AML Week 9: Sheffield at Port Allegany

SHEFFIELD WOLVERINES (0-8)

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS (5-3)

ALLEGHENY MOUNTAIN LEAGUE
NORTH DIVISION

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2015
PORT ALLEGANY, PENNSYLVANIA
7:00 PM ET

The Gators come in on a four-game winning streak after clinching the AML North championship at Smethport and can earn a District 9 playoff berth with a win, while the Wolverines still seek their first victory of the season.

HISTORY

MODERN AML ERA: Gators lead, 25-4, since the Allegheny Mountain League went to a two-division format in 1986. Sheffield’s last victory in the series came in 2001, giving Port a current 13-game winning streak.

LAST MEETING: October 25, 2014 – Gators 20, Wolverines 0

No last-minute dramatics this time.

Unlike Port Allegany’s first two victories of the season, nailbiters against Coudersport and Smethport which weren’t secured until late in the fourth quarter, the Gators didn’t need a clutch scoring drive or goal-line stand to escape from Sheffield’s ‘Wolverine Mountain’ on Saturday afternoon.

Instead, they jumped out to a quick two-touchdown lead for the second game in a row, then relied on a ballhawking defense to blank the Wolverines, 20-0, wrapping up the 2014 campaign with their third win in the last four weeks.

It was Port’s first shutout victory since 2012, leading to a shout of, “Now that’s how you win a football game!” from the jubilant postgame huddle.

“I can’t credit ‘Z’ (defensive coordinator Nate Zitnik) enough. Fantastic job with the gameplan this week,” head coach Justin Bienkowski said. “He executed some changes throughout the game, always seemed to know when to change us from an odd-man front to an even-man front, and the kids bought into it.

“I can’t say enough about this group of kids. We took a butt-whupping the first four games of the year, I guess even into the Cameron game, and those kids are just … That’s what football teaches you about life, and those kids learned it: ‘If I keep believing in what I’m supposed to do, things are going to happen.’”

LAST TIME IN PORT ALLEGANY: October 12, 2013 – Gators 18, Wolverines 13

Tyler Shaffer gathered in the bouncing football just inside his own 20-yard line, veered to his right toward the Port Allegany bench, dodged a pair of would-be tacklers, and sprinted toward the end zone.

On an afternoon where both offenses struggled to move the ball, making every point critical, the 81-yard kickoff return with just 2:36 remaining – Shaffer’s third touchdown of the afternoon, following scoring runs of 63 and 31 yards – proved to be the difference in Port’s 18-13 victory over visiting Sheffield in Allegheny Mountain League North Division action.

The Wolverines had taken their only lead of the game just seconds earlier on running back Jereek Jackson’s 47-yard burst through the line on a fourth-and-short play, realizing Gator coach Mike Bodamer’s worst-case scenario.

“It’s funny. When they got the ball back with like three minutes left, I was talking to Justin up top and said, ‘We’re gonna find a way to blow this.’ And sure enough, they scored that last touchdown,” he said. “But Shaffer had a nice return. He played well today, had some big runs for us. That’s what we’ve been looking for all year from him, and he definitely came to play today.”

Sheffield had one more chance for a comeback, quickly moving to the Port 29, but cornerback Cory Burr thwarted the drive with an interception and the Gators ran out the clock to improve to 2-5 (1-3 AML North), handing the Wolverines (4-3, 3-1) their first division loss.

“I actually thought that last one was going to go in the end zone. Luckily, Cory was able to go up and get it,” Bodamer said.

Fitting, really, that a game dominated by both defenses would end with one more stop. Sheffield owned the stat sheet, doubling up the Gators in first downs (14-7) and time of possession (32:41-15:19) and holding a 291-176 edge in total yardage, but the Port defense spent the afternoon in the Wolverines’ backfield, dropping quarterback Adam Higby five times and racking up eight other tackles for loss to help keep the visitors off the scoreboard.

While Brandon Raymo, Ethan Budd and Mac Tanner each notched a sack, junior linebacker R.J. Veilleux had a career day, dragging Higby down twice among his 4.5 tackles for loss and also flashing off the edge to block the extra point attempt following Sheffield’s first touchdown.

(Helmets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Helmet Project.)

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Week 8: Gators clinch AML North

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS
(5-3, 4-0 AML NORTH)

36

SMETHPORT HUBBERS
(3-5, 3-1 AML NORTH)

18

Lori Chase
October 29, 2015

Friday night’s football game between Port Allegany and Smethport had additional meaning for the two century-old rivals, with the Allegheny Mountain League North Division title on the line at Smethport Stadium.

Through the first half of play, it looked like anyone’s game as both teams moved the ball effectively, and the Hubbers took a slim four-point lead into the locker room.

The second half was a different story.

With Gator back-turned-receiver Dylan Baumgarner running free in the secondary and the defense making the necessary adjustments to shut down Smethport’s power game, Port pulled away for a 36-18 victory, clinching the program’s seventh AML North title since the league went to a two-division format in 1986.

