Port Allegany Reporter Argus
October 8, 2009
For the first quarter and a half of last Friday’s Port Allegany – Smethport football game, a downpour and a stout Hubber defense combined to keep the score deadlocked at zero. And when the Hubs began to mount a drive of their own, pushing past the Gators’ 40-yard line, it was beginning to look like yet another throw-out-the-records brawl in the long history of the rivalry.
Those looks were deceiving. Fifteen seconds after the defense stuffed Smethport’s fourth-and-short run just shy of the first-down marker, Camrin Stuckey found solid footing down the right sideline, sprinting 68 yards for the first points of the game.
“We knew they were coming, so we said, ‘Let’s try a counter,’ and it broke wide open,” Port coach Mike Bodamer said.
The Gators added another score just before halftime, then opened up the offense after the break. Freshman quarterback Matt Bodamer tossed two touchdown passes, one each to brother Ryan and Lucas Kline, and the elder Bodamer added a 34-yard fumble return to cap off a 34-0 victory against an undermanned but determined Hubbers squad.
“Slow start, but a good finish,” coach Bodamer said. “Just a good team effort. We started out slow – they had a good defense for us – but we kind of loosened them up with the pass in the second half to break the game open.
“They definitely changed things up on defense and kind of confused us. They were bringing nine guys to the line every time, and Seth (Lowery) just couldn’t seem to find room. Their run defense was tough. We said at halftime, ‘We can’t do this. It’s raining, but we’re going to have to come out and throw the ball.’ Matt hit a couple – Ryan on the crossing route and Lucas on the long one – and kind of loosened them up a bit, and put the nail in the coffin. He did a decent job of scrambling, and hit the passes when he had to.”
While the Gator receivers found a path through the mud, the Hubbers went nowhere, managing only one first down and 20 yards in the final two quarters. Port’s defense has found its groove following the season-opening loss to Curwensville, allowing just three touchdowns and an average of 146 total yards in the last four games.
After watching yet another starter – the eighth of the season, by Smethport coach Ryan Yingling’s count – carted off the field when running back Kolin Strawcutter was injured on his second carry of the game, Yingling could have been reflecting on the entire season instead of just speaking about that night’s game.
“The kids that we still have are trying hard, but the younger kids are still learning,” he said. “They’ve been thrown into this situation, but they’re giving us everything they have. We just couldn’t get anything started on offense. That’s what happens when you’ve got low numbers, but we just keep coming back, using the people we’ve got.”
“They’re definitely a tough bunch of kids; they’ve just had some bad breaks with injuries,” Bodamer agreed. “I knew they were going to play us tough coming over here. I kept telling the kids, ‘You guys can’t look past this. They’re going to be ready for us,’ and they were.”
Now alone in second place behind AML North-leading Cameron County (5-0), Port Allegany returns to Gator Field on Saturday for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff against the Sheffield Wolverines (1-4), who are coming off a heartbreaking 35-29 triple-overtime loss to Otto-Eldred. The game broadcast is available on WHKS-FM (94.9) and at http://www.whksradio.com.
Score by quarters:
PA 0 13 8 13 – 34
S 0 0 0 0 – 0
PA – Stuckey 68 run; Lowery kick, 7-0
PA – M. Bodamer 1 run; kick failed, 13-0
PA – R. Bodamer 18 pass from M. Bodamer; R. Bodamer run, 21-0
PA – Kline 60 pass from M. Bodamer; kick blocked, 27-0
PA – R. Bodamer 34 fumble return, Burr kick, 34-0
First Downs 14 4
Rushes-Yards 50-265 30-91
Passing Yards 80 10
C-A-I 3-5-0 1-6-0
Total Yards 345 101
Fumbles-Lost 5-0 4-2
Punts-Avg 4-38.8 8-36.9
Penalties 5-50 2-19
Plays 54 36