Gators thump Sheffield to set up showdown at Cameron County

The stunning view from the new pressbox in Sheffield. The Gators didn't take much time to stop and enjoy the scenery, though, rolling up 41 first-half points on the way to a 50-6 victory.


Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
October 21, 2010

Once the Port Allegany Gators made the trek up “Wolverine Mountain,” it was all downhill for Sheffield.

An opportunistic Port defense made life miserable for their hosts in Saturday’s Allegheny Mountain League game, picking off four passes and keeping the overmatched Wolverines bottled up in their own end of the field for most of the afternoon, and the offense cashed in on six of seven first-half drives as the Gators romped to a 50-6 victory.

Four of those touchdowns came via the arm of Matt Bodamer, who started the scoring onslaught with a 10-yard bootleg on Port’s first possession and also snared one of their interceptions on defense. The sophomore quarterback completed 7-of-8 passes for 213 yards, in the process reaching the 1,000-yard milestone for the second consecutive season.

“They were in man-to-man, and he picked them apart,” head coach Mike Bodamer said. “He saw guys running down the middle of the field wide open and made the throws. We did what we were supposed to do. It’s nice to see that we actually accomplished what we were supposed to do.”

“We knew they can both throw and run; they can come at you any which way, and they’re a very tough team to defend,” Sheffield coach Bryan Gould said. “One missed assignment, and you saw the results – they had three big-play touchdowns in the first half, and that’s why the score was so lopsided.”

The Wolverines’ woes started on their first drive, when their punter’s knee touched the turf as he attempted to field a one-hop snap. The resulting turnover on downs handed the Gators the ball at the Sheffield 18, and it didn’t take them long to capitalize on the mistake. Two Seth Lowery runs set up third-and-short, and with the Sheffield defense crowding the line of scrimmage expecting another foray up the middle, Bodamer took the snap, rolled to his right, and headed for the end zone. Ken Kysor, who made it to the game just in time to complete a doubleheader after playing in the soccer team’s Senior Day win over Johnsonburg, added the extra point and the Gators were on the board.

“Any time you give – any team, really – when they’re playing on your side of the field, that’s a problem. Between that play and turnovers, in the first half, they played on our side of the field,” Gould said of the botched punt attempt. “I don’t care how good your defense is, if you give them a short field like that, they’re going to score.”

Port’s quick-strike offense moved even faster the next few times they touched the ball, with Bodamer following Wolverine punts with touchdown passes of 66 yards to Tyce Miller and 35 to Charlie Buchanan. The other Miller twin got into the act at that point, as Trey picked off Wolverine quarterback Ike Nearing’s pass at the Sheffield 47 and returned it all the way to the 14. Lowery capped that short drive by rumbling into the endzone from 11 yards out, and at the end of the first quarter, the Gators’ offensive stats looked like something out of a video game: Despite running just eight plays and holding the ball for a mere 2:20 out of the first 12 minutes, they led 27-0 before the Wolverines ever ventured across their own 40-yard line.

Sheffield eventually put a drive together, with Hunter Smith ending the shutout on a 3-yard run midway through the second quarter. But the Gators didn’t blink, responding with Bodamer’s 60-yard strike to Buchanan. That pair also combined to stop the next two Wolverine possessions via interception, and Camrin Stuckey’s 9-yard touchdown catch made it 41-6 at the break.

With the running-clock rule in effect for the second half, Tyce Miller took the opening kickoff down the sideline until he was finally dragged down by the jersey at the Sheffield 38. A lost fumble thwarted the drive at the Wolverines’ 1, but the defense made up for it a play later when Zach Ramadhan and Johnny Sena stuffed Smith in the end zone for a safety. The loss was one of 15 negative-yardage plays by a Sheffield offense missing several starters, including standout running back Kalil Slaughter.

From that point, the Gators worked on their ground game before sending in the second unit. Backup quarterback Garrett Drabert notched the game’s final score on a 12-yard bootleg, with a busy Kysor adding his sixth extra point in seven attempts on the day.

Port moved to 4-3 with the win, tying Coudersport for second place in the AML North a game behind Cameron County, which has won five in a row after dropping its first two games of the season. The Gators head to Emporium Friday night knowing they’re the last team standing between the Red Raiders and a fourth consecutive division title, and that any loss would deal a severe blow to their own playoff hopes.

