CHAMBERSBURG >> It wasn't hard to see right off the bat that Central Dauphin had a huge mismatch in its favor against Chambersburg.
The Rams' defensive line was simply too good for the Trojans' offensive line and that played a huge role in CD's 42-7 bullying of Chambersburg in a Mid Penn Commonwealth Division game at Trojan Stadium on Friday night.
There were a few stats that stood out:
• In the first half, the Trojans had 18 rushing attempts (four were sacks) and they resulted in minus-42 yards.
• Of those 18 attempts, 13 gained zero yards or went for a loss.
• Chambersburg had a grand total of 87 yards of offense, and considering that its one scoring drive came on its final possession against the CD second team and went 80 yards, that doesn't say much for the rest of the game.
• And here's one more: the Rams were missing two starters on that defensive line.
"If you can't block their front four, you're just not going to get any ball movement," Trojan coach Mark Saunders said. "They are a good team, but we made them look a whole lot better by not blocking them."
Micah Parson, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound sophomore, practically pitched a tent in the Chambersburg backfield. He had three sacks for 29 yards in losses and helped bottle up the running game. On nearly every running play in the first half, the Trojan ballcarrier was hit behind the line of scrimmage.
"We did get good production from the defensive line," Central Dauphin coach Glen McNamee said. "We've got room to grow, but we have some good people there."
The line even chipped in on the scoring. With the score only 7-0, lineman AJ Perez snatched a short pass from Chambersburg quarterback Kaden Hoover and ran it back 19 yards for a touchdown.
Not only did the excellent line play stifle the Trojans' attack, but it also made it much easier for the Rams' offense. CD had seven first-half possessions and six began in Chambersburg territory. Those six started at an average of the Trojan 36-yard line.
McNamee said, "Field position is something we really zero in on, and we've gotten the kids to think about it, too. We established it early tonight. One of the reasons field position is important is because it opens up the playbook, and puts pressure on their defense."
Running back Raleigh Sirb scored on three rushes for CD, of 13, 3 and 12 yards. Quarterback AJ Millar tossed for two scores, one of which was a 35-yarder to Chad Cortez on play action that sucked in the entire defense and left Cortez 20 yards behind everybody else.
"You can't give good teams that many opportunities with a short field," Saunders said. "We certainly didn't help ourselves."
CD offensive line coach Mike Doughtery said, "We were concerned about a letdown from last week (a 20-19 win over powerhouse Wilson), but we tell the kids to respect every opponent, and I think they took us seriously."
With a 35-0 halftime score, the entire second half was played under mercy rule provisions.
At least Chambersburg did manage to score a touchdown, albeit against CD's subs. The Rams helped with an illegal substitution penalty on fourth down, Brandon Miller ran for 17 yards and Hunter Leedy, who replaced Hoover early in the second quarter, hit Caleb Thompson for 37 yards.
The touchdown came on a 4-yard throw from Leedy to Sean Vessah with 1:46 left.
Vessah said, "As a team, we're just not stepping up. I know we have the ability to compete against these teams, but weren't just not getting it done."
Saunders said, "We needed that touchdown at the end; we had to show we have the ability to move the ball, even if it was against their second team.
"We have a lot of young players, but so did they, so that's not an excuse. We just aren't physical enough. And the players know they aren't playing to their capabilities."
That's a bad combination.
Central Dauphin 42, Chambersburg 7
CD — Raleigh Sirb 13 run (Hansen Rowe kick), 9:02
CD — AJ Perez 19 interception return (Rowe kick), 1:20
CD — Sirb 3 run (Rowe kick), 10:01
CD — Chad Cortez 35 pass from AJ Millar (Rowe kick), 6:46
CD — Manus Frank 10 pass from Millar (Rowe kick), 0:19
CD — Sirb 12 run (Rowe kick), 4:19
Ch — Sean Vessah 4 pass from Hunter Leedy (Nazeer Taylor kick), 1:46
CDChbgFirst downs198Rushes-yards26-18027-(-1)Passing9-19-08-15-1Passing yards12688Total yards30687Punts3-33.79-28.0Fumbles-lost1-12-0Penalties-yards7-705-62
Rushing — CD, Sirb 12-74, Zach Wise 6-39, Terrell Gabriel 2-26, AJ Noel 2-13, Ethan VanBuskirk 1-10, Jordan Dean 1-8, Phil Petrina 1-8, Perez 1-2. Chbg, Brandon Miller 4-16, Darius Johnson 3-9, Kameron Green 2-7, Darren Gardner 4-7, Barrington Slavery 9-0, H.Leedy 2-(-6), Kaden Hoover 3-(-34).
Passing — CD, Millar 6-13-0-71, Petrino 3-6-0-55. Chbg, H.Leedy 6-10-0-68, Hoover 2-5-1-20.
Receiving — CD, Cortez 2-48, Perez 2-42, Ryan Elliott 2-22, Frank 1-10, Logan Gabrielson 1-6, Reid Albright 1-(-2).
Interception — Perez.