AML Week 9: Brockway at Port Allegany, Round 1

BROCKWAY ROVERS (8-0)

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS (8-0)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2012
PORT ALLEGANY, PENNSYLVANIA
1:30 PM EDT
WHKS 94.9 FM – Red Zone Media

HISTORY

SERIES HISTORY: Gators lead, 5-4.

LAST MEETING: November 19, 2011 – Gators 49, Rovers 21

Nov. 23, 2011:

Last year, Port Allegany was a late entrant into the District 9 Class A football playoffs, parlaying a Week 9 win over Coudersport into a pair of upsets before falling to Curwensville in the title game.

That was last year. The Gators entered the 2011 season with a talented roster and the lessons learned from their unexpected postseason push, making them one of the favorites to claim this year’s D-9 crown.

On Saturday afternoon in Bradford, Port High took the penultimate step toward that goal, shrugging off an early Brockway touchdown to score the next 42 points in an emphatic 49-21 semifinal victory over the defending Class AA district champs. The Gators’ third win in as many tries over the Rovers sets up a meeting with the Clarion Bobcats (8-4), who defeated Coudy (9-2) in the second half of the doubleheader, next Saturday at Frank Varischetti Field in Brockway (1 p.m., WHKS-FM 94.9).

LAST TIME IN PORT ALLEGANY: September 11, 2010 – Rovers 49, Gators 34

Sept. 16, 2010:

Heading into last Saturday’s game at Gator Field, most observers expected a high-scoring shootout between two of the Allegheny Mountain League’s best passers, Brockway’s record-setting senior Derek Buganza and Port Allegany’s Matt Bodamer.

Both quarterbacks did their part, throwing for more than 200 yards. But in something of a surprise, it was the Brockway running game – 56 carries for 383 yards and six touchdowns – that proved to be the difference in the Rovers’ 49-34 win.

Even Brockway coach Frank Varischetti was taken aback by the Rovers’ success on the ground.

“Last time we rushed for 300 yards? Oh, man, I don’t know,” he said with a smile. “When I played in 2001 we were a double-wing team, and we had many days when we rushed for 300 yards. But it hasn’t happened in at least five or six years, I’d say.

“We really didn’t expect it. Port had a great gameplan defensively and took away a lot of our favorite things to do offensively. We had to run the ball to be successful, so that’s what we decided to do.”

(Helmets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Helmet Project.)

Update: Gator spikers sweep Coudy to repeat as NTL champs

Making a clean sweep of the North Tier League volleyball schedule for the second year in a row, Port Allegany (17-1, 14-0) dropped Coudersport (13-3, 12-2) in straight sets (25-22, 25-22, 25-18) to repeat as league champions.

Both teams will host NTL foes in the opening round of the District 9 Class A playoffs next Tuesday night, with the third-seeded Gators facing No. 14 Otto-Eldred while No.12 Smethport visits No. 5 Coudy.

2012 District 9 Class A Volleyball Playoff Bracket

AML Week 8: Gators blank Red Raiders to set up showdown against Brockway

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS (8-0)

41

CAMERON COUNTY RED RAIDERS (1-7)

0

Lori Chase
Oct. 25, 2012

Just how good is the Port Allegany football team?

Good enough that even on a night when the Gators’ high-flying passing attack seemed to be out of sync, the running game and stout defense provided more than enough power to pound out a workmanlike 41-0 victory over Cameron County last Friday in Emporium.

Trent Neal (11 carries-66 yards) and Matt Bodamer (10-61) each scored two rushing touchdowns in the first half, with Bodamer adding a touchdown pass for the 23rd game in a row with an 18-yard strike to Nick Conway, and the defense kept the Red Raiders bottled up on their own side of midfield on all but one first-quarter possession as the Gators improved to 8-0 on the season, setting up a showdown of unbeaten teams when Brockway visits this Saturday afternoon.

“They were physically beating us in the first quarter, but after we got over that they started playing their game,” Port coach Mike Bodamer said. “They ran a trip-set and pitched outside, and that caught us, but after about three or four of those the kids adjusted to it. Once they got used to it, they were fine. Defensively, after the first quarter I was happy with the way they played. (Cameron County) didn’t move the ball very much.

“Offensively, we were a little rattled. This is the first time this season Matt’s had a little bit of happy feet – I think he hurt his arm the one time he got sacked, which kind of threw his passing off. Definitely not his best game, but we’ve got other people to fill in. He ran the ball well and Trent ran well, and Shaffer used his speed on that one up the middle. We have other weapons we can go to.”

The Raiders’ gameplan was evident from the first play from scrimmage, when quarterback Tucker Britton walked up to the line and watched the playclock run down into single digits before readying for the snap: Play keepaway, try to disrupt Port’s passing game, and keep the game close for as long as possible.

