Week 4: Coudersport at Port Allegany

COUDERSPORT FALCONS (2-1)

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS (1-2)

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013
PORT ALLEGANY, PENNSYLVANIA
7:00 PM ET

HISTORY

LAST 10 GAMES: Falcons lead, 7-3, although Gators have won the last three.

POSTSEASON RECORD: Tied, 1-1. Port knocked Coudy out of the 2003 District 9 Class A semifinals, with the Falcons returning the favor in the first round in 2007.

LAST MEETING: September 21, 2012 – Gators 70, Falcons 8

Matt Bodamer tossed seven touchdown passes for the second week in a row, four to Tyce Miller, as the Gators improved to 4-0. The 70 points by Port marked the fourth-highest total in team history according to Reporter-Argus archives, and the most since a 75-0 win over Sugar Grove (later to become Eisenhower) in 1951.

LAST TIME IN PORT ALLEGANY: October 30, 2010 – Gators 39, Falcons 8

On a chilly, blustery Saturday afternoon, Camrin Stuckey caught three touchdown passes from Bodamer to help the Gators (5-4) earn a District 9 playoff berth. Despite the loss, the Falcons (4-5) also clinched a spot in the postseason, but decided not to participate.

(Helmets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Helmet Project.)

Soccer: Kittilson nets 50th, both Port A teams off to winning start

Tyler Kittilson became just the second member of Port Allegany High School's 50-goal club in a game against Portville (N.Y.) on Sept. 10. (Photo: Pam Fischer)

Tyler Kittilson became just the second member of Port Allegany High School’s 50-goal club in a game against Portville (N.Y.) on Sept. 10. (Photo: Pam Fischer)

Sept. 19, 2013

The Port Allegany boys last lost an Upper Allegheny Valley Soccer League North Division game in 2011. After finishing a perfect 10-0 in the league last year on the way to a 16-4 overall record, they’re almost halfway to doing the same this season.

The Gators picked up three more wins last week, following up their 4-3 decision over Elk County Catholic by sweeping past Portville (7-3) and Smethport (6-2), then notching their first shutout of the season against St. Marys, 4-0.

Tyler Kittilson continued to fill up the opponents’ net, tallying a pair of goals in each game to push his total to 15 for the season and 55 for his career. Just shy of a year to the day after Scotty Brookens became the first Port High player to hit the 50-goal mark, Kittilson equaled the feat with his first score at Portville, and could make a run at Brookens’ career total of 80.

“It was just a matter of time for him,” coach Aaron Clark said. “It was nice to get it out of the way early, so he didn’t have to mess around with it at all. He’s on a nice pace. If he can keep up what he’s doing, he might be able to push Scotty’s school record before the season’s over. He’ll at least get close.”

Eli Knapp, MacKenzie Elliott, Logan Hutton, Dane Kio and Logan Stuckey also found the scoreboard on the trip across the state line to play the Panthers, with Garrett Talkington making three saves to pick up the win in goal.

The combination of a slick field and a hustling Smethport team kept Thursday’s game scoreless almost midway through the first half, before Hutton drilled a shot off the Hubbers’ keeper and in. A pair of freshmen opened up a 3-0 lead, with Elliott scoring off a corner kick and Calvin Burleson pinballing a delivery from Trent Miller off the crossbar and across the line, and Kittilson knocked home another corner to give Port a 4-0 margin at the half.

The Hubs weren’t done, though. A shot by Tyler Koch slithered past Talkington and just inside the post to put Smethport on the board 10 minutes into the second half, and less than two minutes later, Josh Tanner buried another goal to halve the lead.

But just when it seemed momentum was shifting to the visitors’ side, Kittilson struck again, heading the ball forward to Knapp in front of an open net to make it 5-2 and then converting a cross from Elliott for another goal of his own to account for the final margin.

“Port’s got some solid kids up front,” Smethport coach Bruce Nelson said. “Kittilson’s been playing for a long time. He’s good. I thought we should’ve controlled the midfield a lot better than we did, and we just didn’t do that. So that gives them the opportunities up front, and unfortunately they score off them.”

