Port Allegany Reporter Argus
Sept. 25, 2008
Three first-half fumbles dug a hole the Gators couldn’t climb out of on Saturday afternoon, as the visiting Kane Wolves roared out to a three-touchdown lead, then matched the Gators score-for-score in the second half to head back down Route 6 with a 40-20 win.
“We get down 18-0, it’s almost impossible to come back against a team like that,” Gators coach Mike Bodamer said.
Paul Woods intercepted Ken Kane’s deep pass at the Port 37 to end the visitors’ first drive, but the Wolves’ Arie Paup recovered a fumble three plays later, then hauled in a touchdown pass from Kane to put the defending district champs on the scoreboard.
Disaster struck the Gators later in the first quarter. Deep in their own territory, a dropped pass was ruled a lateral, with the Wolves falling on the ball at the Port 14. Three running plays later, they were back in the end zone, although Seth Lowery picked off the two-point conversion pass to keep the score 12-0.
Paup made another huge play for Kane in the second period. With the Wolves facing third-and-27 following a sack by Lucas Kline, the speedy receiver caught Ken Kane’s pass, broke several tackles, and appeared to be on his way to a 60-yard touchdown before Camrin Stuckey managed to catch up to him and drag him down at the 5. Port held its ground against the bigger Kane offensive line for two plays, but the Wolves finally punched the ball across the goal line on third down for an 18-0 halftime lead.
The Gator offense came out firing to open the second half. After driving to the Kane 36, Stuckey dropped back to pass and found Bryce Healy deep down the left sideline. The senior receiver pulled in the pass at the 10, slipped a tackle, and took the ball into the end zone for his first touchdown of the season. The two-point conversion failed, but Port was back in the game.
Or so it seemed, until Wolves running back Andrew Olson tracked down the ensuing kickoff in his own end zone, then weaved his way through the coverage unit for a backbreaking 100-yard touchdown return.
“Running that kickoff back was huge,” Wolves coach Jason Barner said afterward. “We made some pretty big plays when we needed to.”
The Gators fought back, with Healy now in at quarterback while Stuckey, who took several hard hits in the game, iced an injured elbow on the sideline. Kline kept the drive alive with a 27-yard catch on fourth down, and Healy capped it off with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Lowery to make the score 26-12.
However, a physical Wolves team and an 80-degree afternoon were combining to wear down the Port defense. On Kane’s first possession of the fourth quarter, Olson took a handoff for a sweep left, the same play the Gators had been successful in stopping early in the game. This time, though, he made it to the corner and sprinted down the sideline for a 59-yard touchdown. It happened again on the next series, as Paup scored from 69 yards out to give the Wolves a comfortable 40-12 margin.
“I think the defense was just dead tired in the second half,” Bodamer said. “Those long runs down the sideline, we haven’t let that happen all year, but I think the kids were just fatigued and worn out and couldn’t chase them down.”
Tired as they may have been, though, the Gators didn’t quit. They managed to tack one more touchdown on the board, with Zach Ramadhan’s 2-yard run finishing off an 80-yard drive and Ryan Bodamer adding the two-point conversion to make the final score 40-20.
“The offense came alive in the second half, and then the defense disappeared,” Mike Bodamer said after the game. “It would be nice to have them both play together at the same time, instead of one or the other. But there were some positives. Zach Ramadhan ran hard, Ryan ran hard, Bryce stepped in well for Camrin and threw some passes he had to.
“We keep playing hard; we just can’t seem to get the win. We’ve been in all four games. We’ve played well, we’ve played hard, we just can’t seem to put offense, defense, and special teams together all at the same time.”
This week, ancient rival Smethport will be the Gators’ Homecoming opponent. The parade is scheduled for noon, with kickoff set for 1:30 p.m. (WHKS, http://www.whksradio.com). The King and Queen will be announced at halftime; the crowning will take place at 9:00 that evening.
The Hubbers are also 0-4 under first-year head coach Ryan Yingling, but two of those losses were by one and three points.
“It’s going to be a dogfight,” Bodamer said. “They’re losing the same way we are – they’ve played tough, but come out on the short end. They run the option pretty well, and with the problems we had with containment this week, we’re going to have to work on that. And hopefully, we can keep the ball moving like we did today.
“It definitely won’t be a blowout. It’ll be a battle.”
Score by quarters:
Kane 6 12 8 14 – 40
Port Allegany 0 0 6 14 – 20
Kane – Arie Paup 11 pass from Ken Kane (kick failed), 6-0
Kane – Ross Nicholson 4 run (pass failed), 12-0
Kane – Mark Ross 2 run (run failed), 18-0
Port Allegany – Bryce Healy 36 pass from Camrin Stuckey (run failed), 18-6
Kane – Andrew Olson 100 kickoff return (Kane pass to Ross), 26-6
Port Allegany – Seth Lowery 4 pass from Bryce Healy (pass failed), 26-12
Kane – Olson 59 run (Nicholson kick), 33-12
Kane – Paup 69 run (Nicholson kick), 40-12
Port Allegany – Zach Ramadhan 2 run (Ryan Bodamer run), 40-20
Team Statistics: Kane PA
First downs 12 8
Rushes-Yards 39-300 31-101
Passing Yards 88 99
Comp-Att-Int 6-12-1 7-15-0
Total Yards 388 200
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 4-3
Punts-Avg. 1-11.0 5-35.2
Penalties-Yards 10-75 5-30
Total Plays 51 46
Kane – Paup 3-85, Olson 4-67, Todd 9-66, Nicholson 10-30, Harp 2-15, Eckstrom 1-13, Depto 1-8, Smith 1-1, Kane 3-(-4)
PA – Ramadhan 5-53, Bodamer 12-30, Lowery 3-10, Stuckey 5-10, Woods 1-5, Healy 5-(-7)
Kane – Kane 6-12, 88 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
PA – Stuckey 4-8, 53 yards, 1 TD; Healy 3-7, 46 yards, 1 TD
Kane – Paup 3-75, Todd 1-7, Smith 1-4, Nicholson 1-2
Port Allegany – Healy 3-53, Kline 1-21, Lowery 2-19, Kio 1-0