“Maybe because I’ve been around for a long time, I don’t know, but that’s just smart football,” CCHS coach Mark Morelli said. “And it’s the only way we thought we could possibly even try to stay in the game with them. Matt’s had a heck of a career, with all the records he’s setting. I thought our kids played with a lot of heart and a lot of pride tonight. Good effort on our part, and I thought at times, defensively, we made them earn their points.”

The trouble for the Gators’ opponents this season is, three-and-out drives don’t run much time off the clock, and those points still add up in a hurry. After eight games, Sheffield’s 65-yard bomb remains the only touchdown against the defense in the first half, while Port has lit up the scoreboard for an average of 38.8 points before the break and 53.1 overall.

This week’s foe, Brockway, may change that. While Port has the top offense in Class A according to statistics provided to MaxPreps.com, the Rovers aren’t too far behind, totaling 368 points for a 46.0 average. Quarterback Alec Shaffer-Doan has thrown for 1,542 yards and 17 touchdowns and Chad Melillo paces the ground game with 900 yards and 16 rushing scores for the 8-0 South Division champs, who will make the same trip north next weekend for the AML title game.

“They’re going to come in there flying high, so we’re definitely going to have to be ready for them,” Bodamer said. “We’re going to have to bring a lot of intensity. I’ve been watching tape the last two weeks, and they’re the real deal. Everyone’s been crowning us for some reason, but Brockway is a real team. Still got Clarion, they’re extremely good, and Curwensville and Elk County – anybody can win this thing – but I think Brockway is firing on all cylinders. Their line is just gigantic. With our size, they’re definitely going to cause us some problems. We’re going to have to figure out a couple different things to deal with that.

“If we let them sustain a drive and milk the clock and run it down, we’re going to be in trouble. If we can force them to punt four or five times I think we’ll be okay. We’re not going to keep them from scoring – there’s no way, they’re just too good – but if we can force them to punt maybe four times, I think we’ll have a decent shot.”

One unbiased observer isn’t about to choose.

“We’ve seen them and we’ve seen Brockway, and I’m thankful I’m not in the prognostication business,” said Morelli, whose team fell to the Rovers 42-8 in the season opener. “They’re both strong on offense, they’ve both got good quarterbacks, both offenses are hard to gameplan for. So it should be an interesting two weeks.”

NOTES: Conway notched both Gator takeaways, picking off a pass and recovering a fumble on back-to-back Cameron County possessions … Dylan Armstrong’s interception was the lone Port turnover.

NUMBERS: The official statistics provided to MaxPreps list Bodamer as finishing the game 16-for-27 for 252 yards, moving past Brendan Nosovitch (Allentown Central Catholic) for second place on the PIAA career leaderboard with a 31-yard completion to Conway on the first play of Port’s second drive of the night. He now has 9,440 yards, 312 shy of the record Derek Buganza set at Brockway in 2010 … With 9 catches for 127 yards, Tyce Miller extended his D-9 yardage record (2,589) and now has 150 career receptions, 11 away from tying Mike Vervoort for the district mark.

LOOKING AHEAD: After beating Brockway three times last year, Port holds a 5-4 edge in the series which began when the Rovers joined the AML in 1999. The broadcast will be available on WHKS-FM 94.9 and online at redzonemedia.com, with scoring updates also available on Twitter by following @LChase_RA.

At Emporium, Oct. 19:

Score by quarters:
Port Allegany Gators 7 21 13 0 41
Cameron County Red Raiders 0 0 0 0 0

First Quarter
PA – Bodamer 15 run (7 plays, 57 yards, 1:46), Brookens kick, 7:29

Second Quarter
PA – Neal 3 run (6 plays, 30 yards, 2:09), Brookens kick, 9:31
PA – Bodamer 1 run (7 plays, 62 yards, 1:50), Brookens kick, 6:03
PA – Neal 16 run (5 plays, 50 yards, 0:44), Brookens kick, 2:25

Third Quarter
PA – Conway 18 pass from Bodamer (9 plays, 78 yards, 2:45), kick failed, 6:04
PA – Shaffer 28 run (5 plays, 71 yards, 1:29), Brookens kick, 0:00

Team Statistics: PA CC
First downs 22 5
Total Yards 407 87
Rushes-Yards 28-166 31-73
Passing Yards 241 14
Comp-Att-Int 19-32-1 4-13-1
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-1
Punts-Avg. 1-39.0 7-30.9
Penalties-Yards 5-55 6-37
Total Plays 60 44
Time of Possession 20:34 27:26

Rushing: Port Allegany – Neal 11-66, Bodamer 10-61, Shaffer 3-33, Seefeldt 2-7, Tanner 1-0, Gaines 1-(-1). Cameron County – Johnson 8-34, Britton 4-28, Olivett 9-5, Cokely 1-4, Horning 7-1, Garrigan 1-8, Lathrop 1-0.