The shutout against the Dutch on Saturday morning was the team’s first since back-to-back games against Coudersport and Kane last season, with Kio and Knapp adding goals and Talkington needing just four saves to record his first career clean sheet.

It will be another busy schedule for Port (6-1, 4-0 UAVSL) this week, traveling to Coudersport on Tuesday and Kane on Thursday, then picking up a non-league home game against the Falcons on Saturday morning.

***

Sometimes progress shows up in the win-loss record, sometimes not.

The Port Allegany girls soccer team had one of each of those results in their last two games, dealing Kane a 3-2 loss last Wednesday to match their number of victories from the entire 2012 campaign, then playing a tough Ridgway team to a standstill before dropping a 1-0 decision to a Lady Elkers squad that dominated them in both meetings last season, winning by six goals in one game and via 4-0 shutout in the other.

Monica Crawford, Somer Buchsenschutz, and Lynae Delacour each scored and Laura Fox stopped six shots against the Lady Wolves, the third consecutive win for the Lady Gators.

In an email to the Reporter Argus following Monday afternoon’s game against Ridgway, coach Travis Cowburn wrote, “Defensively we were very tough. Farrah Fischer shut down their most dangerous threat and left it up to the rest of their team to score. They had very few chances to score. We had our chances but they are just so fast defensively they we were making it very difficult for our offense to move. Their fast-paced action was the difference in the game. They are physically fit and anticipate every ball kicked. They just beat us to every 50/50 ball. All in all I was very proud of our feistiness. Our touch was very poor, otherwise we would have put some numbers on the scoreboard. We will be ready for them next time.”

Now 4-3 (2-2 UAVSL North), Port hosts St. Marys on Wednesday in an attempt to split the season series with the Lady Dutch, then travels to Friendship (N.Y.) on Saturday morning.

Week 3: Gators nip Elkers for first win

RIDGWAY ELKERS (1-2)

6

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS (1-2)

8

Lori Chase
Sept. 19, 2013

Tyler Shaffer took the snap and rolled to his right, trying to outrun the defense to the corner of the end zone, then pulled up at the last second and shoveled the football to a wide-open R.J. Veilleux.

In a defensive struggle on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at Gator Field, that two-point conversion ended up being the margin of victory in Port Allegany’s 8-6 Homecoming win over Ridgway in an Allegheny Mountain League crossover game.

Shaffer finished the game with 120 yards and Port’s lone touchdown in his return to the starting lineup, and the defense made his third-quarter score stand up, nabbing three interceptions and stuffing the Elkers twice on fourth down on drives deep into Gator territory.

“Like I said at the beginning of the year, defense is going to have to win games for us. And they definitely came through today,” Port coach Mike Bodamer said.

Cory Burr accounted for two of those thefts, sandwiching them around being named Homecoming king at halftime, and Jordan Seefeldt ended the Elkers’ final drive with their third turnover of the afternoon.

Neither offense made much early headway, but as the second quarter began, Ridgway was knocking on the door at the Port 20. That was as far as they got, though, with Brandon Raymo sacking Elker quarterback Ben MacDonald for a seven-yard loss on first down and Burr sniffing out a third-and-long screen for his first pick.

“They tried to throw that screen, and Cory read it well and stepped in front of the kid,” Bodamer said.

Burr’s 40-yard return gave the Gators their best field position of the day at the Ridgway 35, but a Shaffer punt fake on fourth-and-long came up just short of the sticks to end the possession. The Elkers threatened again late in the half when Dane Cappiello corralled a muffed punt to set them up at the Port 20 with 2:10 left in the second quarter, but blitzing cornerback Chris Lashway dropped MacDonald for a sack on fourth down to end the first half at 0-0.

Still in the game despite mustering just 33 net yards and two first downs, the Gators doubled both of those numbers on the opening drive of the second half, mixing runs by Tanner and Shaffer with a pair of Seefeldt completions to Lashway on an 11-play, 64-yard march capped by Shaffer’s dive from the 1. The two-point pass to Veilleux made it 8-0, snapping a string of nine scoreless quarters dating back to the opening of the Athens game and giving the defense some room to breathe.

