Week 6: Gators outlast Wolverines to stay in AML North race

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
October 15, 2009

From the opening onside kick to the last touchdown pass, Port Allegany and Sheffield treated the crowd at Gator Field to a wildly entertaining game last Saturday afternoon. When the assault on the scoreboard finally ended, Port High owned a 42-27 victory to move to 5-1 on the season, setting up an Oct. 17 showdown with unbeaten Cameron County which will go a long way toward deciding the Allegheny Mountain League North title.

With leading rusher Seth Lowery limited to five carries and Camrin Stuckey out for the game, the focus of the Gator offense turned to seniors Ryan Bodamer and Lucas Kline, and the co-captains didn’t disappoint. They hooked up for the first score of the game on Port’s opening drive, with Kline taking the handoff on a double reverse and lofting a 27-yard touchdown pass to Bodamer.

Kline was just getting warmed up. The 6-1 tight end finished the game with four catches for 166 yards, including touchdowns of 66, 55, and 18 yards from quarterback Matt Bodamer, who went 8-for-12 for 164 yards on the day.

“Lucas can outjump most of those kids, and he outsized most of them,” Port High coach Mike Bodamer said. “So the basic call was, ‘Matt, same formation, throw it to Lucas,’ and it worked almost every time … Keep going to it until they stop it.”

When Matt wasn’t throwing it, he was handing off to elder brother Ryan, who pounded the Wolverine defense for a career-best 183 yards on 29 carries.

“Ryan ran hard. He got stuffed a couple of times, but in the fourth quarter, he started breaking some nice runs for us,” coach Bodamer said.

Port jumped out in front early, with Kline’s first touchdown catch giving them a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter. Sheffield showed no sign of going away quietly, though, responding with Khalil Slaughter’s 40-yard touchdown run to get on the scoreboard.

The offensive fireworks continued in the second quarter, with Ryan Bodamer taking a direct snap and rushing for an eight-yard touchdown, and the visitors answering with Jim Hahn’s 30-yard halfback option pass to a wide-open Nick Bonavita. The second long Bodamer-to-Kline connection, this one from 55 yards out, made it 28-14 Gators at the half.

But while the crowd may have been satisfied with a two-touchdown lead, the Wolverines weren’t about to let it stay that way. On their first possession of the second half, quarterback Craig Fitch managed to elude the onrushing Gators and fire a pass downfield to Slaughter. The speedy Sheffield running back adjusted to the underthrown ball, picked up a block, and took off down the sideline for a 61-yard touchdown. The fourth quarter opened with another long Fitch touchdown pass, this one good for 88 yards to running back Jasper Rentas, and suddenly, the Wolverines were down 28-27 and lining up for a two-point conversion to take the lead.

However, Hahn’s pass fell incomplete, and the Gators regained control of the game with an 11-play, 65-yard drive that burned over five minutes off the clock before Matt Bodamer’s three-yard keeper and Tyler Burr’s extra point gave them a 35-27 cushion. Ryan Bodamer carried the ball six times for 41 yards and two crucial third-down conversions on the drive.

“I was pleased with the offense. We didn’t seem to panic – Matt hit some passes to Lucas, and Ryan ran well in the fourth quarter to ice the game,” coach Bodamer said.

Brock Taylor and Benn Baxter combined for the Gators’ sixth sack on the day – and Baxter’s third – to end the next Sheffield drive, another long Bodamer run moved the ball deep into Wolverine territory, and Kline’s third touchdown catch with just 1:26 remaining finally sealed the win.

First-year Sheffield coach Bryan Gould was understandably disappointed with the outcome, but pleased with his team’s effort: “When we went down two scores early, they never gave up the entire game,” he said. “We kept battling back, and battling back. A couple of things didn’t go our way, but they never gave up, and I’m proud of them for that. I think we gave Port Allegany a pretty good game today.”

Now comes the game many area football fans have been waiting for, as Cameron County – one of just two undefeated teams remaining in the Big 30 – visits Gator Field for an 11:00 a.m. Homecoming kickoff. Setting aside playoff games, the Red Raiders haven’t lost to an AML team since Johnsonburg managed the feat in the 2006 season finale.

“Emporium’s for real,” said Bodamer, who watched them dismantle Otto-Eldred on Friday night. “Like I said at the beginning of the year, they’re definitely the favorite to win the district title again. Their quarterback, Jason Blose, threw some nice passes last night, and they’ve got a tough running game. They just line up and try to run it down your throat. And they’re extremely large, so hopefully out little guys can hold up. But we usually play them pretty tough, so we’ll see what happens. These kids know we can play with them.”

S PA

First Downs 11 17

Rushes-Yards 27-73 50-218

Passing Yards 270 191

C-A-I 10-23-0 9-13-1

Total Yards 343 409

Fumbles-Lost 4-1 3-2

Punts-Avg 4-32.8 3-24.0

Penalties-Yards 7-91 11-100

Plays 50 63

PAHS volleyball back on the winning track

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
October 15, 2009

The Lady Gators broke out of a midseason slump with two wins in the last week, rallying past Austin in a five-set thriller before rolling to a 25-13, 25-22, 25-12 win over Cameron County on Tuesday night.