Passing: Port Allegany – Bodamer 16-29-1-240, Seefeldt 3-3-0-1. Cameron County – Britton 4-13-1-14.

Receiving: Port Allegany – Ty. Miller 9-122, Conway 5-90, Tr. Miller 2-28, Tanner 1-1, Gaines 2-0. Cameron County – Armstrong 3-12, Lathrop 1-4, Johnson 0-(-2).

District 9 soccer playoff quarterfinal: Port outlasts DCC in shootout

As mist rose from the surrounding hillsides, Port Allegany goalkeeper Ben Edgell stood on his goal line in the gathering gloom, waiting for one final DuBois Catholic shooter to approach the soccer ball sitting just 12 yards away from the net.

After 80 minutes of regulation and another 30 of scoreless overtime – much of it played during a downpour that turned portions of Port’s field into a slick, treacherous expanse – Tuesday afternoon’s District 9 Class A quarterfinal was deadlocked 2-2, sending the match to penalty kicks. Moments earlier, after saving one DCC shot and watching the second sail high while his fellow team captains Sam Kysor and Scott Brookens converted their opportunities, Edgell had drilled his own attempt off his counterpart’s hands and in to give the Gators an almost insurmountable 3-0 lead. If the Cardinals didn’t score here, Port would win.

Edgell leaped at contact, then watched the ball fly over his outstretched hand, skim the crossbar … and go over, dropping harmlessly to the ground behind the net. And as his teammates raced toward him to celebrate the Gators’ first playoff victory since 2008, he sank to his knees in the wet grass.

“I guessed wrong, but it still went over,” he said. “And when I saw it go over, it was just relief, and then the realization that we had won our first district game. I can’t really describe it more than that. It was the best moment ever. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.”

Knowing that his third-seeded Gators came one unfortunate bounce away from ending their season while No. 6 DCC moved on, Port coach Aaron Clark echoed his keeper’s relief afterward.

“There were periods of that game that were awful. We just did not do well,” he said. “During the first half, defensively, we were atrocious. Even through periods of overtime and the second half, we were lucky they didn’t put more goals in. Ben made some nice saves.

“Some of our defensive weaknesses showed, but we were kind of able to overcome it. Their team came to play – I don’t know what lit a fire under their butt after the first game (a 9-3 Port win in last week’s regular-season finale at DuBois), but they had a tremendous game.”

DCC jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a goal by Tom Boyer and dominated possession for a good part of the first half, ringing two more shots off the left post before Tyler Kittilson lasered a direct kick into the top corner of the net from 25 yards out to level the score just 1:19 before halftime.

Kittilson struck again at 36:23 on a cross from Brookens, who sped past the Cardinals’ defense to nab a misplayed ball to the right of DuBois keeper Zach Marshall, to give the Gators a 2-1 lead. But with just 5:57 remaining, Boyer netted his second score to send the match to overtime, with both teams barely missing chances to end the game with a “golden goal” in overtime.

Marshall finished with eight saves while Edgell recorded 21, perhaps none bigger than the first DCC penalty kick in the shootout.

“That’s a big goal to protect, so you pretty much try to memorize how they were playing before and then guess a side, and you stick to that side and you go. And I just guessed right today,” he said. “It was really great saving that first one, but I knew personally if I got excited I’d get out of it. So I had to just blow that off and reset. But looking back at that, that was the best save I think I’ve ever made. It just felt really, really great.”

As did his coach.

“I started feeling a little better at that point,” Clark said. “A one-goal lead in a penalty shootout is huge. It’s hard to overcome that one-goal lead so long as you have your scorers put the ball in the side of the net. This is something that’s really built for the shooters, and building that one-goal lead right at the beginning of the shootout … They put themselves in a hole, and you could see their kickers were pressing. They were trying to kill the ball, get all three goals on one shot.”

So while the Cardinals end their season at 10-8-1, the 16-3 Gators wait to find out who they’ll play in next week’s D-9 semifinals. And after achieving both of Clark’s preseason goals (winning the division title and a playoff game), it’s time to set a new one:

“Go to the district finals. That would be a really nice outcome to the season,” he said. “Win or lose, going to the district finals would be a great end to the season. Chances are we’re going to play a really good team next whether it be Karns City or Coudersport, but it’s nice to be able to get to the point in playoffs where we’re going to go to a neutral site. We’ve never played in the playoffs on a neutral field, so it would be another new experience, something we haven’t done.”

District IX Class A bracket, updated through Oct. 25

Volleyball: Port claims ECC tourney, still perfect in NTL

The Port Allegany volleyball team is one match away from repeating last year’s unbeaten run through the North Tier League, with only Thursday night’s opponent, second-place Coudersport, still in position to stop them.