They’d need every bit of it. After MacDonald put the Elkers on the board with a broken-field 56-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter, the tying two-point conversion failed, leaving the Gators clinging to an 8-6 lead. But when another punt fake by Shaffer failed, Ridgway was right back in business at the Port 25, momentum seemingly on their side.

Once again the defense held, this time with Veilleux stuffing MacDonald for a two-yard loss on fourth-and-3, and the Gators managed to move out from the shadow of their own goalpost before Shaffer’s 52-yard punt rolled to a stop at the Ridgway 14.

“That really pinned them down there. That was a big play,” Bodamer said.

The Gator secondary took over from there, with Lashway tipping one pass attempt to Burr for his second pick and Seefeldt ending the Elkers’ final drive with another one.

“We switched up our coverage. That last one, we dropped back into a cover-3 and Jordan was just standing right in the middle of the field. The kid must not have seen him,” Bodamer said.

If Ridgway entertained any thoughts of getting the ball back for one more chance, Shaffer’s last carry of the game – a 26-yard jaunt to the Elker 11 to put him over 100 for the afternoon – ended them. A defensive penalty gave the Gators first-and-goal, but with just 1:31 on the clock and the Elkers out of timeouts, the game ended with a pair of kneeldowns by Seefeldt.

“We made a lot of mistakes, but then we made some big plays to make up for them. As long as you come out with a W, the score doesn’t matter,” Bodamer said.

“My hat’s off to Port Allegany. They really came to play today, and they did a good job against us,” Ridgway coach Mark Heindl said. “Defensively, I couldn’t ask for a better effort from our kids. Offensively, we’ve got to start finding some answers. We’re really struggling on that side of the ball.”

Both teams now enter AML division play at 1-2 – “Definitely better than 0-3,” Bodamer said – with the Gators back under the lights to host Coudersport (2-1) this Friday.

“They’re going to give us fits,” Bodamer said. “Ridgway ran that counter today and killed us, and Coudy uses a lot of misdirection stuff. We’re going to have to work on that all week, make sure kids stay home.

“We’ll get ready for Coudy and see what we can do with these next five teams, and still have a chance for the AML game. We just have to get healthy and shore up our defense, and just be going as hard as we can.”

***

Three games into the Ridgway-Johnsonburg co-op agreement, Heindl thinks the merger between the longtime rivals will be a success.

“The kids are fantastic, and I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids to be around and to be teammates with. I can speak for all the coaches – it’s really worked out well,” he said.

***

It was a team effort for the Gator defense, with five different players notching a tackle for loss in addition to the three turnovers. Raymo finished with two, including a sack, while Shaffer, Ethan Budd, Lashway (sack), and Veilleux each added one.

At Port Allegany, Sept. 14:
Score by quarters:
Ridgway Elkers 0 0 6 0 6
Port Allegany Gators 0 0 8 0 8

Third Quarter
Port Allegany (8:00) – Tyler Shaffer 1 run (11 plays, 64 yards, 4:00), R.J. Veilleux pass from Shaffer, 8-0
Ridgway (2:30) – Ben MacDonald 56 run (5 plays, 65 yards, 2:53), pass failed, 8-6

Team Statistics: Ridgway Port A
First downs 12 11
Total Yards 206 190
Rushes-Yards 33-162 38-134
Passing Yards 44 56
Comp-Att-Int 4-15-3 7-16-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-1
Punts-Avg. 4-36.3 4-40.0
Penalties-Yards 7-51 3-28
Total Plays 48 54
Time of Poss. 23:10 24:50

Individual statistics:

Rushing: Ridgway – Ben MacDonald 9-77, Cole Myers 7-36, Sam Delhunty 12-34, John Paul Cerroni 4-13, Cameron Grumley 1-2. Port Allegany – Tyler Shaffer 29-120, Jordan Seefeldt 7-7, Mac Tanner 1-5, R.J. Veilleux 1-2.

Passing: Ridgway – MacDonald 4-15-3-44. Port Allegany – Seefeldt 7-16-0-56.

Receiving: Ridgway – Myers 3-27, Jack Toncich 1-17. Port Allegany – Shaffer 2-24, Chris Lashway 2-18, Chad Gaines 3-14.

