MECHANICSBURG – The only thing that could slow down Mechanicsburg’s offense Friday night was the weather.
Lightning in the area forced the postponement of the game versus Fairbanks until Saturday, when M’burg pulled away for a 48-6 win.
The Indians opened the game with a 62-yard kick return by Kaleb Romero. The boys in purple drove down the field without difficulty, scoring with just over two minutes gone by on a 1-yard run by Wade Smitty.
A few minutes later, Romero scrambled out of the pocket on third-and-long, evaded the pressure and dashed 60 yards to the end zone.
Possession changed a couple of more times, most notably on a Fairbanks punt that hit a Mechanicsburg blocker and allowed the Panthers their best field position of the quarter.
Play was suspended with 10:59 left in the second quarter, with Fairbanks in possession of the ball and facing third-and-12.
On Saturday, the Indians continued to dominate.
The Indians outgained Fairbanks, 597 yards to 102 – including 404-31 in the first half.
Junior quarterback Kaleb Romero established an Indian school single-game record with 401 yards of total offense. Romero rushed for 197 yards and a touchdown on only 10 carries – all in the first half – while completing 7 of 13 passes for 204 yards and a score, a 20-yard strike to senior wideout Bobby Welch on the final play of the first half.
The former mark of 347 yards of total offense was established by Joel Bostick in a 48-27 victory over West Jefferson in the 2005 season opener.
Senior running back Philip Cook rushed for 126 yards and three TDs on 10 attempts, while senior Colton McMannis paced the Indian receiving corps with three pass receptions for 88 yards. Senior wingback Wade Smiddy recorded a pair of receptions for 65 yards with Welch adding two catches for 51 yards.
Sophomore linebacker John Samples led another balanced defensive effort with 10 total tackles, including two sacks. Senior defensive lineman Jacob Bowers (two sacks as well) and defensive back Smiddy added six total tackles each.
The Indians host Northwestern on Friday night.