The Gators (16-1, 13-0) headed south to St. Marys on Saturday, claiming the 12-team Elk County Catholic Tournament title with a win over the host Crusaders in the finals. Port began the day a perfect 10-0 in pool play, defeating Cameron County (25-10, 25-20), Redbank Valley (25-18, 25-20), St. Marys (25-16, 25-15), Smethport (25-19, 25-18), and Johnsonburg (25-15, 25-13) to earn a bye into the semifinals, where they downed Coudy (25-20, 25-17).

“This set up the second tournament playoff meeting between Port and ECC,” coach Sharon Daniels wrote in a recap to the Reporter Argus, noting their previous matchup at the Sheffield tourney, which the Gators also won. “Again our match went three games. It was a battle right down to the last kill with Port squeaking out a 30-32, 25-20, 15-13 win. The first game was about as intense as it can get. This was a game that neither team wanted to lose and was evident with the continued aggressive hitting and tight defense played by both. Passes off service receive and defense were much more controlled today. Our offense was varied and forced ECC to move. Hitters adjusted very well to where we needed to put the ball. To (ECC’s) credit they blocked well, covered the block, were quick on defense and pounded the ball at us; to our defense’s credit, our block became a factor and our passers made the adjustments necessary to win. We covered their block well also and net play was a huge factor in the speed of the match. Every player was assigned a role and each rose to the occasion. Without the contribution of every athlete we would not have won today.”

Daniels noted the play of Jenny Shelley (51 assists, 7 kills in the playoff rounds), Rachel Taylor (29 kills, 7 blocks), Becca Lathrop (17 kills), Ashley Woodruff (9 kills), Brooke Roys (8 kills, 8 blocks), and Jena Young (6 kills), adding, “Amber Naylor and Hannah Ernst gave us an entire day of excellent passes. Bethy Bernardi and Taylor Causer provided a change-up in our service line and both played an effective back row as well.”

On Tuesday night, Port stayed perfect in the NTL with a 25-13, 25-22, 25-10 win at Oswayo Valley, setting up Thursday night’s showdown with the Falcons (13-2, 12-1) in the Gator gym. If Coudy wins, the two squads will square off in a tiebreaker to determine the league champ before both teams enter the District 9 playoffs.

Weekend update: Football, volleyball win; boys soccer playoff game on Tuesday

Football: Port Allegany 41, Cameron County 0

With the Red Raiders focusing on stopping Port’s high-flying passing attack, the Gators turned to their ground game, rushing for four first-half touchdowns on the way to a 41-0 win at Emporium on Friday night. Trent Neal led Port High with 66 yards and two scores on 11 carries, while Matt Bodamer completed 16 of 29 passes for 240 yards, one touchdown and one interception and added a pair of rushing touchdowns.

The victory sets up a Week 9 battle of 8-0 unbeatens as Brockway, which defeated Johnsonburg 59-33 to clinch the Allegheny Mountain League South Division, makes the trip north to Gator Field. The Rovers will make the same drive a week later for the AML Championship game, with the No. 1 overall seed in the District 9 Class A playoffs at stake.

Boys soccer: Gators draw No. 3 seed in Class A, host DCC on Tuesday

District IX Boys Class A Soccer Playoffs

Volleyball: Port outlasts Elk County Catholic in finals to claim ECC Tourney

Surviving a marathon first set, the Gators defeated the host Crusaders 30-32, 25-20, 15-13 in the championship match of the ECC Tournament on Saturday in St. Marys. Now 15-1 (12-0 NTL), Port concludes the regular season this week with a visit to Oswayo Valley on Tuesday and a rematch with second-place Coudersport on Thursday.

AML Week 8: Port A at Cameron County pregame

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS (7-0)

CAMERON COUNTY RED RAIDERS (1-6)

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2012
EMPORIUM, PENNSYLVANIA
7:00 PM EDT

WHKS 94.9 FM – Red Zone Media

HISTORY

LAST 10 GAMES: Cameron County leads, 6-4. Port’s win last season snapped a six-game CCHS streak in the series.

LAST MEETING: October 22, 2011 – Gators 54, Red Raiders 6

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.

LAST TIME AT CAMERON COUNTY: October 22, 2010 – Red Raiders 27, Gators 21 (OT)

Three times in the last two seasons, Port Allegany and Cameron County have met on the football field with either a division title or a playoff berth at stake. Three times, the Red Raiders needed a fourth-quarter touchdown to eke out a close win.

On a cold, clear Friday night in Emporium, four quarters wasn’t long enough to decide the game, but the ending was all too heartbreakingly familiar. Following a fourth-and-goal fumble to stop the Gators’ first possession in overtime, Jason Blose scored the game-winning touchdown – his third of the night – to give Cameron County a 27-21 victory and its fourth consecutive AML North championship.

