AML Week 7: Port A at Sheffield pregame

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS (6-0)

SHEFFIELD WOLVERINES (2-4)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2012
SHEFFIELD, PENNSYLVANIA
1:30 PM EDT

WHKS 94.9 FM – Red Zone Media

HISTORY

LAST 10 GAMES: 10-0, Gators. Sheffield last won in the series in 2001.

LAST MEETING: October 15, 2011 – Gators 19, Wolverines 6

The Port Allegany Gators faced two opponents in last Saturday’s Homecoming game: A talented, determined Sheffield Wolverines team which had won two of its last three games, and a raw, blustery October afternoon that helped ground Port’s prolific passing attack.

That’s when Trent Neal made his presence felt. The junior running back powered his way to 65 tough yards on 14 carries, including a second-quarter touchdown run that put the Gators ahead to stay in their 19-6 victory.

“We tried to pass, but it wasn’t working,” head coach Mike Bodamer said. “So we came in at halftime and said, ‘We’re going to run the ball’ – I think we threw one time in the second half – and our backs responded. I think Trent had a real nice game running the ball. We can run the ball if we need to, but our offense is built on getting the ball out wide. We tried it and it wasn’t working, so go back to the run.”

LAST TIME IN SHEFFIELD: October 17, 2010 – Gators 50, Wolverines 6

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.

(Helmets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Helmet Project.)

AML Football Week 6: Gators blank Hubs to repeat as North champs

SMETHPORT HUBBERS (3-3)

0

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS (6-0)

48

Lori Chase
Oct. 11, 2012

Not much has slowed down the Port Allegany football team during this record-setting season. Even with several starters missing the beginning of last Saturday’s game against Smethport to take their SAT’s, the outcome proved no different, with the Gators rolling to a 48-0 victory over the Hubbers to repeat as Allegheny Mountain League North division champions.

Matt Bodamer ran for one touchdown and passed for three more, edging within two of tying the PIAA state record. The defense pitched its second shutout of the season, stifling Smethport’s two-headed rushing attack of Karl Lightner and Clay Schuler – the AML’s leading ground-gainer coming into the game – to the tune of 28 carries for -4 yards, and still hasn’t allowed a single point in the first half.

And if opposing defenses didn’t already have enough to worry about between Bodamer and his talented receivers and the hard-nosed running of Trent Neal, the Gators unveiled yet another weapon in their loaded arsenal, with Tyler Shaffer beating the pursuit to the corner and breaking off touchdown runs of 30 and 22 yards.

“A little thunder up the middle, a little speed around the outside. It was nice to see him,” coach Mike Bodamer said. “A couple of runs, he didn’t read the holes well enough – but he was fast enough to get outside, so he made up for it. He’s been trying to work in there, and we decided the last couple of weeks to give him a shot. Another new dimension they have to look for.”

Shaffer’s first score gave the Gators the early lead on the game-opening drive, with Sam Kysor adding the extra point. Following a Smethport three-and-out – the sixth consecutive week the Port defense hasn’t allowed a first down in their initial action of the game – it took just two plays and 22 seconds to make it 14-0, with Trey Miller breaking loose for a 35-yard reception and Bodamer finding Nick Conway for the 15-yard score.

The Hubbers didn’t go down without a battle, thwarting one red-zone foray on downs and forcing a punt on the following drive – the first time all year Port’s starting offense has gone without scoring on back-to-back possessions. But with the defense continuing to stop Smethport in its tracks, it was merely a matter of time before the Gators turned their field-position edge into more points.

“Our line has been playing really well this year, and I put a lot of pressure on them this week to come out and perform. That was our downfall today – our line play wasn’t what we thought it was going to be. We couldn’t run the ball, and it started snowballing from there,” said first-year Smethport coach Jim Berlin. “The ground-control kind of style of game that we play, pound the ball, you’re putting yourself in a situation with the clock where instead of working against them it’s starting to work against you.”

“We worked on that,” coach Bodamer said of bottling up the Hubs’ run-heavy gameplan. “We went to the five, six-man front every once in a while, tried to change things up. Alex (Gular) had a nice game, made some nice tackles. That’s definitely what we worked on, their option. We didn’t tackle too well the first half – we had a lot of hand-tackles – but we came out in the second half and played a lot better.”

