Saturday, September 22, 2007

Windber capitalizes on North Star turnovers

Windber capitalizes on North Star turnovers
Daily American Sports Writer
Saturday, September 22, 2007 12:36 AM EDT

BOSWELL — Good teams find and even create ways to win. Windber forced four North Star turnovers, and scored touchdowns off three of those in a 27-13 win Friday.

“That’s a killer,” Rambler head coach Phil DeMarco said. “In big ball games that’s the key. You can’t have turnovers. We converted on them and that’s the way it goes.”
North Star head coach Stacy Schmitt agreed, “You have to play mistake-free football against a team like that and we didn’t. We gave up those turnovers which was the key. This is two games now we have done that and lost both.”

Taylor Keiper had two interceptions and Jonathan Ferensic and Brandon Ulasky came up with fumble recoveries for the Ramblers (4-0).

Both of Keiper’s picks came in the first half. The first interception led to the go-ahead touchdown for the Ramblers.

After North Star (1-2) took a 7-0 lead on its first possession on a Kyle Bowser 2-yard touchdown run and a Winston Shaulis extra point, Windber went to work.

The Ramblers offense drove from its own 17-yard line in 13 plays to score. Mike Webb caught a 30-yard pass from Keiper in the corner of the end zone, and Kevin Erickson’s extra point attempt was good, to tie the game.

Cougar quarterback Cory Kaltenbaugh was picked off by Keiper on the Windber 35-yard line to end the ensuing drive.

Webb caught a 36-yard pass and Vinnie Walls capped off the five play drive with a four-yard touchdown. Erickson’s extra point attempt was good for 14-7 lead.

Keiper picked off Kaltenbaugh on the final play of the first half to end another Cougar scoring threat.

North Star punted on its opening possession of the second half and running back Logan Fleegle fumbled on the Cougars’ next possession.

Ferensic recovered the ball on the North Star 32. Erickson then capped off another five-play scoring drive for Windber with a 15-yard rushing touchdown. His extra point attempt was blocked.

North Star was not about to quit though. Bowser caught a 32-yard pass then on the next play ran another 11 yards to put the Cougars in the red zone. Fleegle took the hand-off up the middle for a seven-yard score. Shaulis’ extra point was wide.

The Cougars forced Windber to punt on its next possession and started in good field position. But, another fumble ended up in Ulasky’s hands and ended the drive.

Erickson led the way on the Ramblers’ 13-play, seven minute game-closing drive. The senior running back finished with a game-high 129 yards on 22 carries.

Clark capped off the run from three yards out and Erickson’s extra point attempt was good, setting the final at 27-13.

“I give all the credit to my line,” Erickson said. “They played excellent. The emotion we have from winning this game will carry us through the rest of the season.”

DeMarco added, “He’s one of the toughest inside runners in the area. Kevin is perfect for our single wing offense. He earned every one of those yards.”

Windber finished with 257 yards total offense. North Star finished with 235.

Both teams are home next Friday for homecoming festivities. Berlin is at Windber while Conemaugh Township is at North Star.

(Christina Dunmyer may be reached at

Photo Caption
In addition to running for 129 yards and one touchdown, Windber’s Kevin Erickson also kicked three extra points in the Ramblers road victory over North Star Friday night. See more images from this game by visiting the photo galleries. (Staff photo by Roger Vogel)

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