“We had him stopped at the 10-yard line, but we didn’t make the wrap, didn’t make the tackle when we had to. At least two or three kids bounced off him, and that was that,” Port coach Mike Bodamer said quietly as the stands emptied.

(Helmets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Helmet Project.)

AML Week 7: Bodamer, Miller rewrite record books as Gators drill Wolverines

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS (7-0)

69

SHEFFIELD WOLVERINES (2-5)

30

Lori Chase
Oct. 18, 2012

Port Allegany’s 69-30 Allegheny Mountain League football victory over Sheffield last Saturday afternoon was filled with highlight-reel footage, from long touchdown passes to even longer interception returns, but the most memorable play of all was a simple 10-yard toss from Matt Bodamer to Tyce Miller six seconds into the second quarter.

Simple, because the two All-State players have put in hundreds of hours of practice to make it look easy. Memorable, because both the PIAA touchdown-pass and District 9 touchdown-reception career records fell as Miller hauled in Bodamer’s throw along the right sideline, ducked a defender, and sidestepped past the pylon into the end zone.

“We got that fumble (recovery by Nick Budd at the Sheffield 10), Matt looked at me and said, ‘I’m throwing it to Tyce.’ I’m like, ‘Okay.’ I think they had that planned,” Port coach and proud father Mike Bodamer said.

Good call.

“Yeah, we had a conversation about that,” Matt said, smiling. “It was pretty cool.”

With his 119th touchdown pass – and third of the game – the Gator quarterback broke the state record he’d briefly shared with Lancaster Catholic’s Kyle Smith, while Miller’s 31st scoring catch claimed sole possession of the D-9 mark from Clarion-Limestone’s Brad Beggs.

“The kid busts his rear,” Mike Bodamer said. “From April to July, he went to 11 different camps this past summer. Can’t ask for a kid to try harder. And all through his career – his ninth grade year it was his brother and Lucas Kline and then Camrin Stuckey, and then last year Charlie (Buchanan) and Trevor (Neal). Now he has Tyce and Nick (Conway) and Ricky (Bova) and all those guys, so it’s definitely a team effort. And the big boys up front – Nick Budd’s been with him all four years. They work together as a team.”

The milestone moment opened the floodgates, as Port rebounded from an early Sheffield pick-six – the first points they’d allowed in the first half all season – to explode for six second-quarter touchdowns and a 62-14 halftime lead to put the game out of reach.

Shrugging off a slow start on their opening drive, the Gators cashed in on Bodamer’s 1-yard sneak to take the early lead. A quick three-and-out and a short Wolverine punt put the ball at midfield, setting up a 25-yard Bodamer-to-Miller connection for the first of their three scores on the day.

Then, with Port driving deep into Sheffield territory yet again, a rare mistake by the reigning Big 30 Player of the Year: About to be sacked, Bodamer tried to loft a screen pass over the rush. Instead, he found Wolverine defensive end Tony Burt with nothing between him and the Gator goal line 75 yards away.

“Not a smart play on his part, but only his second interception through Week 7. We’ll take that,” coach Bodamer said.

Undeterred, the Port offense went back to work, with Conway, Trent Neal, Bova, and Trey Miller all pulling down passes and Neal adding a 14-yard run before Bodamer found Bova alone in the corner of the end zone to regain a two-touchdown lead.

Budd came out of a pileup at the Sheffield 10 with the football just two plays later, setting the stage for the record-breaking score, and the Gators were rolling.

Already trailing 26-7, Sheffield finally managed its initial first down of the game early in the second frame, but couldn’t keep the drive alive as linebacker Alex Gular raced deep downfield to break up a third-and-long pass. The Gators turned to the ground game on their next two possessions, pounding out a nine-play, 78-yard drive capped off by Neal’s 8-yard rumble, then calling on the “jumbo” package to punch in another score by tackle-turned-fullback Budd.

The Wolverines weren’t done yet, though, as starting quarterback Shequan Wright found Brendan Winslow open behind the defense for a 65-yard bomb to draw within 41-14 with 3:31 left in the half.

“They sent four deep, and they just caught us in a bad coverage,” coach Bodamer said, blaming himself for the score.

It didn’t take long for the Gators to answer. Dropping back on first down, Matt Bodamer lofted a pass deep down the Sheffield sideline to his left, where Tyce Miller outleaped one Wolverine defender, spun away from a second would-be tackler, and raced in for a matching 65-yard score.

“I kind of just put my hands up and it landed in my hands, stepped over each of them and started running. It was pretty funny,” Miller said.

Bodamer had a few different words to describe it.

“That was absolutely amazing,” he said. “I underthrew him and I was kind of down, and then he went up and got it. He’s ridiculous, as good as he is. I’ve never seen hands like he has.”

