KANE WOLVES (1-1)
PORT ALLEGANY GATORS (2-0)
Sept. 13, 2012
It was business as usual for the Port Allegany High School football team in last Saturday’s home opener: Another week, another impressive showing against an Allegheny Mountain League foe, as the Gators built a four-touchdown halftime lead on the way to a 46-13 victory over the Kane Wolves.
But while the offense continues to garner most of the attention – averaging 500 yards and 50 points per game will do that – the defense is beginning to build a reputation of its own.
And as the Wolves found out on Saturday afternoon, the combination can be lethal.
“Obviously, Port’s a great football team on both sides of the ball. We knew that coming in, and they definitely came out and performed from the start,” first-year Kane coach Todd Silfies said. “They were physical up front, and they were physical in the secondary. They’ve got great athletes over there, and they make plays.”
The first half followed the same script as the Week 1 win over Johnsonburg, with Port Allegany (2-0) scoring at will while the defense barricaded the midfield stripe. Already leading 6-0 on a pretty 13-yard fade from Matt Bodamer to Nick Conway, the Gators marched 83 yards to paydirt on their next drive. After a 50-yard catch-and-run by Conway helped set up first-and-goal at the 1, Tyce Miller posted up his defender and stretched out to snare Bodamer’s fastball for the touchdown.
That’s when it went from bad to worse for the Wolves (1-1), as Brandon Raymo broke through to smother Sean Rolick’s punt – the second week in a row with a block for Port – to set up the offense at the Kane 27. Three plays later Bodamer and Miller connected for their second score, this one on a crossing route from 13 yards out, and the Gators were rolling. They added one more midway through the second quarter when the Kane defense bit on Bodamer’s third-and-goal fake to Trent Neal, leaving the quarterback a clear path to the pylon, and headed into the locker room with a 26-0 lead.
Port returned to the running game to start the second half, with Bodamer picking up some good blocks downfield on a 23-yard scoring scamper. The Wolves finally got their offense in gear at that point, ending Port’s six-quarter shutout streak when running back Jonah Smith dove in from two yards out to cap off a 75-yard drive, and seemed to have some momentum after forcing a turnover on the next possession. But the Gator defense stiffened just inside its own 20, sacking quarterback Sean Jordan twice in three plays to knock Kane out of field goal range, and Trent Neal’s 10-yard touchdown run gave Port a comfortable 39-6 margin at the end of the third quarter.
Each team would add one more scoring drive in the final frame, with Jordan tossing a 7-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Ennis for the Wolves and Port backup Jordan Seefeldt countering with a 5-yarder to running back Mac Tanner.
“That’s an extremely good football team,” Gator head coach Mike Bodamer said. “I think we handled them very easily in the first half; in the second half we got sloppy. I tried to get the kids motivated, and it’s like, ‘We just want to get this over with.’
“I tried to go strict man, and they’ve got some athletes and that kid threw the ball pretty well. So we definitely have to shore up our defensive coverages and whatnot. I thought our line played decent; we got some pressure when we needed to.”
Matt Bodamer completed his first eight passes and 10 of his first 11, finishing the game 19-for-26 for 227 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Conway hauled in nine of those passes for 133 yards and Tyce Miller chipped in eight catches for another 74. The Gator rushing attack was equally effective, with Bodamer (18 carries-121 yards) and Neal (16-108) each eclipsing the century mark on a long touchdown run.
“I thought Trent had a heck of a game,” Mike Bodamer said. “When we need to run the ball, we can.”
So far, Port’s opponents can’t say the same. Including sacks, the Gator defense has allowed a grand total of 6 rushing yards on 42 carries – an 0.14-yard average – in the first two games. Those numbers might be challenged on Friday night, though, when Port travels to Ridgway to face an Elkers Wing-T offense that piled up more than 300 rushing yards against Otto-Eldred in a 42-31 Week 1 victory. Sophomore quarterback Ben MacDonald calls the signals, with backs Zac McKnight (143 yards) and Sam Delhunty (three touchdowns) doing most of the damage on the ground. However, the defense gave up over 30 points to both O-E and Coudy (36-13 loss last week), with the Terrors passing for almost 300 yards and the Falcons’ ground game surpassing that.
