AML Week 4: Lowery “Unstoppable” against Kane

As Benn Baxter (62) throws a block behind him, running back Seth Lowery (44) eludes a Wolves defender. Lowery rushed for a career-high 209 yards on 34 carries and scored two touchdowns to help the Gators improve to 3-1 with a 15-14 win at Kane. (Photo - Pam Fischer, Reporter Argus)

As Benn Baxter (62) throws a block behind him, running back Seth Lowery (44) eludes a Wolves defender. Lowery rushed for a career-high 209 yards on 34 carries and scored two touchdowns to help the Gators improve to 3-1 with a 15-14 win at Kane. (Photo - Pam Fischer, Reporter Argus)


Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
October 1, 2009

For his role in the movie “Unstoppable,” currently being filmed in and around Port Allegany, Denzel Washington is an engineer tasked with trying to stop a runaway train.

Last Friday night, the Kane football team could have used some advice from Washington’s character. Gators running back Seth Lowery trampled the Wolves for a career-high 209 yards and two touchdowns, and Camrin Stuckey’s two-point conversion after the second one provided the winning points in Port High’s 15-14 victory over the defending Allegheny Mountain League champions.

“Lowery’s official nickname is ‘The Little Diesel,’ so make sure you put that in the paper,” coach Mike Bodamer joked after the game. “He’s just tough. He’s really come on these last couple of weeks; he runs the ball hard. We kept trying to flip-flop – when they kept bringing backers up on one side, we’d try to go back to the other side, and we got there most of the time.”

According to statistics at MaxPreps.com, Lowery’s performance was the first 200-yard game by a Port Allegany player since Bobby Nichols accomplished the feat against ECC in 2005.

But while the Gators dominated the line of scrimmage, outgaining their opponents 310-133 and allowing them just one trip inside the 40-yard line, two huge special-teams plays shifted the momentum squarely in Kane’s favor and almost allowed the home team to pull out an improbable win in the “Wolves’ Den.”

After Lowery scored his first touchdown and two subsequent Kane drives went nowhere, it looked like the Gators would carry a 7-0 lead into the break. But with less than a minute left before halftime, the Wolves broke through the line and blocked a punt, and linebacker Shane Cotterman fell on the loose ball in the end zone for the score. The extra point was good, and the crowd in the home bleachers was still celebrating as the Port marching band took the field for the halftime show.

The Wolves’ special teams struck again midway through the third quarter. Punter Bert Leonard, standing inside his own 15, stunned the Gators by completing the team’s first pass of the night. Running back Arie Paup rambled all the way to the Port 40 before he was dragged down from behind, and nine plays later, Alex Anderson’s one-yard quarterback keeper put Kane ahead.

“The kids did most of that themselves, to be honest with you,” said Wolves coach Jason Barner. “That’s the kids we have, and we give them some freedom. I think it was a big momentum switch.”

If it was, it didn’t last long. Port responded with its best drive of the night, mixing power running and some clutch completions from Matt Bodamer to move 70 yards in 13 plays. Lowery bulled into the end zone with 8:42 remaining and lined up to kick the tying extra point … but when Stuckey saw the left side of the Kane line pinch in, he had other ideas. He took the snap and beat the defense to the pylon, giving the Gators the lead for good.

“That was him on his own,” coach Bodamer admitted. “He looked at Seth and Seth looked at him, and Camrin said ‘I’m taking it’ and Seth said ‘Okay.’ So he snapped it and he took off. As soon as he stood up and started to run, I’m thinking ‘He did it again,’ but that’s because he’s an athlete, and he got it across for us. Once he got out around the end, I knew he was going to make it.”

The Gator defense took over from there, with Adam Greenman sacking Anderson to end one Kane drive and Stuckey’s perfect coffin-corner punt burying them inside their own 5 on the last one. Leonard was forced to punt from deep in his own end zone with just over three minutes remaining, and the Wolves never got the ball back.

“Good win,” Bodamer concluded. “Our kids are playing well, so we’ll see where we can go from here. We’ll work on our passing game, and keep the ‘Little Diesel’ running, and see where we can go.”

The next stop will be in Smethport on Friday night, where the Gators, now 3-1, will renew their ancient rivalry against the winless Hubbers. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., with the game to be aired on WHKS-FM 94.9 and http://www.whksradio.com.