And as Sheffield found out to their dismay, the Gator quarterback knows a little about catching footballs as well as tossing them. Playing deep at safety in the final minute of the half, Bodamer intercepted one pass and ran it back for a 65-yard touchdown with 0:35 left, then managed to top that with a 95-yard return for another score. Gathering backup quarterback Adam Higby’s Hail Mary attempt as the clock expired, he started down the Sheffield sideline, then cut back across the field to pick up a convoy of blockers more than happy to escort him to the end zone.

“I’m always trying to make plays. I don’t get to be on special teams, so when I’m in, even though it’s frowned upon for me to try to run there, I like to try to run it back,” he said. “It just happened to work – I got good blocks. I was hoping they wouldn’t catch me from behind. That’s all I was thinking. I was still tired from the pick-six right before that.”

Game firmly in hand, there was one more order of business to conduct before the starters took a seat, with Bodamer finding Tyce Miller once more to give the Gator receiver the D-9 career yardage record in addition to the touchdown mark. Miller finished the game with 2,462 yards, eclipsing the 2,445 put up by Brockway’s Mike Vervoort.

“He’s had a great career,” coach Bodamer said. “(He and Matt) work so well together, and he’s basically done it in two years – he played a little bit as a sophomore, but basically last year and this year – and he’s another kid that’s worked his rear end off to be that good.”

Neal finished the drive with his second touchdown run of the game, and backup quarterback Jordan Seefeldt came in on the next series, with the rest of the reserves joining him for the fourth quarter. Sheffield’s starters tacked on two more touchdowns in the final two minutes of the game to complete the scoring.

Next up is a visit to Cameron County, where the Gators (7-0) haven’t won since 2004.

“They’ve got a decent run game and their quarterback likes to roll, so we’ll have to contain him and keep putting up the points,” coach Bodamer said of the Red Raiders (1-6), who are coming off a 20-0 loss to Otto-Eldred.

After that, Brockway visits in Week 9, with the Rovers (7-0) likely to make the same trip north for the AML Championship Game rematch seven days later. And after that …

“We said it from day one, we want to go undefeated,” Matt Bodamer said. “We need to go farther than we did last year. Because last year, we didn’t think we had a chance against Sharpsville, but we should have won that game … We’re shooting to go all the way. I think we have that kind of determination.”

NOTES: Bodamer (7 carries-117 yards) and Neal (13-101) hit the century mark in the same game for the second time this season, matching their performance against Kane … Port won the turnover battle 4-3, as Budd and Tyler Bee each recovered a fumble to go with Bodamer’s two pick-sixes. Burt, Ricky Prosen, and Mister Ussery each intercepted a pass for the Wolverines … Gular notched Port’s only sack, forcing a fumble the Wolverines scrambled to recover just before halftime, while Tyler Fitzgerald and Ken Marshall each recorded a takedown for Sheffield.

NUMBERS: With a 27-yard pass to Conway late in the first quarter, Bodamer became the third quarterback in PIAA history to hit 9,000 career yards. He now has 9,188, just 61 shy of Brendan Nosovitch (Allentown Central Catholic) for second place and 564 behind Brockway’s Derek Buganza for the state record … Both Bodamer (2,191 passing yards, 35 TDs) and Miller (822 receiving yards, 14 TDs) lead the state in those categories, according to statistics supplied to MaxPreps.com.

LOOKING AHEAD: Cameron County is 6-4 in its last 10 games against Port, with the Gators’ 54-6 victory snapping a six-game Red Raider winning streak in the series … The broadcast should be available on WHKS 94.9 FM and at redzonemedia.com, with scoring updates also available on Twitter by following @LChase_RA.

At Sheffield, Oct. 13:

Score by quarters:
Port Allegany Gators 20 42 7 0 69
Sheffield Wolverines 7 7 0 16 30

First Quarter
PA – Bodamer 1 run (11 plays, 77 yards, 3:32), kick blocked, 8:28
PA – Ty. Miller 25 pass from Bodamer (4 plays, 49 yards, 1:09), Conway from Bodamer, 5:55
S – Burt 75 interception return, Wright kick, 2:32
PA – Bova 4 pass from Bodamer (6 plays, 67 yards, 2:04), pass failed, 0:28

Second Quarter
PA – Ty. Miller 10 pass from Bodamer (1 play, 10 yards after Budd fumble recovery, 0:06), run failed, 11:50
PA – Neal 8 run (9 plays, 78 yards, 2:47), Ty. Miller from Bodamer, 6:18
PA – Budd 1 run (4 plays, 55 yards, 1:14), Kysor kick, 4:28
S – Winslow 65 pass from Wright (2 plays, 64 yards, 0:57), Wright kick, 3:31
PA – Ty. Miller 10 pass from Bodamer (1 play, 65 yards, 0:23), Kysor kick, 3:08
PA – Bodamer 65 interception return, Kysor kick, 0:35
PA – Bodamer 95 interception return, Kysor kick, 0:00

