AML Week 8: Falcons ground Gators, 24-0

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
October 29, 2009

A driving rainstorm at Coudersport Area Recreational Park helped ground the Port Allegany passing game last Friday night, but Coudy’s rushing attack didn’t seem to mind the sloppy field conditions. Led by fullback Skyler Blumer’s 130 yards on 14 carries, the Falcons’ “flex-bone” powered through the muck for 283 yards and three touchdowns on its way to a 24-0 victory, improving to 6-2 and gaining an upper hand against the Gators in the standings for the upcoming District 9 playoffs.

“These guys prepared all week long for a good Port football team,” Coudy coach Brendan Hathaway said afterward. “Some breaks in field position went our way, and the kids took advantage of it. On defense, we had a couple of big plays. We got the ball rolling early, and I think the kids did a nice job of staying with the gameplan. We felt comfortable out there and we came to play.”

“Undisciplined on defense,” an obviously disappointed Port coach Mike Bodamer countered. “They did exactly what we showed them in practice, but we just couldn’t stop them. They moved us off the ball five yards on every play, and that was the ballgame.”

He continued, “There’s no way we could throw in this mess; this is the worst night we’ve ever had in terms of weather. Matt (Bodamer) couldn’t get anything, and we weren’t picking up blitzes. Just an absolutely horrible performance.”

Coudy opened the game with an efficient 11-play, 56 yard drive, capped off by quarterback Tim McCusker’s one-yard dive for the touchdown. Cooper Bonczar’s extra point was good, and midway through the first quarter, the Falcons led 7-0.

Following a Gator three-and-out – one of five on the evening – Ryan Bodamer stopped the next Coudy possession by picking off McCusker’s only passing attempt of the game. The Port offense still couldn’t get on track, though, and the Falcons scored on each of their next three drives to break the game open.

Dirk Cowburn, the Penn State-bound Falcon senior who recently returned to the squad, played a major role in two of those touchdowns. Late in the second quarter, the speedy tailback broke loose for a 30-yard sprint down the left sideline to the Port 1 to set up Mitch Freeman’s short touchdown. Then, two plays after the ensuing kickoff, he stepped into the path of an attempted Gator screen pass and returned it 30 yards to give Coudy another first-and-goal at the 6. Creighton Hayes punched it in for the score with 1:01 remaining in the half, and the Falcons were cruising.

“The kids were prepared for it, and Dirk read it beautifully,” Hathaway said of the interception.

With the wind and rain continuing unabated, neither offense could gain much traction in an uneventful second half, and the mud-soaked starters gave way to the clean jerseys of the backups as both teams emptied their benches in the fourth quarter.

A playoff game in Port Allegany is probably unlikely at this point, but despite the loss, Port (5-3) can drop no lower than the sixth seed in the District 9 Class A playoffs. Before they learn their first-round opponent for a game the weekend of Nov. 13-14, the Gators conclude the regular season with a trip to Otto-Eldred (1-7) Friday night for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

“They’ve got athletes,” Bodamer said. “The way we’re playing up front on both sides, we don’t seem to be moving many people anymore. I don’t know … I’ll watch the film again and see what’s going on. I hope it’s just size, that they were physically bigger and stronger than us. I hope.

“Back to the drawing board,” he concluded.

At Coudersport, Oct. 23:

PA – 0 0 0 0 – 0

C – 7 17 0 0 – 24

First quarter:

C – McCusker 1 run, Bonczar kick, 7-0 Coudy

Second quarter:

C – Bonczar 20 field goal, 10-0

C – Freeman 1 run, kick blocked, 16-0

C – Hayes 1 run, Cowburn run, 24-0

PA C

First Downs 2 11

Rushes – Yards 29-42 49-283

Passing Yards 25 0

C-A-I 3-7-1 0-1-1

Total Yards 67 283

Punts – Avg. 7-35.6 2-28.5

Penalties – Yards 6-48 4-20

Fumbles – Lost 2-0 4-2

Plays 36 50

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