CONNELLSVILLE — Connellsville suffered a 34-27 loss at home Friday night in Big East Conference action to Latrobe to remain winless in conference play.
The Falcons (0-4, 1-4) got a big night from Ahmad Hooper, who provided Connellsville with a big offensive spark in scoring four touchdowns and rushing for 134 yards on nine carries.
"Ahmad played a heck of a game for us tonight," Connellsville coach Marko Thomas said. "He single handily kept us in the game with his offense. Plus, he was sick tonight. I didn't think he was going to return for the second half."
The Wildcats (1-2, 2-3) rushed for over 300 yards. Logan Gustafson led the way with 184 yards on 20 carries and quarterback Bobby Fetter ran for 106 yards on 15 attempts.
The Falcons took an early 14-point lead in the first quarter. Hooper took a reverse and sprinted 26 yards for the score.
He struck again just before the end of the quarter in breaking several tackles for a 92-yard run.
"The kids battled and they fought hard tonight," Thomas said. "I'm not going to blame their effort. I thought they played well at times, but the turnovers hurt us and we weren't able to pull it out."
The turnovers started coming in the second quarter, which the Wildcats were able to turn into points. The first came after Ky'ron Craggette was stripped of the ball and Latrobe recovered.
That led to an 18-yard scoring run from Kameron Stevens. The second Wildcat touchdown came after a Josh Maher pass tipped off the hands of Gage Gillott and into the arms of Raymon Henderson, who returned it 30 yards for the score. Another Falcon interception lead to a 2-yard touchdown run by Fetter that gave the Wildcats a 19-14 lead at that point.
"They scored on that first turnover, and then two more turnovers led to 19 straight points for them," Thomas said. "That's tough to overcome."
The Falcons fought their way back just before the half. Hooper took a swing pass from Maher and turned it into a 70-yard scoring play with 36 seconds left to give the Falcons a 20-19 lead at the half.
Latrobe struck for two more scores in the third. Fetter scored on a 39-yard run and Gustafson was able to plunge in from one yard out to make the score 34-20. Hooper scored the Falcons' final touchdown on a five-yard run in the fourth.
"Sometimes, when the kids get down you start to see their heads hanging; tonight they kept picking themselves up," Thomas said. "I told them if they keep preparing to play like they did this week, there are some wins out there for us."
Big East Conference (AAAAA)
Latrobe 0 19 15 0 — 34
Connellsville 14 6 0 7 — 27
Con: Ahmad Hooper 26 run (Gage Gillott kick), 5:20
Con: Ahmad Hooper 92 run (Gage Gillott kick), 1:40
L: Kameron Stevens 18 run (John McHenry kick)
L: Raymon Henderson 30 interception return (kick failed), 8:57
L: Bobby Fetter 2 run (pass failed), 7:45
Con: Ahmad Hooper 70 pass from Josh Maher (pass failed), :36
L: Bobby Fetter 39 run (Lucas Gustafson run), 9:16
L: Lucas Gustafson 1 run (John McHenry kick), 1:23
Con: Ahmad Hooper 5 run (Gage Gillott kick), 10:34
Records: Latrobe (1-2, 2-3), Connellsville (0-4, 1-4).