Third Quarter (running clock)
PA – Neal 10 run (7 plays, 64 yards, 4:03), Kysor kick, 5:50

Fourth Quarter
S – Johnston 5 pass from Wright (4 plays, 42 yards after Prosen interception, 2:20), Wright run, 1:53
S – Ussery 55 interception return, Wright run, 0:55

Team Statistics: PA S
First downs 25 10
Total Yards 580 195
Rushes-Yards 32-255 24-37
Passing Yards 325 158
Comp-Att-Int 24-33-3 8-21-2
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 3-2
Punts-Avg. 1-38.0 6-32.3
Penalties-Yards 6-65 3-21
Total Plays 65 45
Time of Possession 26:57 21:03

Individual statistics:

Rushing: Port Allegany – Bodamer 7-117, Neal 13-101, Shaffer 4-26, Seefeldt 6-7, Tanner 1-3, Budd 1-1. Sheffield – Johnston 9-23, D. Smith 5-16, Reynolds 4-7, Wright 6-(-9).

Passing: Port Allegany – Bodamer 19-26-1-298, Seefeldt 5-7-2-27. Sheffield – Wright 6-13-0-135, Higby 2-8-2-23.

Receiving: Port Allegany – Ty. Miller 9-176, Conway 5-77, Bova 3-32, Neal 2-18, Gaines 2-15, Tr. Miller 1-8, Shaffer 1-0, Lashway 1-(-1). Sheffield – Winslow 1-65, Fitzgerald 2-37, Reynolds 2-28, McNeal 2-23, Johnston 1-5.

(Helmets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Helmet Project.)

Boys soccer: Gators rule UAVSL North

At the beginning of the 2012 season, Port Allegany boys soccer coach Aaron Clark had two goals: Take sole possession of the Upper Allegany Valley Soccer League North Division title the Gators shared with St. Marys last year, and win a playoff match for the first time since 2008.

Clark’s squad achieved his first objective in fine fashion, leaving no doubt as they dominated their UAVSL schedule on the way to a perfect 10-0 league record. The Gators completed their run to the North title with their sixth and seventh shutouts of the season last week, hitting the road to down second-place Coudersport 5-0 on Tuesday, then drilling Kane 11-0 on Thursday to compile an astounding +50 goal differential in league competition.

Reigning league Most Valuable Player Scott Brookens netted four goals in each game, with Adam Koehler adding a marker in the Coudy match and Tyler Kittilson (hat trick), Dane Kio, Eli Knapp, Trent Miller and goalkeeper Ben Edgell also finding the net against the Wolves. Edgell picked up both wins, making six stops against the Falcons and combining with Miller and Garrett Talkington for a five-save clean sheet at Kane.

The Gators hit a rare bump in the road at Galeton on Saturday afternoon, dropping a 5-4 non-league decision to the Tigers despite goals by Brookens, Kittilson, Sam Kysor, and Aaron Majot, but rebounded with a 9-3 victory at DuBois Catholic on Tuesday to close out the regular season. Kysor (two goals, six assists), Brookens (five goals, three assists), Kittilson and Kio took care of the offense, with Edgell making eight saves in net.

Now, the Gators (15-3 overall) sit back and wait for the District 9 seeding meeting, almost assured of at least one home playoff match next week.

PAHS roundup: Oct. 10-16

Cross country: OV boys, Smethport girls run to NTL titles

The calendar may change, but Oswayo Valley’s dominance over the area cross country circuit continues. On a crisp, sunny Tuesday afternoon at Port Allegany, the Green Wave rolled to a sixth consecutive North Tier League championship to match their unbeaten league dual-meet record.

Defending NTL and District 9 champ Barrett Kemp concluded his run through the league in style as the OV senior crossed the line in 17:15 to hold off teammates Spencer Cole (17:38) and Gabriel Rees (17:51) and claim yet another title in his glittering career.

Northern Potter runners Ethan Kibbe (18:09) and Tim Adams (18:14) paced the Panthers to a second-place finish, with Gabe Trimbur (Coudersport, 18:21), Grant Nolan (OV, 18:27), Adam Koehler (Port Allegany, 18:33), Michael Adams (NoPo, 18:38), and Caleb Byron (NoPo, 18:46) rounding out the top 10.

Morgan Soule (NoPo) completed the hilly 3.1-mile course in 21:04 to edge OV’s Bailey Kemp (22:10) in the girls’ varsity race, reversing last year’s order of finish. Smethport reclaimed the team crown from Northern Potter as Hubber runners Katie Arnett (22:13) and Elizabeth Tanner (22:25) were the next two across the line, with Ellen Kibbe (NoPo, 22:31), Amelia Kibbe (NoPo, 22:43), Courtney Rogers (Coudy, 22:58), Kiersten Slater (Smethport, 23:27), Kahlie Carpenter (OV, 23:38), and Anna Colebert (Otto-Eldred) 23:46 also earning medals with top-10 runs.