Taking over at midfield with eight minutes left in the second quarter, another long pass to Miller preceded Matt Bodamer’s 12-yard bootleg to paydirt. Smethport responded with its longest drive of the half, pushing inside the Port 40 for the first time, but their stay there was short as back-to-back sacks set up Victor Bandish’s fumble recovery at midfield with 0:48 left before halftime.

As the Gators have shown all too often this season, that’s plenty of time to score. Following Tyce Miller’s 20-yard catch-and-run down to the Hubber 2, Bodamer found Ricky Bova alone under the goalpost with 0:00 on the clock, and Kysor’s fourth extra point made it 28-0 at the break.

“I think it’s only the second time we’ve gotten our two-minute offense,” coach Bodamer said. “I thought Tyce maybe should’ve went out of bounds, he cut back in and tried to score, but luckily we still had a couple of seconds left. As soon as we lined up in that I saw Rick out there and it’s like, this is going to be so easy. Just a nice throw and catch there.”

While the Gator defense kept Smethport from crossing the 25-yard line for the rest of the afternoon, the offense added three more touchdowns in the second half as Bodamer and Conway hooked up for a 1-yard score early in the third quarter, Shaffer added his second sideline jaunt, and backup quarterback Jordan Seefeldt tossed a 10-yarder to senior Josh Poorman.

With the division title secured, the Gators (6-0) head west to Warren County this Saturday to face Sheffield (2-4), which still has an outside shot at a D-9 playoff spot. It’s been an up-and-down season on Wolverine Mountain under first-year head coach Dave Fitch, with last week’s surprising 52-38 loss at Otto-Eldred offsetting back-to-back wins over Cameron County and Coudersport. Senior Shequan Wright and sophomore Adam Higby split time at quarterback in the Wolverines’ pass-heavy offense.

“Discipline is their big concern, but they definitely have athletes,” Bodamer said. “Actually, I saw them last night (in last Friday’s loss to the Terrors), and their young 10th-grade quarterback doesn’t throw the ball badly. He made some nice throws, and 17 (Wright) is definitely someone you’ve got to keep your eye on. It’ll be fun going down there.”

 

NOTES: Bodamer’s 14-of-22, 255-yard performance added to his state-leading totals (1,897 yards and 31 TDs), moving him within 355 yards of second place on the career yardage list and two TD passes away from tying Kyle Smith for the PIAA record … Conway (32-663, 12 TDs) and Tyce Miller (34-646, 11 TDs) both rank high on the state leaderboard for yardage and touchdowns, with Tyce one touchdown catch from matching the District 9 career mark of 30, held by Clarion-Limestone’s Brad Beggs … Port won the turnover battle 3-0, as Bandish, Conway, and Jacob Safford each recovered a fumble … The Gator pass rush put heavy pressure on Schuler whenever he tried to throw and sacked him three times, with Nick Budd combining with Bandish for one takedown and notching another one solo, and linebackers Neal and Johnny Sena sharing the third.

NUMBERS: The win was the 11th in a row for the Gators over Smethport, matching the longest streak by either team in the longstanding series … The 48 points by Port matched last year’s output for the fourth-most in the series, with the Gators owning the top five spots. The 62-8 final in 1978 heads the list, with RB Barry Bova – the uncle of current Port TE Ricky Bova – playing a starring role.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Gators have a 10-game winning streak against Sheffield, which last won in the series in 2001 … Veteran announcer Al Lacher returns to the booth again this week for the WHKS broadcast (94.9 FM, redzonemedia.com).