“The last time we played them, we came out and won the first two games soundly. In the third game they got on a roll; we ended up losing that game, and had to come back for the fourth game. So tonight, it was, ‘Let’s keep the intensity up’ And they did a nice job,” Port coach Sharon Daniels said following the Cameron County match.

The team’s only two seniors, Alyssa Bowser (13 kills) and Kelsey Pistner (8 kills), led the Lady Gator attack against the Red Raiders.

“That’s a nice tandem. I’m going to miss them next year,” Daniels said.

The victories pushed Port Allegany (6-6, 5-4 North Tier League) back to .500, the cutoff point for participating in the District 9 playoffs, with just two weeks remaining in the regular season.

“We have five games left, and we need to win three to go on to districts, which has been our long-term goal since the beginning of the season,” Daniels said. “So we need to play up. We have Smethport Thursday night, who we beat the first time around, but they’ve improved. They’ve beaten teams that have since then beaten us. And every team after that beat us the first time around. So … lots of preparation, lots of practice.

“We had a dry spell there – we lost five in a row before last Thursday night – so I’m hoping we’ve turned things around now. A little more excitement out there.”

At Austin, Oct. 8: Port Allegany 3, Austin 2 (25-20, 22-25, 26-24, 17-25, 15-5)

Alyssa Bowser: 13 kills, 5 blocks, 13 digs
Jenny Shelley: 5 kills, 18 assists, 13 digs, 20 service points
Renee Edgell: 4 kills
Kyley Mickle: 18 assists, 9 service points
Kelsey Pistner: 8 kills, 10 digs
Rachel Taylor: 4 blocks, 8 kills

At Port Allegany, Oct. 13: Port Allegany 3, Cameron County 0 (25-13, 25-22, 25-12)

Kelsey Pistner: 11 kills, 9 digs
Alyssa Bowser: 3 kills, 15 service points
Jenny Shelley: 8 service points, 2 kills, 12 assists
Kyley Mickle: 4 service points, 10 assists
Rachel Taylor: 4 kills
Renee Edgell: 3 kills
Becky Andrus: 15 digs

Hubs drop Gators 5-3 in battle of UAVSL heavyweights

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
October 15, 2009

In a physical battle between two playoff-caliber teams, Chris Healy’s hat trick allowed Smethport to sweep the Upper Allegheny Valley Soccer League season series against Port Allegany with a 5-3 victory Tuesday afternoon at the Mill Street field.

“Good battle,” Port coach Aaron Clark said. “They played really well in the first half, and we didn’t. We played really well the second half, they didn’t. The cumulation of the two things, they just played a little bit better for more of the game. Good, physical team there, but we stayed with them and didn’t let down. Good lesson for the playoffs.

“They just had a little too much firepower for us today,” he concluded.

The first half was played in Port’s end of the field, with Healy notching his initial goal at the 27:13 mark. Dario Caminite’s header made it 2-0 with 5:30 remaining, and the Hubs had a chance to add another one before halftime, but midfielder Denzel Middleton stopped a Healy breakaway to keep the Gators in the hunt.

The momentum seemed to favor the Gators early in the second half, as heavy pressure led to three quality scoring chances in the first five minutes. Port couldn’t get one across the line, though, and Levi Lewis gave the visitors a 3-0 lead at 32:43.

“I was worried that was going to deflate them a little bit, but they seemed to recover pretty well,” Clark said. “They oftentimes have pretty good short-term memory.”

The Gators responded quickly, with Jon Binder burying the rebound from Ken Kysor’s free kick to cut the lead to 3-1 at 27:40. The same two connected again a few minutes later on a goal set up by Scotty Brookens’ run, and with 22:24 remaining, Port was down by one and keeping the pressure on.

“Every time we come to this field, Port plays us tough,” Hubbers coach Bruce Nelson said. “We knew that coming in. We hoped to jump up on them quick and we got the first couple of goals, but they just don’t quit over here. That’s the way it always is.”

That’s when Healy, one of the Big 30’s leading scorers, made his presence known. He scored his second goal on a solid run with 12:51 left, giving the Hubs a little breathing room. And after Sam Kysor netted his own rebound to bring the Gators back to within 4-3 at the 9:06 mark, the Smethport senior finished off the hat trick as the final minutes of the game ticked away.

“He’s very good with the ball up front, so we just feed it to him and see what he can do,” Nelson said. “Aaron’s got a nice team over there; I wish them well in the playoffs – as long as we don’t see them,” he added with a chuckle.

Smethport improved to 10-3-1 with the win, while Port dropped to 9-6 (8-3 UAVSL). Both teams should be among the top seeds when District 9 playoff pairings are announced shortly. After visiting Brockway on Thursday, the Gators conclude their regular season next week with a game at Coudersport on Monday and Wednesday’s home finale against Elk County Catholic.