 

HISTORY:

ALLEGHENY MOUNTAIN LEAGUE RECORD: Gators lead, 10-6-1, including a 19-14 victory in the 1988 AML championship game. Port has claimed the last four games in the series, with the last Ridgway win coming in 2006.

LAST MEETING: September 14, 2012 – Gators 55, Elkers 14

Needing three touchdown passes to break the District 9 career record of 95, Matt Bodamer finished with seven – all in the first half – as Port cruised to the win to open up an early two-game lead in the AML North division.

LAST TIME IN PORT ALLEGANY: September 3, 2011 – Gators 46, Elkers 35

On a blistering hot Saturday afternoon at Gator Field, Bodamer threw for five touchdowns – four to Charlie Buchanan – as Port crafted a 40-14 lead before two long fourth-quarter Ridgway touchdown passes brought the Gator starters back into the game. (Originally posted as part of last year’s preview.)

(Helmets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Helmet Project.)

Week 2: Wolves blank Gators

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS (0-2)

0

KANE WOLVES (2-0)

54

Lori Chase
Sept. 12, 2013

The Kane Wolves were less than a minute away from winning last year’s District 9 Class AA football championship before a last-second comeback by Karns City denied them a title and a trip to the state playoffs.

It’s early yet, but judging by their 54-0 dismantling of a young, injury-riddled Port Allegany team at Paul R. Miller Stadium on Friday night, they may want to keep their schedule open for the first weekend in December.

“That’s the best team in the league. I’ve seen almost every team play, and there’s no doubt – Kane’s legitimate,” Gator coach Mike Bodamer said. “I was thoroughly impressed with them: Speed, size, aggressiveness. They’re for real. They’re a good team.”

As good as the Wolves were on offense, with Kevin Cleer tossing four touchdown passes and John English rushing for 157 yards and another pair of scores, it was their defense setting the tone for the game. Pinned deep in their own end of the field for most of the night, the Gators were stuck in reverse, turning the ball over on their first five possessions (safety, interception, three lost fumbles) and never denting the Kane 35-yard line while finishing the game with negative total yardage.

“It just snowballed,” Bodamer said. “That first safety – we stop them on their first drive and make them punt, and they get a safety, and everything just falls apart.”

For second-year Kane coach Todd Silfies, it was about an attitude adjustment from last year’s game, a 46-13 win by a very different Port Allegany team.

“We tried to dictate things a little bit more this year. Last year they had us – they had a great team. This is a better football team,” he said of his own squad after watching them pitch the first shutout against the Gators since 2009. “We tried to, instead of accepting it a little bit and just letting them do it, we tried to dictate the flow of the football game and be a little more aggressive defensively. We wanted to keep the aggression up tonight, and I think we did. The kids responded well.”

The avalanche began with the safety, when a pack of Wolves blew up a flare pass in the Port end zone, and kept rolling downhill on the ensuing drive with English dragging would-be tacklers on a 15-yard jaunt to the first of his three scores.

Starting five consecutive possessions on the Gators’ side of midfield, Kane cashed in on four of them, with Cleer hitting Jeff Kocjancic and Logan Zuzek for a pair of touchdowns and English – already close to a 100-yard night at that point – adding a 3-yard dive to make it 26-0 midway through the second quarter. The Cleer-to-Kocjancic combo struck again just before halftime to send the game further out of reach, and the Wolves put it in cruise control in the second half, tacking on three more touchdowns to complete the scoring.

“Obviously, I think that was a great team effort,” Silfies said. “I thought Kevin Cleer did a nice job running the offense … John English, again, a big back running big. Can’t say enough about him. Defensively as a team, I thought that was just a phenomenal effort. We executed the gameplan we had, very disciplined, extremely physical, and that’s what it’s about here in Kane.”

So while the Wolves (2-0) head to Duke Center for a meeting with an Otto-Eldred team that came oh-so-close to stunning Brockway last week before falling 55-54 in overtime, the Gators (0-2) – scoreless in seven-plus quarters since bolting out to a 14-0 lead against Athens – are left trying to regroup in time for Saturday afternoon’s Homecoming contest against the combined forces of Ridgway and Johnsonburg. Strengthened by a 10-player infusion from the Rams program, the Elkers opened the season with a 20-8 win over O-E before dropping a 19-6 decision at Coudersport.