“Like I said three weeks ago, if we lose, we’re done. We have to keep going one by one,” Mike Bodamer said. “We’ve seen Emporium play a couple times; like all the other teams, they’re big and aggressive. We’ve got (Jason) Blose to deal with, and their quarterback is definitely playing a lot better, and they’ve got (Andrew) Fragale at fullback, he’s a weapon. Our problem’s been stopping the run all year, and they’re probably going to try to power it right at us. So we’ll have to try to buckle down and see if we can stop them.”

Blose, who was moved from quarterback to tailback this season by new head coach Mark Morelli – the all-time wins leader at Ridgway before hiring on as Cameron County’s defensive coordinator last year – leads the team with 107 carries for 747 yards and six touchdowns. Fragale (62-382, six touchdowns) and quarterback Zack Austin (40-333, five touchdowns) will also see their share of carries in Morelli’s run-heavy scheme. Austin has completed 26 of 69 passes for 399 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions.

“It’s definitely a game we can win. No reason why we can’t,” Bodamer said. “I told the kids, ‘Last year they were 9-0, and conceivably, we could have beaten them twice.’ It was that close. But they’ll definitely be ready for us, and going over there is always a tough place to play – although actually, we seem to play better over there than we play at home against them for some reason.

“These kids know what has to be done: if we lose our chances are gone, if we keep winning we keep going. We’ll get a good week of practice in … and try to feed them potatoes and steak all week and put some weight on them so (Cameron County) won’t push us around,” he added with a chuckle.

“I think we can throw the ball on them, and Seth’s a decent runner. We should be able to score; it’s whether or not we can stop them that’s going to be the big thing.”

At Sheffield, 10/17:

Score by quarters:
Port A 27 14 9 0 50
Sheffield 0 6 0 0 6

First Quarter

Port A – Matt Bodamer 10 run, Ken Kysor kick, 7-0
Port A – Tyce Miller 66 pass from Bodamer, Kysor kick, 14-0
Port A – Charlie Buchanan 35 pass from Bodamer, Kysor kick, 21-0
Port A – Seth Lowery 11 run, kick failed, 27-0

Second Quarter

Sheffield – Hunter Smith 3 run, pass failed, 27-6
Port A – Buchanan 60 pass from Bodamer, Kysor kick, 34-6
Port A – Stuckey 9 pass from Bodamer, Kysor kick, 41-6

Third Quarter

PA – Safety, Smith tackled in end zone, 43-6
PA – Garrett Drabert 12 run, Kysor kick, 50-6

Team Stats: Port A Sheffield
First downs 15 12
Rushes-Yards 34-160 30-(-11)
Comp-Att-Int 7-8-0 12-23-4
Passing Yards 213 136
Total Yards 373 125
Fumbles-Lost 4-2 2-0
Punts-Avg. 1-16.0 2-25.5
Penalties-Yards 4-60 3-22
Total Plays 42 53

PAHS roundup: Oct. 13-19

Volleyball:

The Port Allegany volleyball team picked up a pair of victories last week, beating Cameron County for the second time before setting down Smethport to run its winning streak to four matches before Tuesday night’s straight-set loss to unbeaten Oswayo Valley.

Jenny Shelley led the way in the Lady Gators’ 25-18, 25-11, 16-25, 25-11 win at Emporium, filling up the stat sheet with 15 service points, 11 kills, 15 assists, and 8 digs. Kyley Mickle (3 kills, 16 assists), Renee Edgell (5 service points, 6 kills, 11 digs), Rachel Taylor (5 service points, 15 kills, 3 blocks), Becky Andrus (12 service points, 3 kills, 38 digs) and Nikki Andrus (14 service points, 2 kills, 7 digs) also contributed to the win over the Red Raiders.

On Thursday, Port High (7-4, 6-4 NTL) swept Smethport 25-22, 25-19, 25-19 to avenge an earlier loss to the Hubs. Renee Edgell’s 11 kills and 11 digs powered the Port offense, with

Shelley (12 assists, 5 kills, 16 digs), Mickle (7 assists, 4 kills, 11 digs), Andrus (34 digs), and Kris-Ann Raymo (2 kills, 12 digs) also contributing to the cause.

“This was a long-awaited performance,” coach Sharon Daniels said following the win over the Hubbers. “The team had not played consistently well since our loss to Smethport. Every player brought their ‘A’ game. Offense and defense were sound.”