At Port Allegany, Oct. 6:

Score by quarters:
Smethport Hubbers 0 0 0 0 0
Port Allegany Gators 14 14 7 13 48

First Quarter
PA – Shaffer 30 run (7 plays, 62 yards, 2:30), Kysor kick, 9:30
PA – Conway 15 pass from Bodamer (2 plays, 50 yards, 0:22), Kysor kick, 7:28

Second Quarter
PA – Bodamer 12 run (4 plays, 50 yards, 1:10), Kysor kick, 6:59
PA – Bova 5 pass from Bodamer (7 plays, 52 yards after Bandish fumble recovery, 0:48), Kysor kick, 0:00

Third Quarter
PA – Conway 1 pass from Bodamer (2 plays, 40 yards after Conway fumble recovery, 0:23), Brookens kick, 9:27
(running clock)

Fourth Quarter
PA – Shaffer 22 run (5 plays, 68 yards, 2:25), Brookens kick, 11:27
PA – Poorman 10 pass from Seefeldt (5 plays, 37 yards, 2:06), kick failed, 6:38

Team Statistics: S PA
First downs 7 18
Total Yards 45 417
Rushes-Yards 41-37 23-127
Passing Yards 8 290
Comp-Att-Int 1-10-0 16-26-0
Fumbles-Lost 3-3 2-0
Punts-Avg. 5-28.6 1-25.0
Penalties-Yards 4-40 4-40
Total Plays 51 49
Time of Possession 31:13 16:47

Individual statistics:

Rushing: Smethport – Abrams 4-31, Stratton 4-13, Lightner 13-5, Confair 2-4, Corbett 1-(-3), Shunk 2-(-4), Schuler 15-(-9). Port Allegany – Shaffer 3-51, Bodamer 4-32, Neal 8-30, Tanner 5-9, Seefeldt 2-9, Gaines 1-(-4).

Passing: Smethport – Schuler 1-9-0-8, Corbett 0-1-0-0. Port Allegany – Bodamer 14-22-0-255, Seefeldt 2-4-0-35.

Receiving: Smethport – Lightner 1-8. Port Allegany – Ty. Miller 4-93, Tr. Miller 2-69, Conway 5-66, Poorman 2-35, Bova 2-20, Neal 1-7.

(Helmets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Helmet Project.)

Boys soccer: Port clinches UAVSL North

Oct. 4: Port Allegany 3, St. Marys 1

Tyler Kittilson scored two unassisted goals, once in each half, and Scotty Brookens added another tally to his record-setting career total as the Gators shrugged off an early St. Marys goal to sweep the season series from the Dutchmen in Upper Allegheny Valley Soccer League action last Thursday night.

“We’ve never beat them more than once in a year before. It’s great,” Port coach Aaron Clark said afterward. “Last year we had a chance to win the league title – all we had to do is tie them in the last game of the year and we would’ve won the league outright, and we choked it away at the very end. If we would’ve lost to them that would have complicated the league quite a bit, because Coudersport still only has one loss. This basically sets up a very big game on Tuesday with Coudersport.

“They scored quick, maybe five minutes in. They basically dribbled through our defense and we stabbed and overran the ball. It was not a good goal for us. Probably eight minutes after that, Scott was able to put one in from Sam Kysor and Ben Edgell – Ben punted it, Sam sent a beautiful through ball on the ground and it was Scott and the goalie. The goalie didn’t have a chance there.”

The goal was Brookens’ Big 30-leading 29th of the season and 65th overall, both Port High records that the senior forward continues to put out of reach.

With the score level and Port beginning to dominate possession after an early defensive lull, Kittilson corralled a loose ball deep in the St. Marys box and sent it past the keeper to give the Gators the lead at 11:16 of the first half.

The action stayed in front of the Dutchmen net in the second half, as Port barely missed on several scoring attempts before Kittilson snuck behind the defense for a breakaway on a St. Marys goal kick with 12:13 remaining.

“Most of the time those don’t really work,” Clark said. “He was sitting on the 18 – a lot of times, the younger forwards don’t see the point in standing on the 18 on a goal kick, but we tell them ‘Every once in a while, you may get a flubbed goal kick that’s going to go right to you and it’s just you and the goalie.’ So it seems like a pointless practice so many times, but right there it worked out. You could see St. Marys kind of – I don’t want to say quit, but they started conceding right there.”

Edgell had a quiet night in net, needing just five stops to pick up his 12th win of the season as the Gators ran their winning streak to eight games in advance of Tuesday’s UAVSL-deciding match at second-place Coudersport.

