Conference action Friday night, but the score didn't indicate the improved effort from the Falcons after they were pushed around a week earlier by McKeesport.
The Falcons managed to pick off two passes, recover a fumble and receive a 100-yard rushing effort from Ky'ron Craggette. Head coach Marko Thomas was pleased at the way his Falcons competed.
"Obviously, I'm disappointed in the outcome, but I can't be disappointed in the kids' effort tonight," Thomas said. "Compared to last week this was a totally different team. Last week, I think we played a little scared and didn't study our game plan, but this week it was the exact opposite. The kids came out fired up and gave everything they had against what I firmly believe is the best team in the state."
The Falcons made P-T earn most of their points during the game, although a couple of Connellsville mistakes resulted in the Warriors benefiting with two safeties.
Penn-Trafford got on the board at 8:32 of the first quarter when Gabe Dunlap found Ethan Carr on a wide receiver screen for a 15-yard touchdown pass. The extra-point from Nathan Schlessinger was good, the first of four he converted in the game.
Caleb Lisbon, who rushed for 123 yards for the Warriors, picked up the first of his two touchdowns on a 42-yard run through the middle of the Falcons defense at the 5:03 mark of the first quarter to make the score 14-0.
The Falcons fumbled the ball out of bounds inside the one-yard line on the ensuing kickoff. Then, the Falcons were called for holding in the end zone that resulted in a safety to increase the Penn-Trafford lead to 16-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Warriors scored three times in the second quarter. Schlessinger hit a 25-yard field goal. Lisbon got loose for his second touchdown of the night, getting the corner and outrunning the Falcons to the pylon for a 13-yard scoring run. Dunlap got into the scoring column with a 4-yard run giving the Warriors a 32-0 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, the Warriors received their second safety when the Falcons were forced to punt deep in their own territory and the snap went through the end zone, making the score 34-0.
Penn-Trafford put the mercy rule into affect when Dunlap connected with Nate Frye on a 20-yard scoring toss to make the score 41-0.
The Falcons avoided the shutout when Ahmad Hooper hit Gage Gillott with a 5-yard scoring pass.
"I felt we traded blows with Penn-Trafford, despite making a couple of mistakes," Thomas said. "I cannot fault the kids' effort tonight. I'm happy the executed the game plan tonight. I think they are starting to realize they can be a good team. We don't have a lot of numbers and at least half of the kids we dress are freshmen. A couple of those kids are tough and want to be out there.
"It's good to see and that's something we can build on."
Big East Conference (AAAAA)
Penn-Trafford 16-16-9-0 -- 41
Connellsville 0-0-7-0 -- 7
PT: Ethan Carr 15 pass from Gabe Dunlap (Nathan Schlessinger kick), 8:32
PT: Caleb Lisbon 42 run (Nathan Schlessinger kick), 5:03
PT: Safety, holding penalty in end zone, 4:55
PT: Nathan Schlessinger 25 FG, 9:54
PT: Caleb Lisbon 13 run (kick failed), 7:35
PT: Caleb Dunlap 4 run (Nathan Schlessinger kick), 1:11
PT: Safety, punt snap through end zone, 9:42
PT: Nate Frye 20 from Caleb Dunlap (Nathan Schlessinger kick), 8:57
Con: Gage Gillott 5 pass from Ahmad Cooper (Gage Gillott kick), 2:03
Records: Penn-Trafford (2-0, 3-0), Connellsville (0-2, 1-2).