Thursday’s match at Otto-Eldred will have a different look; instead of Gator orange and black or Terror blue and gold, both teams and many of the spectators will be wearing pink. Nationwide, more than 1,000 college and high school volleyball teams are scheduled to participate in Dig Pink® events this year as part of the Side-Out Foundation’s campaign of furthering breast cancer awareness, education and patient services. The O-E Music Boosters are sponsoring a Soup’s On dinner beginning at 5 p.m. in the high school cafeteria; the junior varsity match is slated for a 6 p.m. start, with the varsity to follow.

The regular season concludes next week with Tuesday’s match against visiting Coudersport – when Nikki Andrus, Renee Edgell, Kyley Mickle, and Ashley Bernardi will be honored on Senior Night – and a trip to Northern Potter on Thursday, Oct. 28.

For more information on Dig Pink®: http://www.side-out.org

Boys soccer:

As the clock ticks toward November, the Port Allegany boys soccer team is fine-tuning its game for the District 9 playoffs. With Wednesday’s trip to Brockway the only regular-season contest remaining, the Gators’ win streak stands at four games after sandwiching road wins at Archbishop Walsh and DuBois Central around Saturday morning’s Senior Day shutout over Johnsonburg.

“We’re building up the style of play that we want and doing things the way we’ve been wanting to do it all season long,” coach Aaron Clark said.

Tyler Kittilson led the scoring barrage in Olean on Thursday, netting three goals in a 7-1 win over the Eagles. Sam Shaffer celebrated his final home game by matching the feat against the Rams, with fellow senior Tyler Smith making four saves to pick up the win. Ben Edgell was back in net against DuBois, stopping four shots to record his second shutout win in the last week, while Scott Brookens scored both goals for the Gators on assists from Ben Osani, Sam Kysor, and Ken Kysor.

The DuBois victory assured Port High (8-7-2) of finishing at least .500, with playoff seeding announced next week.

Girls soccer:

This season has been a challenging one for the Port Allegany girls soccer program, with youth and inexperience contributing to several close losses as the team struggled with learning how to win.

On Friday afternoon, those learning experiences finally paid off as Fernanda Spallanzani scored the game’s only goal to boost the Lady Gators to their first victory of the season, a 1-0 final over DuBois Central Catholic.

“It was about heart. They were motivated,” coach Travis Cowburn said.

Spallanzani, an exchange student from Argentina, also netted Port’s lone goal in Saturday morning’s 6-1 loss at Genesee Valley.

“She was a blessing, to come in here and liven things up a little bit,” Cowburn said.

The physical matchup against the New York team, part of a four-games-in-five-days stretch, helped wear down the Gator squad in the season’s final two games, a 6-1 loss in Monday’s rematch at DCC and a 4-0 shutout by Elk Catholic the following night. Port finishes the season with a 1-14 record and a “wait until next year” attitude.

“I can’t repeat inexperience enough times to describe us,” Cowburn said, “and it was a constant battle to keep them motivated.”

The Gators will lose five seniors from this year’s team, including returning UAVSL All-Star Bryanna Evens, but goalkeeper Jordan Edgell leads a large group of returning starters which should be bolstered by some promising freshman talent.

“Next year is a new year,” assistant coach Tony Edgell said stoically. “We will miss the seniors from this year, but we’ll be pretty good next year.”

Cross country:

North Tier League Meet: Oswayo Valley 23, Northern Potter 40, Smethport 80, Port Allegany 100

As he has been for most of the season, Jacob Stehle was the first Gator runner to cross the finish line at Tuesday’s North Tier League meet at Oswayo Valley, finishing the 5-kilometer course in 19:57.27 to place 16th out of 40 runners. Northern Potter’s Steven Kibbe won the event with a time of 17:27.17, but OV runners Spencer Cole, Trevor Howard, and Barrett Kemp finished 2-3-4 to claim the NTL title.

Jameson Haskins (22:06.90, 26th place), Dallas Taylor (23:05.06, 29th), Jacob Undercofler (23:11.36, 31st), Logan Hutton (23:44.64, 32nd), Lucas Manning (25:13.22, 36th), and Bryan Pritt (25.17.23, 37th) also completed the varsity race for Port. The lone Gator girl, Jackie Lewis, finished 20th in 24:56.59. Adam Koehler won the junior high race in 11:06.30.

The season will conclude for most area runners at the District 9 Championships, slated for Oct. 30 in Ridgway.

