By TY R. STATES
History was made, in more ways than one, in Tussey Mountain’s regular season finale against visiting Moshannon Valley Friday on Homecoming. A pair of three rushing touchdown nights for Kaden Lucko and Colton Bishop sent the Titans to the most points they ever scored in a 64-6 thrashing of the Black Knights.
There was an even bigger record broken than the most points scored in a game. Lucko rushed 23 times for 189 yards to pass Daniel Taylor as Tussey Mountain’s career rushing leader. Lucko now has 2,961 yards rushing, breaking Taylor’s mark of 2,950.
“It feels amazing. It’s a testament to the whole team for the past four years,” commented Lucko. “It feels good for myself but my teammates too.”
Tussey Mountain head coach Anthony Sottasante appreciates the type of player he has in Lucko.
“It’s unbelievable. He’s been overwhelmingly committed to the team and being the best player he can possibly be. We wanted to make sure he got that record tonight just in case something happens. Who knows, this could have been our last game.
“He deserves all the credit. I’ve never seen a kid work as hard as him year round. He gets the most out of his ability.”
The Titans (6-0) came out running the 100 meter dash, scoring three touchdowns in five offensive plays. Bishop got the call and cashed in with three big touchdown runs.
The first play of the game saw Bishop fake to Lucko then get to the outside. A great block downfield by Brenden Wright helped spring him for a 50-yard touchdown run.
Moshannon Valley (0-6) did not get a first down until its final drive late in the first quarter. The Titans got the ball back after the punt and scored on its second play. Bishop again got to the outside and blocks from Wright and Landon Hennessey helped him got 42 yards for the score. Lucko got the pass for two points and a 14-0 lead.
A sack by Jaden Yochum helped Tussey get the ball back. On the second play of the next possession Bishop did it again. This time he went left for a 63-yard scoring run and a 20-0 lead with 5:49 left in the first quarter.
Lucko intercepted Michael Kephart’s pass to get the ball back for the Titans. This time it took six plays to go 46 yards. Hennessey took it in from nine yards out to build a 26-0 lead.
The Knights could get nothing to go right as they fumbled on the next play and Wright recovered for the Titans.
This time Tussey Mountain put together a drive that used almost seven minutes off the clock. Lucko scored on a two-yard run in the second quarter, and Hennessey’s conversion gave the Titans a 34-0 advantage.
Mo Valley punted twice more and Tussey scored one more time before the break. Bishop went out with an ankle issue and Chad Weist came in at quarterback. Weist connected with Hennessey for a 50-yard scoring pass. Hennessey carried for two points to make the score 42-0.
It was more of the same in the third quarter. Mo Valley went three and out. The Titans moved the ball on the ground until Lucko scored from 11 yards out and Chad Morningstar’s kick made the score 49-0.
A bad snap on the punt attempt sent the ball into the end zone and the Knights kicked it out of bounds and gave up the safety to the Titans just before the third period ended.
In the fourth quarter Lucko scored his 18th touchdown of the season and the 34th of his career, which is second on the rushing TDs list at Tussey Mountain.
The Titans quickly got the ball back and gave it to Lucko again for the record. He broke to the outside and a good move freed him up to go 31 yards and celebrate his new career rushing record.
“It wasn’t a thing I was fully aware of. I didn’t expect it to happen but it feels good that it did,” said Lucko.
Weist scored on a 10-yard run for a 64-0 score.
Moshannon Valley was able to run the ball its final drive and avoid being shut out. Nikolaus Smeal ran for 60 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown with 1:38 left to play.
Tussey Mountain is the District 5-A top seed and will get a bye next week. The team could play another regular season game but Sottasante said they will take the week off.
“We’re getting better every week. We’re going to work on cleaning some things up.”
The Titans will try to defend its district title in two weeks against either Northern Bedford or Conemaugh Township.
Prior to the game Hennessey was crowned Homecoming King and Meghan Molosky is his Queen.