Coudersport won both the boys’ and girls’ junior high races, with Smethport’s Justin Tanner (8:47) and Northern Potter’s Emma Ford (9:29) claiming individual honors.

The hill-and-dale season concludes with the D-9 meet in Ridgway on Oct, 27, followed by the PIAA championships on Nov. 3 at the Parkview Country Club course in Hershey.

Girls soccer: Gators end season at 4-12

It was an up-and-down year for the Port Allegany girls soccer team, with the Gators reclaiming the “Ten-Mile Trophy” by sweeping Smethport but falling short of their goal to return to the District 9 playoffs.

“We played very well but were outmuscled in the end,” coach Travis Cowburn wrote after Port dropped a 4-1 decision at perennial Section V contender Genesee Valley last Friday night. “They were very physical as we knew they would be but no answer for it. Cheyenne Helo had an outstanding game in the back sweeper position. Somer Buchsenschutz scored on a beautiful shot, as her speed met the goalie out of position. Lynae Delacour delivered the ball on a gorgeous pass from midfield.”

Emily Chamberlain scored twice and Chelsea Halbert made three saves to pick up the win for the Jaguars (11-3), while Laura Fox stopped 15 shots in the Port net.

The Gators completed their season on Tuesday with a 2-0 loss to Elk County Catholic, as Michaela Cashmer and Morgan Onink each tallied a goal for the Crusaders and Hannah Onink earned the shutout win.

Port (4-12, 4-6 UAVSL) will lose seniors Jessica Achar, Gabrielle Drabert, Kayla Ford, Cheyenne Helo, Samantha Hughes and Mary Rosenswie from this year’s roster, but Buchsenschutz, Delacour, and Fox should provide a solid base of returning talent next season.

Volleyball: Gators stay atop NTL

Three more North Tier League matches, three more straight-set victories for the Port Allegany volleyball team, as the Gators remained on track to match last season’s perfect run through the league schedule.

Jenny Shelley (16 service points, 26 assists, 4 kills) and Rachel Taylor (8 points, 11 kills) led the way in Port’s 25-16, 25-17, 25-10 win over Austin last Tuesday, with Becca Lathrop contributing 8 kills and Ashley Woodruff adding 12 points.

Thursday was Senior Night at the Port Allegany gym, with honorees Shelley (16 points, 7 kills, 24 assists), Taylor (8 points, 12 kills, 5 blocks) and Woodruff (10 points, 3 kills, 7 digs) all playing a major role as the Gators dropped Otto-Eldred 25-10, 25-14, 25-12.

“This was a good win on Senior Night. All three seniors stepped up and played well,” coach Sharon Daniels wrote in an email to the Reporter Argus.

The Gators stepped out of the NTL the next night as Portville, a perennial Section VI power, stopped Port’s regular-season winning streak with a 25-22, 21-25, 26-24, 26-24 victory despite 26 assists and 14 service points from Shelley, 14 kills and 5 blocks by Taylor, and 8 kills by Woodruff.

“You can tell from the scores, this was a close match,” Daniels wrote. “It was a disappointing loss, especially since we were leading in the last two games and then didn’t pull out the win. Portville is a nice team. They are quick on offense and we didn’t make the adjustments we needed to on defense. It was a learning experience for both our front and back row and was a good match to have heading into playoffs in two weeks.

“Two juniors stepped up big for us. Becca Lathrop (7 points, 7 kills, 3 blocks) played big all the way around and Taylor Causer (12 points) was clutch serving for us. 92/95 serving on the night definitely kept us in all four games.”

Returning to league play on Tuesday night, the Gators also returned to their winning ways with a 25-11, 25-12, 25-14 victory over Smethport.

“Tonight was a strong team win,” Daniels wrote. “Shelley (6 points, 4 kills, 35 assists) and Taylor (14 kills, 9 blocks) are always a strong duo. Becca Lathrop (8 points, 11 kills) has gotten stronger every match since our tournament play in Sheffield. Jena Young (7 points, 5 kills) has also made her presence known. Brooke Roys (7 kills, 5 blocks) had a strong showing at the net tonight and Taylor Causer (10 points) played a quick 6 and served very well. We were missing senior Ashley Woodruff and Amber Naylor; Rikki Rennells and Bethy Bernardi (14 points) stepped up effectively.”

Port (14-1, 11-0 NTL) travels to Cameron County on Thursday, then takes part in the Elk County Catholic Tournament on Saturday before finishing the NTL season against Oswayo Valley and Coudersport next week.