AML Week 9: Gators down Terrors in playoff tuneup

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
November 5, 2009

After two weeks of bad weather and good defense by their opponents combined to bog down the Port Allegany scoring attack, limiting them to their lowest point totals of the year in back-to-back losses to Cameron County and Coudersport, the Gator offense was due to break out in last Friday’s regular-season finale at Otto-Eldred.

The Terrors drew first blood on Drew Coscia’s six-yard touchdown run, but the next four scores – highlighted by an 81-yard hookup from Matt Bodamer to Camrin Stuckey – put the Gators in command for a convincing 34-12 victory to conclude their regular season at 6-3. Bodamer finished the night 12-for-18 for 208 yards and three touchdowns to break the 1,000-yard barrier for the season, while Stuckey’s six-catch, 165-yard night fell a single yard shy of matching Lucas Kline for the best single-game performance by a Port High receiver this year.

“We started out slow again in the first quarter, but that big pass play (Stuckey’s touchdown) kind of sparked us a little bit, and then another couple of quick ones right in a row opened it up for us,” head coach Mike Bodamer said.

Seth Lowery kicked the extra point to make the score 7-6, then came up with the ball on the ensuing kickoff to put the Gator offense right back on the field.

“It wasn’t an onside kick,” Bodamer explained. “We didn’t want Coscia or Justin Bird to return it, so we were trying to squib-kick it. Eldred didn’t pick it up, and a couple of our guys came flying down the sideline, and luckily the ball was still laying there.”

Following Lowery’s recovery, Port drove inside the Terror 10, where Matt Bodamer found elder brother Ryan open on a crossing route for the touchdown. The scoring onslaught continued on O-E’s next possession, when Kline – one of several passrushers pressuring the Terrors quarterback – snared a loose ball in midair and sprinted 37 yards with the interception for his team-leading eighth touchdown of the season. Lowery converted both extra points, and although they couldn’t cash in on another opportunity just before halftime, the Gators took a comfortable 21-6 lead into the locker room.

The third quarter opened with more of the same, as the Bodamer brothers connected for Ryan’s second touchdown catch of the game. Otto-Eldred countered on quarterback Noah Colbert’s one-yard keeper to cut the margin to 28-12, but Matt Bodamer’s 18-yard scramble capped the scoring to restore the Gators’ three-touchdown lead.

Now, the sixth-seeded Gators will keep practicing while waiting for the Allegheny Mountain League title tilt between Cameron County and Curwensville to decide where they’ll be headed in the opening round of the District 9 playoffs a week from Saturday. If the Red Raiders win to keep their unbeaten season intact, Coudersport will claim the No. 3 seed due to their 23-6 victory over the Golden Tide back in Week 3. But if Curwensville avenges their 19-18 overtime loss in Emporium to win the championship, Port will play at Cameron County instead.

Bodamer expects another tough game regardless of the opponent: “They’ll both try to pound the ball down our throats again,” he said. “Hopefully the conditions are better this time, and we can use our quickness to counter that. I don’t know whether or not we’ll be able to do it, but we’ll leave it out on the field.”

At Duke Center, Oct. 30:

PA 0 21 13 0 – 34

OE 6  0   6 0 – 12

First Quarter:
O-E – Drew Coscia 6 run; kick failed, 6-0 O-E

Second Quarter:
PA – Camrin Stuckey 81 pass from Matt Bodamer; Lowery kick, 7-6 PA
PA – Ryan Bodamer 7 pass from Matt Bodamer; Lowery kick, 14-6
PA – Lucas Kline 37 interception return; Lowery kick, 21-6

Third Quarter:
O-E – Noah Colbert 1 run; run failed, 21-12
PA – Ryan Bodamer 7 pass from Matt Bodamer; Lowery kick, 28-12

Fourth Quarter:
PA – Matt Bodamer18 run; kick failed, 34-12