A year after boasting an 18-player senior class on one of the most talent-laden rosters in Port Allegany history, Bodamer can only wish for those kind of numbers this season, as injuries to key contributors – including all three captains – on an already-thin depth chart have left the Gators scrambling to plug holes with younger players.

“We’re still learning. Way too many mental mistakes,” he said. “We had a short week of practice (with the holiday on Monday and the JV game on Tuesday), but that still doesn’t excuse all the mental mistakes. Offensively, we’re just not reading the right plays, not running the right routes … (It’s) just not working out. We have to look at the offense and see what we can do differently. We’re trying to go with what we’ve done the last few years, and the personnel just may not be there to do that stuff.

“Learn from the mental mistakes and forget about the score. There’s nothing you can do about that.”

***

The pregame ceremonies began on a somber note, with a moment of silence, a balloon release from both sides of the field, and a prayer to remember the victims of last week’s horrific auto accident on Route 219. Among the fatalities were 12-year-old Olivia Douglas, a former Kane Tornadoes youth football cheerleader, and six-year-old Jarrett Costanzo, a member of this year’s team. Wolves players and coaches will wear a sticker for the rest of the season bearing Jarrett’s name and the motto, “Hustle, Hit, Never Quit.”

“I told the guys afterward it was a tough week in the community for everybody including our guys, and I’m just proud of the way they kind of took that on their back tonight and gave a great effort,” Silfies said.

At Kane, Sept. 6:

Score by quarters:
Port Allegany Gators 0 0 0 0 0
Kane Wolves 14 20 7 13 54

First Quarter
K – safety, Port receiver tackled in end zone, 2-0
K – John English 15 run (3 plays, 40 yards after safety, 1:21), kick failed, 8-0
K – Jeff Kocjancic 10 pass from Kevin Cleer (5 plays, 41 yards after Andrew Pierson interception, 2:08), kick blocked, 14-0

Second Quarter
K – Logan Zuzek 5 pass from Cleer (8 plays, 47 yards after Zuzek fumble recovery, 2:49), run failed, 20-0
K – English 3 run (1 play, 3 yards after James Lingenfelter fumble recovery, 0:05), pass failed, 26-0
K – Kocjancic 22 pass from Cleer (9 plays, 76 yards, 4:34), Zuzek from Cleer, 34-0

Third Quarter
K – English 34 pass from Cleer (8 plays, 63 yards, 3:44), Dillon Mattis kick, 41-0
(running clock)

Fourth Quarter
K – Tyler Rolick 5 run (6 plays, 80 yards, 3:42), Mattis kick, 48-0
K – Shane Rolick 3 run (2 plays, 3 yards after blocked punt, 1:02), kick blocked, 54-0.

Team Statistics: Port A Kane
First downs 5 19
Rushes-Yards 22-(-46) 37-238
Passing Yards 44 147
Comp-Att-Int 8-17-1 11-15-0
Total Yards (-2) 385
Fumbles-Lost 6-3 2-1
Punts-Avg. 6-28.3 2-34.5
Penalties-Yards 0-0 4-30
Total Plays 39 52
Time of Poss. 21:34 26:26

Individual statistics:

Rushing: Port Allegany – Dylan Evens 1-22, Tyler Shaffer 6-9, Mac Tanner 4-6, Chris Lashway 1-(-6), Bryan Stahlman 2-(-14), team 2-(-14), Jordan Seefeldt 6-(-51). Kane – John English 21-157, Tyler Rolick 3-45, Evan DeLong 5-33, James Lingenfelter 1-5, Tyler Weidenhoff 1-4, Shane Rolick 2-3, Jeff Kocjancic 1-3, Kevin Cleer 2-(-6), team 1-(-6).

Passing: Passing: Port Allegany – Seefeldt 7-15-1-37, Stahlman 1-2-0-7. Kane – Cleer 11-15-0-147.

Receiving: Receiving: Port Allegany – Lashway 2-23, Chad Gaines 3-11, Cory Burr 1-7, Joel Schroll 1-7, Tanner 1-(-4).

(Helmets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Helmet Project.)