UPDATE: Four more goals by Brookens and one from Adam Koehler, plus Edgell’s sixth shutout of the season, earned the Gators their first solo UAVSL North crown with a 5-0 win over the Falcons on Tuesday night. Port, now 13-2 overall, travels to Kane on Thursday with a chance to complete a perfect 10-0 season in the league with a victory against the Wolves. Port won the first meeting, 7-0, with a hat trick from Brookens and an Edgell shutout.

Volleyball: Gators still unbeaten in NTL, claim Sheffield Tourney crown

As the North Tier League volleyball season hit its midpoint last week, Port Allegany continued its quest for a second straight undefeated run through the league. The Gators held serve on Thursday night, following last Tuesday’s thrilling five-set win at Coudersport with a 25-16, 25-13, 25-14 victory over Northern Potter as Jena Young (22 service points, 4 kills), Rachel Taylor (15 service points, 12 kills, 7 blocks), Ashley Woodruff (6 service points, 11 kills, 7 digs) and Jenny Shelley (22 assists) led the charge.

“The girls kept their intensity throughout the match. They were focused, passing well to set up the swing,” coach Sharon Daniels wrote in an email to the Reporter Argus.

Stepping out of the NTL for am 11-team tournament at Sheffield on Saturday morning, the Gators got off to a slow start without two of their top players, but rebounded to claim the tourney title with a championship-match win over Cranberry.

Coach Daniels’ post-match report:

“We started the day short starters Rachel Taylor, Ashley Woodruff (SATs). The line-up for the first round of pool play saw one senior, four juniors, two sophomores and a freshman.

“We dropped two to Sheffield early 6-11, 9-11, then changed the line-up starting Brianna Bell (freshman JV, middle hitter) in the right side blocking position. Becca Lathrop had to fill the middle hitter position left vacant by Taylor. Jena Young, Amber Naylor and Rikki Rennells played their regular strong side positions and filled in for Woodruff. Bethy Bernardi played the back row opposite Brianna while our lone senior, Jenny Shelley, directed from the court. They gelled much better and we went on to defeat Rocky Grove, 11-5 and 11-4, then faced Oil City for the last match up of Round 1 and defeated them 11-2 and 12-10 (after trailing 10-6). Becca Lathrop was offensively and defensively sound. Roys, Bell, Young and Shelley added to the front row defense, blocking very well.

“The second round of pool play seeded the top four teams against one another. We had edged Youngsville on points for the fourth position in the top seeded pool. At this point we were playing with more confidence but were anxiously awaiting the arrival of Taylor and Woodruff. We came right out and split with Sheffield after having lost two to them earlier. ECC defeated us pretty easily 11-4, 11-8. Just as we finished against ECC our seniors arrived in the gym. We had nearly an hour wait before meeting Cranberry for our last match of the second round. To say the least, they were speechless as Ashley and Rachel joined the warm-up hitting drill. Their speed and strength served to pump up the entire team and everyone was swinging impressively. We dropped Cranberry 11-4 and then had a rotation of poor service receive, dug a hole and lost the second game 6-11.

“After another long break before the playoff seeds were posted, we faced Brockway, one game to 21. The team played very strong, passing well and hitting aggressively (21-8). Our next match was a rematch with ECC who had just defeated NTL rival Oswayo Valley. We won that match, 15-8, 11-15 (again service receive was our nemesis) and finished with a 15-11 score. Cranberry had defeated Eisenhower and had been waiting on the other court while we finished.

“The format now was best two out of three, first two to 25, third game to 15. We came out slow and trailed as much as 13-8 before slowly gaining momentum. We finally gained the lead when we arrived at 20. Our blockers made adjustments and our back row slid line on their outsides and hard cross court on their middles and brought up everything. Final of the first game, 25-23. We definitely had the momentum at this point. At 20-9 in the second game it was apparent that the Gators were going to earn the trophy. The final score, 25-16.

