CARMICHAELS – In a game featuring two of the top Class A quarterbacks in the WPIAL, Carmichaels’ Trenton Carter and Fort Cherry’s Maddox Truschel put on a show.
Fort Cherry, using the momentum from last week’s home win against Avella, secured a 27-20 win over the Mikes on the road Friday night.
“We talked about that (momentum) this week. We feel like we kind of found our form.” Fort Cherry head coach Tanner Garry said before the game. “Coming out, getting a chance to play at home in front of the fans for the first time in a year and getting the chance to go out and put a good full game together helped us. We had a good week of practice; the kids just seem to be a little more confident going into this one.”
Truschel showed off his dual-threat abilities throwing for 130 yards with two touchdowns, while also rushing for 240 yards on 31 carries and one score.
“It makes me feel like a leader.” Turschel said about his coach leaning on him late in the game. “To be honest it was a team effort. The blocking was on point. My receivers were catching the balls and getting open.”
Garry, a former Fort Cherry quarterback himself, understands the benefit of having an experienced quarterback at the helm.
“He’s someone that we always describe as a gamer.” Garry said. “Whenever the lights come on, it tends to be when he plays at his best. So he’s someone who really thrives in the lights and enjoys that opportunity. He’s someone who is really a key part of what we do.”
The first half was a back-and-forth battle with each teams trading touchdowns and big plays, which had the game tied at 20-20 at halftime. Garry was ecstatic about the way his team kept its composure after a defensive pass interference call with five minutes left in the game and sealed the win.
“We could’ve very easily hung our heads there.” Garry said. “Instead we got mad, we battled back, and we made the stop.”
The Rangers were able to prevail in the second half with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Turschel to tight end Anthony D’Alessandro with 2:06 left in the third quarter.
“The kid is a stud.” Garry said about D’Alessandro. “Someone who has the size that he does, has the speed that he does and the hands that he does, he’s just an absolute freak athlete.”
Fort Cherry (2-1) will host conference opponent Shenango next Friday in what will be the Rangers’ conference opener.
Carmichaels put up a valiant effort in coming up short. Carter threw for 104 yards with one touchdown and added 62 yards on the ground with two scores. Carmichaels head coach Ron Gallagher spoke before the game on how much a pleasure it has been having an experienced quarterback under center.
“It’s a world of difference.” Gallagher said. “Our playbook went from having pretty simple plays last year, pretty basic plays, to now multiple plays and multiple formations. He guides the whole thing.”
Carmichaels (2-1) will open conference play with a trip to Mapletown for a Tri-County South Conference matchup Friday.