For the game’s first 22 minutes, everything seemed to go the Rockets’ way in their homecoming game Friday night in front of the large crowd of home folks at Carter Field.
From then on, however, nothing seemed to go right for Brown and Gold, and Corry did just enough to grab the win and send the local fans home disappointed.
The Beavers turned the tide in that short time span thanks to two costly Rocket interceptions to sneak out of Titusville with a 13-10 Region 6 win that dropped the Brown and Gold to 3-2 (1-2 R-6).
The loss was the second straight in league play, and was a case of lost opportunities for the locals as the Beavers (2-4, 1-1 R6) copped a close win over THS for the second-straight season following an 8-6 victory in 2018.
“We gave this game away tonight,” said Titusville coach Bryan Baldwin.
Those two miscues negated what was a fine defensive effort for the Brown and Gold as the Beavers offense finished the game with negative 10 yards in total offense. In fact, all the Beaver running backs showed negative yardage after the first 24 minutes of play, and Titusville ended with a whopping lead in all statistical categories except one: interceptions.
And it was those throwing miscues that proved to be biggest factor in the Rocket loss.
“We gave them their points,” said Baldwin. “You can’t just run and win in this league. We have to be able to throw well, too. This was a tough one.”
At that point of the second canto, Titusville had the ball at its own 16, a 10-point lead and a running clock. It appeared to be heading into half with a two-score lead, but looked for more when the team came out throwing instead of just running out the clock.
This gamble turned out to be costly, and it gave the visitors some momentum after not mustering anything on offense up to that point.
Beaver Nate Lapinski took the visitors’ first pick to the house from 35 yards out to put the Beavers on the board, cutting the THS lead to 10-6 with just over a minute prior to intermission.
Then on its next possession, THS again came out throwing and again the Beavers made it pay. This time, Tyler Yatsko intercepted at the 25 and set the Beavers up to take the lead returning the ball inside the THS 5-yard line.
Corry quarterback Nathan Lasher then cashed in from the two on a misdirection third-down run, giving the Beavers a lead they kept the rest of the night.
Although Corry’s picks got them the win, Titusville got the game’s first turnover early on, setting it up it first score.
Hunter Titus picked off Lasher’s first pass, setting THS up at the Corry 26 barely three minutes into the contest. On the drive’s fifth play, Laird Stover found an open pocket in the end zone, and Garrett Knapp located him, connecting for the TD at the 9:04 mark of the opening frame putting the locals up, 7-0.
THS then forced the first of five Corry punts on the Beavers’ next try, and moved the ball into Corry territory and a chance for another TD. However, a penalty stalled the drive and the Rockets settled on Nick Wright’s 32-yard field goal with 3:48 left in the opening frame and a 10-0 THS advantage.
Penalties continued to plague the Rockets at crucial times the rest of the night as the team ended with 60 yards there. THS was also flagged for a crucial dead ball personal foul that set Corry up in THS territory early in the fourth, allowing the Beavers to eat up clock time and keep the THS offense on the sideline.
However, Corry was later guilty of a holding call that took a touchdown off the board that could have ended Titusville’s night. Instead, THS was in a position to tie or take a lead with a touchdown, but couldn’t string enough plays together to regain the lead.
The Beavers special teams also blocked a first-half THS punt, setting them up at the Titusville 20 only to see a pair of penalties push them back and the Brown and Gold forcing a punt.
That 10-0 lead held up until that span in the second. THS continued to dominate on defense for most of the second half and only allowed two Corry first downs the whole night.
Unfortunately for the Rockets, one of the Beavers’ first downs came late in the fourth, allowing the visitors to take important time off the clock and nearly seal the deal for the visitors.
For the game, Titusville ended with 145 total yards, but mustered no serious scoring drives in the second half. Senior Ryan Bish led THS with 50 yards, getting most of the duties while starter Charlie Nicholson, who played some on defense, got only four carries in the last quarter as the team’s leading rusher was nursing a hand injury.
“We will look at things and regroup,” Baldwin added. “We have more games to play.”
Things don’t look to get easier for THS as it ventures into non-league play with a game at Slippery Rock Friday. SR was 31-16 losers to Grove City last night