“Jenny Shelley was solid all day. She set well, making effective decisions, was aggressive on offense and was defensively sound. Becca Lathrop was a key player and our ‘go to’ hitter throughout pool play. Jena Young also stepped up her game swinging effectively and moving well on defense. Brooke Roys adjusted well to her blocking assignment. She forced the opponents to go around her helping our defense immensely. Rachel Taylor and Ashley Woodruff both immediately made their presence felt in the playoffs combining for 27 kills and even more importantly raised the level of intensity of the entire team.

“Other than one lull in service receive, the girls played consistently throughout the playoffs for 6 games straight. Service accuracy was impressive at 97/105. It was definitely our best all-around play of the season thus far.”

The Gators (11-0, 8-0 going into Tuesday’s match at Austin) return to their home court on Thursday to host Otto-Eldred, then hit the road twice next week for matches against Smethport and Cameron County.

AML Week 6 pregame: Smethport at Port Allegany

SMETHPORT HUBBERS (3-2)

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS (5-0)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2012
PORT ALLEGANY, PENNSYLVANIA
1:30 PM EDT
WHKS 94.9 FM – Red Zone Media

HISTORY

SERIES RECORD: Gators lead, 57-37-7, and are on a 10-game winning streak. Smethport, which dominated the series between the ancient rivals in the 1990’s to creep to within 10 games in the overall record, last won in 2001 (42-12).

LAST MEETING: October 7, 2011 – Gators 48, Hubbers 13

Matt Bodamer threw for 317 yards and six touchdowns, three to tight end Rickie Bova, as Port (5-1) rolled to a 48-0 third-quarter lead on the muddy Smethport field.

LAST TIME IN PORT ALLEGANY: October 9, 2010 – Gators 20, Hubbers 12

Seth Lowery and Matt Bodamer each rushed for a touchdown and Ken Kysor kicked two field goals for the Gators (3-3).

(Helmets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Helmet Project.)

Devlin to Gators: Maintain focus, keep working

Lori Chase
October 4, 201
2

Pat Devlin knows a little something about Pennsylvania prep passing records. He owned most of them by the time he finished his stellar high school career in 2005, becoming the first player in PIAA history to surpass the 8,000-yard milestone.

But for Devlin, currently the No. 3 quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, the passing stats were merely a sidenote to leading his Downingtown East squad to the state playoffs. The Cougars made it to the Class AAAA quarterfinals that year, finishing the season 11-2 as Devlin threw for 3,678 yards.

“To tell you the truth, I really didn’t think too much about it,” he told the Reporter Argus by phone following a recent Dolphins practice. “We had goals as a team that we were trying to reach, and all the personal records or whatever may be just didn’t really matter to me or the team at that time. It was all about just winning the games that we had ahead of us.

“It wasn’t like it was crazy or anything. You know, it wasn’t anything that we couldn’t handle as far as the media went. I don’t think the media really even talked about it that much – we were having a good season, and I think everyone was focusing more on the season than on the record.”

No Pennsy quarterback had ever thrown for more than 7,500 yards before Devlin’s senior year, and just four had managed to crack the 3,000-yard-season barrier. In contrast, there were five last season alone – led by Matt Bodamer’s 3,766-yard effort, which ranks third in state history – and in Week 4, Bodamer became the fourth player since 2008 to pass Devlin on the career yardage list.

“The spread working its way down into high school is the biggest thing,” said Devlin, who went on to play at Penn State before finishing his college career at Delaware. “From what I understand, we used it pretty early on when only a couple of schools used it, but it’s more prevalent now. You throw the ball a bunch of times, and it’s just fun to play in as an offensive player. Especially the quarterback – you have so many options, and it’s just fun. Sometimes the quarterback, a lot of stuff is in his hands, he can change plays and that sort of thing. So I just think it’s a fun offense to play in.

“It’s tough (to defend) in high school. The hashes are so wide, on the wide side of the field you have to cover a lot of space. I think the spread kind of helps out with that.”

So what advice does Devlin have for his counterparts in Port Allegany, as the Gators seek their own return trip to states?

“Set goals every week. Set something that you can strive for,” he said. “It’s great to have a goal like winning the state championship, but there are just a ton of little steps that you need to complete in order to get there. It sounds like they’re off to a good start already, but they just need to maintain their focus and keep working as the season progresses.”

