Hereford High piled up 403 yards of total offense and evened its record at 3-3 with a 56-16 thumping of Western Tech (3-3) at Lansdowne High on Saturday afternoon.
The win kept the Bulls on pace to get into the playoff picture, especially if they can win the final four games in coach Steve Turnbaugh’s 19th and final season as head coach.
Junior quarterback Gabe Ceribelli ran for a touchdown and passed for another and his older brother, senior Adam Ceribelli, rushed for 137 yards on six carries and two touchdowns (13 and 95 yards) and he caught a scoring strike from 32 yards out to lead the offensive juggernaut.
The Bulls built a 35-0 lead in the first half before Western Tech came back with 16 unanswered points.
Senior Tejon Anthony returned a kickoff 97 yards for a score and Anthony caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from junior Angelo Payne and both TDs were followed by two-point conversion passes from Payne to junior Anthony Pompey.
“You see how fast the game changes,” Turnbaugh said. “We are under control 35-0 and they run the kickoff back and two-point conversion, three and out on the offense and all of the sudden, we are deer in the headlights and they have all the momentum.”
Anthony, who has 12 touchdowns this season, is chasing the school record of 21.
“He has had a spectacular season and he’s a state champion wrestler and you could see that toughness,” Western Tech coach Alan Lagon said.
Pompey, who had four touchdowns in a win over Owings Mills earlier this season, left the game later with concussion-like symptoms.
Western Tech senior quarterback Jamal Pryor, who is being recruited by several Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division 1-A) schools, didn’t play because of a concussion and neck injury, but he could to be cleared to play on Monday.
Hereford lost its season-opening quarterback, senior Wyatt Bosley, in the first game of the season against St. Paul’s.
Ceribelli took over after being the junior varsity quarterback last season.
“He’s had some growing pains,” Hereford coach Steve Turnbaugh said. “He was thrown to the wolves.”
The Bulls, who also lost two-way starting lineman Tristan Ferris in that first game, dropped its first three games, including one against Milford Mill, which they led in the final minute.
“It feels good to be back to .500, coming off the opening three losses,” Gabe Ceribelli said. “They were great teams, but now that we are back even and it feels great.”
The quarterback’s brother also gave him a warm and fuzzy feeling with his big plays in the first half.
The first came early in the second quarter with the Bulls leading 21-0.
The Wolverines drove 74 yards in 13 play, with big runs by Payne (20 yards) and Anthony (22), but they were stopped on a tackle for loss by Brock Turnbaugh on third down, and a host of Bulls for a short gain on fourth down at the Hereford five.
On the next play, Adam Ceribelli, raced 95 yards for a touchdown.
“That was my brother and he knew if he cut that back it was going to be wide open and it was a great run,” said the junior signal-caller.
Hereford rushed for 324 yards behind an offensive line that included center Turnbaugh, guards, Justin Klein and Jacob Covington and tackles Coby Nettleton and Jon Kurtz.
“From the O-line to the backs to the receivers, everyone played great,” Gabe Ceribelli said. “It was a great team win.”
Hereford’s defense also enjoyed interceptions from Steven Gerovasilis (2), Dom Patti and Nick Salatino (1 each).
“Having a young team and having to play a team like Hereford, who is, year in and year out, one of the better teams in the county, you can’t make mistakes,” Lagon said.” Hopefully, we’ll learn from that, you give them and inch and they will take a mile and we paid for it. We paid for all our mistakes.”
Hereford coach Turnbaugh knows the feeling, citing 11 turnovers in the first three losses.
“We are getting better and we are seeing improvement and that is the most important thing,” he said.