Gators down Hubs to stay in AML North race

Defensive back Charlie Buchanan drags Smethport quarterback Kevin Lord down short of the goal line. The Hubs eventually scored on the drive, but Port held off a late comeback attempt to improve to 3-3 with a 20-12 win. (Photo: Pam Fischer / Reporter Argus)

Port Allegany Reporter Argus
October 14, 2010

Smethport may have dominated the 1990s in its long and storied gridiron rivalry against Port Allegany, but the tide turned soon after the calendar flipped to 2000. Last Saturday, on a gorgeous fall afternoon at Gator Field, Port continued its recent success in the series. Using a balanced offense and some sturdy defense, the Gators held on for a 20-12 victory – their ninth in a row against the Hubbers – to even their record at 3-3 and stay a game behind North leader Cameron County in the division race.

“This is the first game I’ve really been happy with the defense, for the most part,” Port coach Mike Bodamer said. “We had a couple of lapses, but we definitely seemed to hit a lot better, and our sophomores stepped up and made some nice plays.”

Senior Seth Lowery had the Hubs on the run early, rumbling down the Gator sideline for a 56-yard touchdown on the second play from scrimmage. Ken Kysor’s extra point was good, and just :54 into the game, Port had a 7-0 lead.

“I didn’t think we’d be able to run on these guys; it was kind of lucky we broke that first one,” Bodamer said. “They usually don’t let too many people run on them.”

Linebacker Trent Neal, one of the sophomores coach Bodamer was talking about, stuffed Smethport running back Ryan Wells on fourth-and-short on the Hubs’ first drive, and the Gators were right back in business at the visitors’ 33. The drive stalled inside the 10, but Kysor’s 23-yard field goal made it 10-0 midway through the first quarter.

The Hubber offense found its stride on the next possession, driving 80 yards in nine plays to Wells’ one-yard touchdown run, but the Gators broke through to block the extra point, leaving the score 10-6 as the first quarter ended.

Another short Kysor three-pointer extended the Port lead, and Matt Bodamer’s 3-yard bootleg gave Port a two-touchdown lead just before the half. The sophmore quarterback completed four of six passing attempts on the drive (and 13 of 26 overall), including a critical third-down conversion fellow soph Tyce Miller snared with his fingertips.

“He dropped that first one and I wasn’t too pleased with him, but he came back and had a couple of nice catches,” coach Bodamer said of his young wideout, who led all receivers with four catches for 69 yards.

The second half was marked by stellar defensive plays and a shower of penalty flags – there were 20 in all assesed between the two teams – which left both coaches muttering about mental mistakes.

“That’s something we’ve been working on,” Smethport coach Jesse Cheatle admitted. “Seems like the last couple of games, every time we get something good going on, we shoot ourselves in the foot. You can’t do that against Port Allegany, or Cameron, or any other team.

“Everybody’s really tough every week. Port’s well-coached and they play hard, and when you have … I don’t know how many penalties we had, but we had a lot. And when you have that, you’re not going to win.”

Over on the other sideline, Bodamer felt the same way.

“On offense, we had too many mistakes. I’m going to take credit for that,” he said. “We tried to get away from the no-huddle, and that screws us up because we’re so used to running it. We didn’t get the plays in on time. But we put enough points on the board to win.”

Those mistakes wiped out a 65-yard punt-return touchdown by Camrin Stuckey, and also affected Kysor’s deflected field goal attempt.

“We were supposed to run a fake, but once again, the communication didn’t get in there,” Bodamer confessed. “Half the guys were running the fake, and the other half were trying to kick it. That’s my fault.”

Smethport got back within one score on Kevin Lord’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Paulickwith 2:05 left on the clock, but Neal alertly fell on the ensuing onside-kick attempt to seal the Gator win.

“I was yelling to Seth just to knock it out of bounds,” Bodamer chuckled,“ but Trent came in and recovered the ball.”

But while the Port mentor was relieved to come away with the victory, he knows there are challenges ahead if the Gators want to make a return trip to the playoffs.

“We still have Cameron County and Coudy. We can’t lose or else we’re out of it. Our kids are taking it one step at a time; today was sloppy, but I’ll take a win any time and we’ll be happy with it,” he said.

The next step is a trip to Sheffield on Saturday (1:30 p.m., WHKS) to face the Wolverines, who dropped a 10-8 decision at Otto-Eldred last Friday night to fall to 1-5. Standout running back Jimmy Hahn and 1,000-yard passer Craig Fitch graduated from last year’s team, but junior Kalil Slaughter, the defending District 9 champ in the 100-meter dash, has plenty of big-play potential.

“Sheffield does a lot of crazy things and they have a good running back,” Bodamer said. “Plus, we have to travel down there, so that’s not going to be easy. Then we’ll close out with the two big ones, and see what we can do.”