 

© 2012 Lori Chase

AML Football Week 5: Gators down feisty Terrors to stay unbeaten

OTTO-ELDRED TERRORS (0-5)

16

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS (5-0)

42

AIRTIME: Port Allegany quarterback Matt Bodamer leaps over diving Otto-Eldred defensive end Seth Bigley just before uncorking a 66-yard touchdown pass to Nick Conway.
(Photo credit: Pam Fischer)

Lori Chase
October 4, 2012

The Port Allegany Gators came into last Saturday afternoon’s Homecoming game flying high, averaging 56 points and more than 500 yards of offense, and most observers expected those trends to continue against winless Otto-Eldred.

Port High still won handily, putting together a workmanlike 42-16 victory, but the Terrors earned some respect – including from Gator coach Mike Bodamer.

“They really wanted to play hard today, and I think they did,” Bodamer said. “I was impressed with them. Like I told him (O-E coach Virgil Graham), I haven’t seen too many kids handle Nick (Budd). I looked out there a couple of times and their kids were controlling our defensive line, which I haven’t seen all year. Good physical team. I was impressed with them. That’s definitely a good sign for them.”

The Terrors, who came into the game averaging 19 passing attempts per week, were content to pound the ball at the Gator defense while burning time off the clock.

“We just wanted to slow the game down a little bit and kind of take the ball out of their offense’s hands as much as we could,” Graham said, “and I think we did a good job of that. A few times our drives stalled a little bit, but that’s just because Port’s defense is so strong – when their back’s against the wall, they’re able to make the play. But all in all, they definitely didn’t have the ball as much as they’re used to having it, or for as long as they had it. I think slowing that tempo down really messed with their mindset and the way that they like to play football, and that’s up-tempo all the time.”

Then again, when you’re facing an offense as talented as Port’s is, any amount of time is too much. The Gators proved that again this week, scoring on six of their first eight possessions to put together a 42-0 lead before the starters sat down at the end of the third quarter.

Nick Conway was a perfect 4-for-4 – four catches, four touchdowns, including this 73-yard sprint past the Gator sideline.
(Photo credit: Pam Fischer)

Four of Matt Bodamer’s six touchdown passes went to Nick Conway, who scored every time he touched the ball en route to a career-high 198-yard afternoon. The Otto-Eldred coaches did their best to confuse Bodamer – even dropping all 11 defenders into coverage at one point, leaving the Port quarterback enough time to finish his math homework before finding Conway deep for the game’s first score – but he still finished the game 16-for-22 for 377 yards to move past Kyle Smith (Lancaster Catholic) into third place on the PIAA career passing list.

“I don’t know what that was,” coach Bodamer said of the Terrors’ exotic defenses, “but when you give Matt all day, he’s going to find somebody regardless. I just told him to run the ball, but he said ‘I didn’t know what to do – there wasn’t anybody coming.’ I’ve never seen that either, but they got away from it quick. Different philosophy, I guess.”

With the score already 14-0 when Trent Neal’s fumble recovery set up a Tyce Miller touchdown catch – his 29th, which tied him with Clearfield’s Wes Dahlen for second place on the D-9 career list – the Gators actually found the end zone three times on their third possession before Conway’s diving catch at the goal line stood. A fumble at midfield stopped their next drive, but one play after Budd stuffed O-E running back Sam Colebert an inch short of a first down at the Gator 27, the Bodamer-to-Conway connection struck again for a back-breaking 73-yard touchdown to make the score 28-0 at the break.

It was Neal’s turn to take over on the first drive of the second half, carrying the ball three times for 34 yards and catching two passes, the second an 18-yard touchdown to start the clock running. The Gators would add seven more points midway through the third quarter, with Bodamer leaping over a diving passrusher to hit Conway in stride down the sideline on a 66-yard catch-and-run, before two Colebert touchdown runs of 5 and 35 yards completed the scoring.

While the undefeated Gators will take the win and move on, Graham saw plenty of positives in his team’s performance.