At Kane, Sept. 25:

Score by quarters:
Port Allegany 0 7 0 8 15
Kane 0 7 7 0 14

Scoring:

Second quarter

Port Allegany – Lowery 3 run; Lowery kick, 7-0 PA

Kane – Cotterman recovered blocked punt in end zone; Long kick, 7-7

Third quarter

Kane – Anderson 1 run; Long kick, 14-7 Kane

Fourth quarter

PA – Lowery 2 run; Stuckey run, 15-14 PA

Team Statistics: PA K
First downs 17 8
Rushes-Yards 49-227 34-85
Passing Yards 83 48
Comp-Att-Int 7-17-0 2-9-1
Total Yards 310 133
Fumbles-Lost 4-0 0-0
Punts-Avg. 3-30.7 6-40.0
Penalties-Yards 8-55 6-65
Total Plays 66 43

Individual stats:

Rushing:

Port Allegany – Lowery 34-209, 2 TD; R. Bodamer 5-(-2); Stuckey 1-12; Ramadhan 4-9; M. Bodamer 5-2.

Kane – Paup 16-54, Eckstrom 12-52, Anderson 6-(-21), 1 TD.

Note: rushing statistics for quarterbacks include sack yardage.

Passing:

Port Allegany – M. Bodamer 7-17-0, 83 yards.

Kane – Leonard 1-1, 42 yards; Anderson 1-8-1, 6 yards.

Receiving:

Port Allegany – Stuckey 3-35; R, Bodamer 2-30; Kline 1-13; Lowery 1-5.

Kane – Paup 1-42; Eckstrom 1-6.

PAHS roundup: Sept. 23-29

Boys soccer:

Before the season, Port Allegany coach Aaron Clark suggested that Coudersport was a team to watch. The Falcons lived up to his expectations last Wednesday, defeating the Gators 2-1 in Port to remain the sole unbeaten team in the Upper Allegheny Valley Soccer League at the midpoint of the schedule. Ken Kysor scored the lone goal and Willie Postlewait stopped six shots for the Gators in the close loss.

Port returned to the field on Friday in St. Marys, for a game against defending league champion Elk County Catholic. With the score tied 2-2 and just over a minute remaining, Sam Shaffer knocked home a pass from Ben Osani to lead the Gators to their first victory against the Crusaders in the program’s short history.

“We’ve beaten a lot of teams we’ve never beaten before this year, won at different places. It was nice to be able to beat Elk County for the first time,” Clark said. Ken Kysor scored both of the other Gator goals, and Postlewait made 10 saves to pick up the win.

Port returned home on Tuesday to face Johnsonburg, with Kysor notching a first-half hat trick – and scoring for the fourth consecutive game – and brother Sam adding two goals in the Gators’ 7-1 win over a young Rams squad. Ben Osani and Max Parana also found the net, and Willie Postlewait, Tyler Smith, and Ben Edgell combined for three saves in a game which allowed Clark to give everyone on the team some playing time.

“Two in particular who really stood out were Jacob Stehle and Zack Sigafoes. I thought both of them, coming off the bench, did a fantastic job. Good effort from everyone,” he said.

Heading down the home stretch, Clark is pleased with where his team stands.

“Most of our games are at home in the second half, which is terrific,” he said. “If we could have been at .500 heading into our home games, I thought we would have been doing good. To be at 7-4 (6-2 league) and having all but two of our remaining games at home, I feel very good. So long as we can keep playing like we did tonight, we can start racking up the wins, clinch playoffs soon, and start playing for home-field advantage a little bit.”

Next up: a home rematch against Kane, who the Gators defeated 2-0 earlier in the season, at 4 p.m. Thursday. Port concludes its non-league schedule Saturday morning at 11 a.m. with a visit from the Class AAA St. Marys Dutchmen.

Girls’ soccer:

The Lady Gators made the long trip to Curwensville on Monday, falling to the Golden Tide 5-2 to drop to 3-4 in league, 3-7 overall. Bryanna Evans and Shanel Halle scored for Port, and Jordan Edgell stopped 22 shots in the loss.

“We just were not clicking for some reason,” coach Travis Cowburn admitted. “The defense had an off night, but the offense wasn’t doing well either.”

Asked about the team’s early-season rash of injuries, he said, “We’ve had chronic injury problems – four of our starters have just been hurt constantly – but I don’t think it mattered in our wins or losses. We should have more control than we do. Winning is an attitude, and right now we don’t have the attitude. I don’t know why, but we’re working hard to fix it.”

He added, “The league got better with us; after last year, everybody seemed to get better as well. We’re dealing with that right now.”

With seven league games remaining, Cowburn know his squad has some work to do to qualify for the playoffs.

