Gators “Go Pink,” wash out Red Raiders

CAMERON COUNTY 6

PORT ALLEGANY 54

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
Oct. 27, 2011

As a happy hometown crowd filed out of the Gator Field stands on Saturday after watching Port Allegany dismantle Cameron County, 54-6, coach Mike Bodamer delivered a simple message to Port’s postgame huddle:

“The real season starts Monday.”

That’s when, after practicing and playing since August and watching the Allegheny Mountain League scoreboard for the last two months, the Gators (7-1) can officially set their sights on unbeaten Coudersport in next Friday night’s showdown for the AML North division title. A berth in the league championship game awaits the winner, along with a chance at a high seed in the District 9 Class A playoffs.

“Everything’s on the line,” Bodamer said. “If they want to play in the AML game, they have to beat Coudy. And with the (playoff) seeding, there’s no doubt we’re going to see Curwensville or Brockway or Elk County in the first game. So that’s not going to be an easy task, either.”

But judging by Saturday’s tuneup against overmatched Cameron County (2-6), Port is running in high gear as it heads into the winner-takes-all part of the schedule. Tyce Miller caught touchdown passes of 54 and 19 yards from Matt Bodamer, five different players scored rushing touchdowns, and the defense forced the Red Raiders to punt on each of their first six possessions, allowing just 18 total yards and two first downs before halftime as the Gators cruised to their third running-clock victory in the last four weeks.

“Port’s got so many weapons, and everything’s in sync,” Cameron County head coach Mark Morelli said. “Matt’s just a good quarterback; he deserves all the records and the accolades he’s getting.

“And that one play down here I think Tyce Miller caught, two of our guys were right on him. All they had to do was jump up and knock the ball away, and Tyce outjumped them and caught the ball. That’s the difference in the teams this year – we just don’t have the athleticism we’ve had in the past. You add all those things up, and that’s why Port’s having the year they’re having.”

The younger Bodamer finished the game 20-for-30 for 273 yards – a game-high 135 of those on eight catches by Miller – but on the Gators’ opening possession, it was Trent Neal and the offensive line taking center stage. Neal carried the ball three times for 34 of his team-leading 77 yards on the drive, capping it off with an 8-yard burst into the end zone.

“We actually redesigned our run game after last week, realizing we needed to do a little bit better there,” Mike Bodamer said. “We don’t have the fastest backs, we’ve got to try to get them through as quick as we can, so we went to a wishbone look. Trent really ran the ball hard in the first half, and Trey picked it up in the second half and kind of took over then. It was good to see.”

For Trey Miller, who finished the game with 40 rushing yards and a touchdown and added another 26 on a pass reception, Saturday’s “Gators Go Pink” theme to raise funds for cancer awareness and research had added meaning. The junior running back was diagnosed with leukemia at age 3 and underwent a lengthy period of grueling treatments before beating the disease into submission.

“Trey ran really well for us and had some big hits on defense. He’s just a good kid,” said Bodamer, who declared Miller an honorary captain for the day. “It was bad for him to suffer through what he did, but he seems to be past it, and he definitely works hard for us. It was nice to give him a little recognition before the game.”

The next two Gator scores were airmailed from Matt Bodamer to Tyce Miller, the first on a deep route, the second on a nifty catch-and-run which started near the Port sideline, cut across the field and picked up a block from fellow wideout Trevor Neal on the way to paydirt.

That play was set up by a clutch third-and-21 conversion on a crossing route to Charlie Buchanan, one of several times the Gator senior took a big shot from a Red Raider defender but held onto the ball.

“I was surprised Charlie got up from a couple of those. He really got lit up,” coach Bodamer said. “But he and Tyce do a great job. They keep coming back. He’s a tough kid. He reminds me of those slot receivers the Patriots have – they just keep coming at you and coming at you. He made some nice catches today.”

Johnny Sena tacked on a short touchdown run to give Port a 27-0 halftime lead, and Trey Miller and Matt Bodamer found the end zone in the third quarter to invoke the PIAA “mercy rule” before Cameron County finally managed to break the shutout on a 37-yard throw from Tucker Britton to Devon Mason.