“North champs. That’s a great accomplishment. It’s like any level of football, you want to win your division. That’s the first step,” said coach Justin Bienkowski, still soaked from a celebratory postgame Gatorade-bucket dousing.

“Our guys continue to amaze me on and off the field. Family first, football family, our kids just played their hearts out for one another. Week 2, Elk County at our place, we had 16 kids in pads. Week 4, Kane, we had 16 kids in pads. So we’ll take it.”

It was a night to remember for Baumgarner, who hauled in all four of Tre Garzel’s touchdown passes, added a fifth on the ground, and also ran and passed for a pair of two-point conversions in an 11-catch, 202-yard performance which earned him the D9Sports.com District Nine Player of the Week award.

“They were giving Dylan a lot of leverage on the edge, and Dylan’s a quick kid that has the ability to make tacklers miss,” said Garzel, who joined his favorite target on this week’s D9Sports.com honor roll after completing 18 of 25 passes for a career-best 274 yards.

“Tre spun it well tonight,” offensive coordinator Jason Luther said. “He was throwing darts.”

After weeks of slogging through foul-weather games, the Gators finally got a decent night to throw the ball, and took full advantage of the opportunity.

“I want to thank Mother Nature for this one,” Garzel said, smiling. “The rain’s been pretty rough.”

Smethport controlled the ball and the clock in the first half. Alternating carries between the brute force of powerback Jimmy Duffy and the speed and shiftiness of tailback Adam Shunk, the Hubs slammed out two long scoring drives behind an offensive line averaging more than 250 pounds per player, with Duffy crashing into the end zone from 5 and 15 yards out. The Gators countered with a 30-yard rocket screen from Garzel to Baumgarner and looked like they were headed in for another score just before halftime, but the ball popped free and Smethport recovered on its own 3-yard line. The Port sideline argued that the runner’s knee was down, but to no avail, and the half ended with Smethport up 12-8.

“We should have had the score,” Bienkowski said. “I couldn’t let it go, couldn’t let it go that Jo thought he was down. But I’ll let it go now.”

After an exchange of punts to begin the third quarter, the Gators were on the move again. Garzel began the drive with completions of 12 yards to Baumgarner and 38 to Jordan Seefeldt, then ended it with a fourth-and-10 toss from the Hubber 13 that Baumgarner took in for the score.

“Just feed him the ball,” Garzel said. “They weren’t even long passes, it was just short things to get him the ball so he could make people miss.”

With momentum already snowballing toward the visitors’ side of the field, a heads-up play on defense turned it into an avalanche, as Seefeldt stepped in front of a Hubber pass to give the Gators the ball back deep in Smethport territory.

“Jordan came off telling me previous that he had an idea of pass routes figured out. He’s an intelligent kid; once he sees something he has it,” Bienkowski said.

Defensive coordinator Nate Zitnik explained, “We rolled coverage with the Jet and between film and basic play design it’s a route we work on with the isolated receiver away from the trips side. That’s the great thing about having these older guys … As four-year seniors, they’re great dissecting plays as they develop.”

Three plays later, Baumgarner was in the end zone again to give Port a 22-12 lead, forcing Smethport away from its run-first gameplan.

“Jason and I talked that if we could get two scores up it would really force Smethport to throw more. That’s what happened and the tide had definitely turned in our favor,” Bienkowski said. “Overall, the adjustments our assistant coaches reviewed with the guys at the half worked really well.

“We had a 40 front, and switched to a 50. Got rid of the free safety, went zero-coverage and dared them to throw. They hit us on a couple of out routes, but we dared the Long kid to throw the ball. We said all week, ‘If they beat us with the run, shame on us.’ So we forced their hand a little bit.”

The Hubs had limited success through the air, managing just three second-half first downs until finally putting together a scoring drive late in the fourth quarter to make it 30-18. But Jacy Richardson alertly called for a fair catch on the ensuing kickoff to thwart Smethport’s onsides attempt, and the Gators tacked on one final Garzel-to-Baumgarner hookup to complete the scoring.

“Those kids muscling up and stopping that power game in the third quarter changed the game,” Bienkowski said. “You could see the exuberance and the life go into them, and it was great to see.”

Port closes out its home schedule on Friday night against 0-8 Sheffield, then heads to Kane the following week for a rematch against the Wolves in the AML championship game.

“We’re going to focus on Sheffield next week. We’re certainly not gonna think about Sheffield for a couple days. We’re gonna enjoy ourselves,” Bienkowski said. “We’re gonna make sure these kids know what they’ve earned. Then we’ll worry about Sheffield.”

For Garzel, one of eight Gator seniors who suited up as freshman on the 2012 squad which won the AML/District 9 championships and advanced to the state semifinals, no reminders were necessary.

“It means a lot to us,” he said. “We followed up behind those guys and saw all the success they had, and we know how much fun it was to do what they did. To us, this is almost that level. We just want to keep going. The next step is to hopefully play well and win the AML.”