“Like we told our kids, it’s still an L in the win-loss column,” he said, “but when you play teams like this of this stature you’ve got to find little wins. One of our goals was to get a few sacks, and we got a few sacks. One of our goals was to get an interception; well, we fell short on that one. We wanted to kind of limit their offensive production, and I thought we did a pretty good job of that. We wanted to put a few points up, and we did that. So it’s finding those little wins. It’s not a win in the win column, but it’s something we can build on and move on for next week.

“You could see the spirit of the kids wasn’t broken today. They feel like their performance was good, and I can’t disagree with that. I thought they did a heck of a job. For what we have and what Port has, I thought we did a heck of a job for what we have. We’ve got a few games down the road here that are winnable games, and I’m hoping that this will let us roll on positively, and see what happens.”

Port (5-0) stays at Gator Field for the second of three consecutive Saturday-afternoon kickoffs, hosting ancient archrival Smethport (3-2) before traveling to Sheffield next week. Quarterback Clay Schuler and running back Karl Lightner provide a strong 1-2 punch in the ground game for the Hubbers, who retained their grasp on second place in the AML North following their 35-14 win over Cameron County last Friday night.

“Little sloppy – Homecoming (the long halftime delay) caused some problems, and blowing teams out so much, that’s caused some problems, and we had some personnel issues today that I didn’t really care for,” coach Bodamer said. “So we’ll address those and move on to Smethport, because Smethport’s a lot better run team than they have here, and our run defense definitely wasn’t even close to what it needs to be.”

NOTES: Port captains for the game were Bodamer, Bova, Budd, and Neal, while Otto-Eldred sent out Vaughn, Ryan West, Nate Rodgers, and Dillon Sutton … Each team turned the ball over twice on fumbles, with Neal and Christian Moses recovering for the Gators and Vaughn and Andrew Lawrence for the Terrors … O-E notched three sacks, one each by Ryan West, Jake Wichert, and Rodgers … Colebert led all rushers with 17 carries for 95 yards, while Neal pounded out 75 yards on eight attempts for the Gators.

NUMBERS: Bodamer now has 113 TD passes, five behind Kyle Smith’s record, and 8,641 career yards. Next up: Brendan Nosovitch (Allentown Central Catholic, 9,249).

LOOKING AHEAD: Saturday afternoon’s Senior Day game against Smethport (1:30 p.m., WHKS-FM 94.9, redzonemedia.com) will mark the renewal of one of the oldest football rivalries in this part of the state. According to Reporter-Argus archives, teams from the two schools played as early as 1910 and at least once per season since 1925, with huge crowds attending games traditionally held on Armistice Day or Thanksgiving through the ’20s and ’30s. The Gators boast a 57-37-7 lead, and a Port victory this year would match the longest winning streak (Smethport 1989-99) in the long series.

At Port Allegany, Sept. 29:

Score by quarters:
Otto-Eldred Terrors 0 0 0 16 16
Port Allegany Gators 21 7 14 0 42

First Quarter
PA – Conway 45 pass from Bodamer (4 plays, 83 yards, 1:07), kick blocked, 8:37
PA – Ty. Miller 18 pass from Bodamer (5 plays, 30 yards after Neal fumble recovery, 1:13), Bodamer run, 7:10
PA – Conway 14 pass from Bodamer (6 plays, 42 yards after Moses fumble recovery, 2:59), Brookens kick, 1:49

Second Quarter
PA – Conway 73 pass from Bodamer (1 plays, 73 yards, 0:12), Brookens kick, 6:29

Third Quarter
PA – Neal 18 pass from Bodamer (7 plays, 69 yards, 2:35), Brookens kick, 9:25
PA – Conway 66 pass from Bodamer (3 plays, 82 yards, 1:21), Brookens kick, 5:11

Fourth Quarter
O-E – Sam Colebert 5 run (4 plays, 20 yards after Lawrence fumble recovery, 2:14), Vaughn run, 6:34
O-E – Colebert 35 run (3 plays, 55 yards, 1:47), Bigley run, 1:47