“We play everybody again starting tomorrow (Wednesday), and hopefully we’ll make some noise … This is our season now,” he said. “If we want to make districts, we’re only allowed to lose one more game. (Other than ECC), we can stay with everybody, it’s just the attitude. If we don’t have the attitude, we’re not going to do well. The offense is coming, then it goes away. If they can do those little things that we work on in practice and do them in the game, we can do it. If not, it’s going to be a long second half.”

Next up: DuBois Catholic visits on Wednesday for a game slated to begin after this edition’s deadline. After that, the Lady Gators will travel to Smethport for a 9 a.m. Saturday kickoff.

Boys’ golf:

On Sept. 28, Kyle Hildebrandt shot a 98 and Kody Taylor 117 in the opening round of the District 9 Championships, played at Pennhills in Bradford. The Gators concluded the regular season last week, matching last season’s 4-8 record.

Girls’ golf:

At the Penn-York Invitational Sept. 24 at the Emporium Country Club, Lynea Gustafson shot a 45 to finish second to medalist Keri Hamilton, who carded a 41 for team champion Coudersport. Both girls were named to the league all-star team, along with Ashley Mackey and Olivia Chapman of Bradford, Bre Dunsmore (Cameron County), and Hannah Fink (Coudersport). Mackey was named this year’s Most Outstanding Athlete with a 45-stroke average in league play.

Next up: the final regular-season match of the year at Kane on Thursday, followed by the District 9 Championships Oct. 5 at Clarion Oaks, with golfers trying to earn a trip to the PIAA Western Region tournament.

Cross country:

This Saturday morning at Genessee Valley Park just ouside Rochester, N.Y., the Port High runners will join teams from across the Northeast and Ontario at the 45th Annual McQuaid Invitational, with well over 200 teams and 7,500 runners entered in one of the largest meets in the country. Port’s junior high squad will step to the line first, in a race slated for a 9:36 a.m. start. The varsity team will run in the unseeded A-3 (smaller schools) race, which is scheduled to begin at 9:48.

Volleyball:

The Lady Gator spikers stretched their North Tier League record to 3-0 with a four-set win over Smethport on Sept. 22, before dropping tough matches to two of the league’s best teams, Oswayo Valley and undefeated Otto-Eldred. They took a break from the league schedule on Saturday, advancing to the semifinals and tying for third place in the 10-team Sheffield Tournament.

Next up: defending league champion Coudersport visits the Port High gym on Thursday night for a match against the 4-4 (3-2 NTL) Lady Gators, with the junior high match scheduled for 6 p.m.

Results, and head coach Sharon Daniels’ comments on each match:

Port Allegany 3, Smethport 1 (25-14, 25-17, 16-25, 26-24)

“Port jumped out to an early lead in the first set, 11-0 before winning 25-14. The second set was that much closer and we dropped the third set. The fourth set was a real nail-biter right down to the last point.”

Jenny Shelly: 16 service points, 5 kills, 16 assists
Alyssa Bowser: 5 blocks, 6 kills, 19 digs
Renee Edgell: 11 kills
Kelsey Pistner: 9 service points, 1 block, 5 kills, 28 digs
Rachael Taylor: 7 service points, 3 blocks, 10 kills

Oswayo Valley 3, Port Allegany 0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-20)

“Oswayo Valley is a well-balanced team who played everything well. We looked out of sync for most of each set. A positive on the night, once again the girls did not stop playing when they got down in score. At one point in the second set they were down by 12 at 18-6 and ended up only losing by five, 25-20.”

Becky Andrus; 20 digs
Jenny Shelley; 2 kills, 16 assists, 7 digs
Alyssa Bowser; 1 block, 11 kills, 30 digs
Renee Edgell; 1 block, 4 kills
Kyley Mickle; 10 assists
Kelsey Pistner; 3 blocks, 7 kills, 18 digs
Rachel Taylor; 2 blocks, 4 kills

Otto-Eldred 3, Port Allegany 2 (25-16, 25-19, 23-25, 16-25, 15-12)

“What a GREAT match! It is a shame that anyone had to lose. After a two-set deficit the girls battled back hard to take the match to five sets.”

Becky Andrus: 13 service pts, 23 digs
Jenny Shelley: 5 service pts, 21 assists
Rachel Taylor: 10 service pts, 10 kills
Alyssa Bowser: 6 service pts, 2 blocks, 7 kills
Renee Edgell: 4 blocks, 8 kills
Kyley Mickle: 6 service pts, 4 kills, 9 assists
Kelsey Pistner: 6 service pts, 7 kills, 10 blocks