The fourth quarter belonged to the Gators’ Garrett Drabert. The senior running back, making his last regular-season appearance on his home field, broke free for a 24-yard touchdown run before completing the scoring by scooping up a punt blocked by Coty Causer and rambling 20 yards into the end zone.

So now it’s on to face Coudersport (CARP Field, 7 p.m. Friday), which actually trailed Otto-Eldred 20-7 last week before roaring back for a 35-26 victory to move to 8-0. The Terrors’ 26 points doubled the previous high allowed by the stingy Coudy defense this season.

“That doesn’t mean anything,” said coach Bodamer, chalking up the scare as merely an off week for the Falcons. “They’ll definitely be ready for Friday night. We’ll have to match what they have. I think (longtime head coach Paul) Simcoe pretty much runs that defense, and that’s a real advantage for them.”

One edge the Gators might have is in big-game experience, following their surprise run to the District 9 championship game last season.

“I said last year, those kids basically learned how to start winning,” Bodamer said. “The couple years before that, we’d get into some good games but end up losing them. Last year, they found a way to win two or three of those. I think they’re focused. They definitely want to get to next Friday and see what happens.”
At Port Allegany, Oct. 22:

Score by quarters:
Cameron County 0 0 0 6 6
Port Allegany 14 13 13 14 54

First Quarter
Port Allegany – Trent Neal 8 run (10 plays, 65 yards, 2:49), kick failed, 6-0
Port Allegany – Tyce Miller 54 pass from Matt Bodamer (1 play, 54 yards, 0:08), Trevor Neal pass from Bodamer, 14-0

Second Quarter
Port Allegany – Ty. Miller 19 pass from Bodamer (6 plays, 68 yards, 2:28), run failed, 20-0
Port Allegany – Johnny Sena 2 run (15 plays, 85 yards, 5:26), Scott Brookens kick, 27-0

Third Quarter
Port Allegany – Trey Miller 11 run (6 plays, 57 yards, 2:12), pass failed, 33-0
Port Allegany – Bodamer 1 run (9 plays, 66 yards, 2:57), Brookens kick, 40-0

Fourth Quarter
Cameron County – Devon Mason 37 pass from Tucker Britton (6 plays, 67 yards, 3:25), pass failed, 40-6
Port Allegany – Garrett Drabert 24 run (5 plays, 54 yards, 2:50), Brookens kick, 47-6
Port Allegany – Drabert 20 blocked punt return, Brookens kick, 54-6

Team Statistics: CCHS Port A
First downs 6 27
Rushes-Yards 23-49 38-195
Comp-Att-Int 7-25-0 21-31-0
Passing Yards 70 279
Total Yards 119 474
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-2
Punts-Avg. 9-26.0 0
Penalties-Yards 9-55 3-25
Total Plays 48 69
Time of poss. 23:41 24:19

Individual statistics:
Rushing: Cameron County – Matt Fragale 1-32, Nick Stuckey 3-24, Zach Cokely 2-11, Tony Olivett 3-4, Zach Austin 8-1, Eric Spehalski 1-(-4), Tucker Britton 5-(-19). Port Allegany – Trent Neal 12-77, TD; Matt Bodamer 10-50, TD; Garrett Drabert 2-47, TD; Trey Miller 10-40, TD; Johnny Sena 2-4, TD; Cory Burr 1-(-6); team 1-(-17).

Passing: Cameron County – Britton 6-20-0, 63 yards, TD; Spehalski 1-5-0, 7 yards. Port A– Bodamer 20-30-0, 273 yards, 2 TD; Burr 1-1, 6 yards.

Receiving: Cameron County – Devon Mason 1-37, TD; Austin 3-10; Cody Beer 1-10; Taylor Saline 1-7; Dylan Armstrong 1-6. Port A – Tyce Miller 8-135, 2 TD; Charlie Buchanan 7-61; Rickie Bova 1-40; Trey Miller 1-26; Trevor Neal 2-10; Rudy Collver 1-6; Trent Neal 1-0.

(Helmets courtesy of PAHelmetProject.com)

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