“They’ve got three or four good solid backs, though they’re not nearly as big as they used to be. But they’ve got a lot of action in the backfield with counters and stuff we’ll have to work on, and (MacDonald) can throw the ball – he completed a few over Coudy. So we’ll have to try to figure out their formations and how they run their wing stuff, but we should be able to score,” Mike Bodamer said.
NOTES: Port’s team captains for the game were Ricky Bova, Matt Bodamer, Trent Neal, and Nick Budd, while Kane sent out Sean Rolick, Sean Jordan, Jonah Smith, and Loren Kumher … Bodamer is now tied with Evan Kraky (Lakeland, 1998-2001) for fifth place in PIAA career touchdown passes with 93, two behind Derek Buganza’s District 9 record and 25 from Kyle Smith’s statewide mark, and eighth on the yardage leaderboard with 7,565 … Port won despite losing the turnover battle 2-0. Linebacker Jeff Kocjancic snared a tipped Bodamer pass in his own end zone just before halftime to thwart the Gator two-minute drill, and linebacker John English recovered a fumble near midfield halfway through the third quarter … Kane quarterbacks faced heavy pressure all afternoon as seven different Port defenders notched at least one sack, led by Budd and Brandon Raymo with 1.5 apiece. Neal, Johnny Sena, Rex Windsor, Christian Moses, and Zak Tarr also recorded takedowns as the Gators finished the game with eight sacks for 48 yards in losses, while Kumher and Nate Moore each got to Bodamer once for the Wolves … Alex Gular led the Gator defense with seven tackles, with Budd adding six and Sena five … Scott Brookens made both of his extra-point attempts in the ongoing kicking competition.
LOOKING AHEAD: Port is 6-4 in its last 10 games against Ridgway and has won five of the last six, including a 46-35 scorcher in last year’s season opener in Port. Charlie Buchanan caught four of Bodamer’s five touchdown tosses and Trey Miller returned an interception 82 yards for a score as the Gators built a 40-14 lead before the Elkers connected on three fourth-quarter touchdown passes … George Riley (play-by-play) and Nick LaBella (color analyst) are scheduled to be on the air for the WHKS-FM broadcast. The game will be available online at Red Zone Media, where the Gators’ games against Johnsonburg and Kane are also archived.
At Port Allegany, Sept. 8:
|Score by quarters:|
|Port Allegany Gators||20||6||13||7||–||46|
PA – Conway 18 pass from Bodamer (4 plays, 48 yards, 1:12), pass failed, 9:04
PA – Ty. Miller 1 pass from Bodamer (6 plays, 83 yards, 1:42), Bodamer run, 5:55
PA – Ty. Miller 13 pass from Bodamer (3 plays, 27 yards after punt block, 1:42), kick failed, 1:46
PA – Bodamer 4 run (13 plays, 65 yards, 4:21), kick failed, 6:33
PA – Bodamer 23 run (4 plays, 69 yards, 1:11), pass failed, 10:49
K – Smith 2 run (6 plays, 75 yards, 2:17), pass failed, 8:32
PA – Neal 10 run (9 plays, 72 yards, 3:28), Brookens kick, 0:45
K – Ennis 7 pass from Jordan (13 plays, 58 yards, 4:04), Rolick kick, 8:41
PA – Tanner 5 pass from Seefeldt (8 plays, 52 yards, 2:11), Brookens kick, 1:03
|Time of Possession||25:08||22:52|
Rushing: Kane – Smith 14-38, English 1-2, Lingenfelter 1-0, Cleer 1-(-5), Jordan 7-(-47). Port Allegany – Bodamer 18-121, Neal 16-108, Tanner 2-3.
Passing: Kane – Jordan 17-34-0-213. Port Allegany – Bodamer 19-26-1-227, Seefeldt 4-6-0-54.
Receiving: Kane – Rolick 6-99, Kocjancic 5-67, Smith 3-24, Ennis 3-23. Port Allegany – Conway 9-133, Ty. Miller 8-74, Veilleux 1-37, Bova 1-12, Gaines 1-12, Tr. Miller 1-8, Tanner 2-5.
(Helmets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Helmet Project.)