WATTSBURG - It's been a tough season so far for the Youngsville Eagles.
Playing without many of its regular starters, Youngsville dropped a 40-6 decision to the previously winless Seneca Bobcats Friday at Seneca Area High School.
"It's good for our future that the young guys are getting experience," said Youngsville coach Luke Alex. "I feel bad for the older guys that can't play their senior seasons, but that is the hand we were dealt."
Seneca jumped on the young Eagles early and never let up, not allowing a Younsgville score until Dan McLaughlin broke off a 33-yard run with 5:23 left in the game. McLaughlin racked up 60 yards on 11 carries to pace the Eagles rushing attack.
Before McLaughlin's score, the Bobcats scored 40 unanswered points and had built a 20-0 lead before halftime on the strength of two first-half touchdowns from standout Luke Muye.
The Eagles appeared to have something going early in the second half, driving into the red zone before fumbling away an opportunity to get on the scoreboard. The Youngsville fumble was scooped up by Seneca's Brad Elsworth who returned the ball 88 yards for a score to put Seneca on top, 26-0.
S- Luke Muye 3 run, 6:48, Chris Belleau kick
S- Adam Fish 8 run, 3:58, Belleau kick
S- Muye 4 run, 6:55, kick failed
S- Brad Elsworth 88 fumble return, 6:26, kick failed
S- Fish 64 run, 3:06, Belleau kick
Y- Dan McLaughlin 33 run, 5:23, kick failed
S- Malachai Murphy 57 run, 3:59, Belleau kick
RUSHING-Y- Jake Lauffenburger 19 for 44, Rocco Gatta 11 for 52, Dan McLaughlin 11 for 60, TD, Kris Wilcox 3 for 9; S- Muye 15 for 105, 2 TD, Tyler Stervagi 7 for 25, Elsworth 4 for 29, Fish 6 for 91, 2 TD, Bruce Dunn 3 for -8, Murphy 6 for 56, TD
PASSING-Y- Lauffenburger 3 of 5 for 21, INT; S- Dunn 1 of 2 for 7
RECEIVING-Y- Gatta 1 for 3, Skyler Wolfe 1 for 18, McLaughlin 1 for 0; S- Muye 1 for 7
Rocco Gatta, returning from a previous injury, rushed 11 times for 52 yards before leaving in the third quarter with an additional injury. Quarterback Jake Lauffenburger rushed 19 times for 44 yards and completed three of five passes for another 21 yards.
Youngsville will look for continued improvement from its younger players next Friday when it welcomes Cochranton to Mike Shine Field.
"We've got to tackle and our blocking needs to get better," added Alex. "We're starting two freshmen and two sophomores on the offensive line. They are young, but we need those guys to step up."