Team Statistics: O-E PA
First downs 9 16
Total Yards 192 441
Rushes-Yards 41-181 16-63
Passing Yards 11 378
Comp-Att-Int 5-6-0 17-23-0
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 2-2
Punts-Avg. 4-41.5 2-55.0
Penalties-Yards 2-20 6-52
Total Plays 47 39
Time of Possession 27:14 20:46

Individual statistics:

Rushing: Otto-Eldred – Colebert 17-95, Vaughn 11-69, Wichert 6-19, Bigley 5-5, Milliron 1-(-1), team 1-(-6). Port Allegany – Neal 8-75, Tanner 2-7, Bodamer 4-(-2), Gaines 1-(-8), Seefeldt 1-(-9).

Passing: Otto-Eldred – Vaughn 5-6-0-11. Port Allegany – Bodamer 16-22-0-377, Seefeldt 1-1-0-1.

Receiving: Otto-Eldred – Milliron 3-6, Hilyer 1-5. Port Allegany – Conway 4-198, Bova 5-75, Tr. Miller 2-32, Ty. Miller 2-28, Neal 2-25, Burr 1-19, Tanner 1-1.

(Helmets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Helmet Project.)

Soccer: Gator boys still unbeaten in UAVSL

Boys:

At the beginning of the 2012 season, one of Port Allegany’s team goals was to claim sole possession of the Upper Allegheny Valley Soccer League North Division title they shared with St. Marys last year. Now, with just a few games remaining, they’re setting their sights higher, with a chance to run the table in the UAVSL before entering the District 9 playoffs.

On Tuesday, the Gators continued that quest by dominating a rebuilding Smethport squad, 8-2, to improve to 11-2 (7-0 UAVSL).

In a matchup of two 60-goal scorers, Scotty Brookens paced the Gators to an early 3-0 lead on what Clark said “ might have been the fastest hat trick I’ve ever seen,” while Port managed to keep Hubber star Dario Caminite to just one second-half goal. Tyler Kittilson also scored twice and Rudy Collver, Sam Kysor, and Eli Knapp added goals for Port, while Brandon Wright scored just before halftime for the Hubs. Ben Edgell put forth another strong performance in the Gator net, notching four saves – including a point-blank stop on a Caminite header – to pick up the win.

“In a normal game situation we would’ve subbed down, but we had to give the starting defense work against somebody like Dario,” Clark said. “He’s always so dangerous. We know that if we’re only able to score two or three goals and not able to put anything on net, Dario alone can keep them in the game. It is so nerve-racking playing against him. We had to respect him the entire game, we had to pay attention to where he was every last second.”

Port’s next three games, starting with a visit from St. Marys on Thursday, will decide the UAVSL title. Can the Gators get out the brooms?

“Hope so,” Clark said, but he knows there’s still work to be done. “We still have St. Marys, who can play us tough, and we only beat them 3-1 at their field. We have Coudy (5-1 UAVSL), and that’s a rivalry game. That’s another game where their emotions can bring them up and have them play tough with us. And they’re in second place in the league right now, so Coudy’s playing for a playoff spot. It’s not a given yet.”

Girls:

With wins in two of their last four games, the Port Allegany girls soccer team takes a 4-9 record into its final UAVSL North game of the season, Wednesday’s Senior Day meeting with once-beaten Ridgway.

McKenna Johnson and Erika Helo each scored as the Gators swept Smethport with a 2-1 win last Wednesday, and Monica Crawford, Jessica Achar, and Somer Buchsenschutz each netted a goal at Kane on Monday night in a 3-2 victory over the Wolves. Freshman net minder Laura Fox earned both wins, making six stops against the Hubs and eight against Kane.
Even in the setbacks to DuBois Catholic (3-0) and Bolivar-Richburg (2-0), coach Travis Cowburn saw some positives from his young and still-learning squad.

“We’re reacting better, I think. It’s a far cry from where we started at the beginning of the year. Once we’re in shape and we start doing the stuff that we practice, they do really well. But we’ve just got to put the ball in the back of the net. We’ve got to capitalize on what few chances we get.”

The Gators get a nine-day break after the Elkers come to town before finishing the season with games at Genesee Valley and against Elk County Catholic.