NOTES:
– Baumgarner was the first Gator player with five touchdowns in one game since Camrin Stuckey scored on three pass receptions, a fumble recovery and a kickoff return against Ridgway in the 2010 opener.
– He became the first Port player this season to win the D9Sports.com Player of the Week award, in his third appearance on the honor roll and second in a row. Both Baumgarner and Garzel were also tabbed following the Week 3 win over Moniteau.
– The victory was the second-straight for Port and the 13th in 14 seasons in the longstanding rivalry between the neighboring schools. Port and Smethport have played more than 100 games against each other since 1906, including at least once (and sometimes twice) every year since 1925.
– As noted in the game story, this is the second AML North crown for eight Gator seniors who were also members of the 2012 team as freshmen: Ethan Budd, Cameron Fryer, Tre Garzel, Nate Lowery, Josiah Ramadhan, Jordan Seefeldt, Bryan Stahlman, and Mac Tanner.
-Tanner (10 tackles), Budd (9) and Ramadhan (7) led the Gator defense, with Baumgarner (2), Seefeldt and Garzel contributing tackles for loss, Stahlman and Lowery applying pressure, and Jesse Rush notching a sack.
– Port moved up a spot to ninth in this week’s D9Sports.com District 9 poll, while remaining tied for third in the Olean Times Herald Big 30 large-school rankings.

At Smethport, Oct. 23:

Score by quarters:
Port Allegany Gators 0 8 14 14 36
Smethport Hubbers 6 6 0 6 18

Scoring summary:
First Quarter
S (0:58) – Jimmy Duffy 5 run (14 plays, 90 yards); kick failed, 0-6
Second Quarter
PA (9:52) – Dylan Baumgarner 30 pass from Tre Garzel (9 plays, 61 yards); Mac Tanner pass from Baumgarner, 8-6
S (3:08) – Duffy 15 run (12 plays, 75 yards); run failed, 8-12
Third Quarter
PA (5:26) – Baumgarner 13 pass from Garzel (9 plays, 78 yards); Baumgarner run, 16-12
PA (2:40) – Baumgarner 10 pass from Garzel (3 plays, 28 yards after Jordan Seefeldt INT); pass failed, 22-12
Fourth Quarter
PA (6:43) – Baumgarner 10 run (6 plays, 66 yards); Josiah Ramadhan run, 30-12
S (3:23) – Blake Kinner 12 pass from Austin Speedy (6 plays, 50 yards); pass failed, 30-18
PA (0:42) – Dylan Baumgarner 35 pass from Tre Garzel (4 plays, 40 yards); run failed, 36-18

Team statistics:
First Downs: Port 17, Smethport 19.
Rushes-Yds: Port 21-103, Smethport 47-222.
Passing Yds: Port 274, Smethport 46.
Comp-Att-Int: Port 18-25-0, Smethport 5-11-1.
Total Yards: Port 377, Smethport 268.
Fumbles-Lost: Port 1-1, Smethport 1-0.
Punts-Avg: Port 2-29.5, Smethport 2-27.0.
Penalties-Yds: Port 6-75, Smethport 5-35.
Total Plays: Port 46, Smethport 58.
Time of Poss.: Port 17:47, Smethport 30:13.

Individual statistics:
Rushing:
Port Allegany – Mac Tanner 9 carries-55 yards, Dylan Baumgarner 5-17, Josiah Ramadhan 5-16, Tre Garzel 2-15. Smethport – Adam Shunk 22-96, Jimmy Duffy 10-65 (2 TDs), Austin Speedy 9-40, Devon Brown 4-16, Kevin Long 2-5.
Passing: Port Allegany – Garzel 18 completions-25 attempts-4 TDs-0 INTs-274 yards. Smethport – Long 3-7-0-1-24, Speedy 2-4-1-0-23.
Receiving: Port Allegany – Baumgarner 11-202 yards (4 TDs), Seefeldt 3-50, Tanner 4-22. Smethport – Blake Kinner 3-26 (TD), Akete Kindle 1-11, Brown 1-9.

(Helmets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Helmet Project.)

AML Week 8: Port Allegany at Smethport

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS

(4-3, 3-0 AML NORTH)

SMETHPORT HUBBERS

(3-4, 3-0 AML NORTH)

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2015
SMETHPORT, PENNSYLVANIA
7:00 PM EDT

 

The century-old rivals meet with the Allegheny Mountain League North Division title on the line. Port can clinch a spot in the AML Championship Game with a win, while a Smethport victory would put the Hubbers in the driver’s seat for their first North crown since 2001.

HISTORY

SERIES RECORD: After Smethport went 10-for-10 in the 1990’s, Port is 13-2 since 2000, including an 11-game streak from 2002-12 … Reporter-Argus records of the Port-Smethport rivalry go back to 1906, with Port holding a 58-40-7 edge. The Gators lead the current series, which began in 1925 after a three-year gap, 53-38-7.

LAST MEETING: October 17, 2014 – Gators 26, Hubbers 19

Jumping out to a quick two-touchdown lead in the first quarter and forcing six turnovers – including an 85-yard Jordan Seefeldt interception return for a touchdown with less than a minute left to all but seal the game – Port never trailed in a 26-19 Senior Night win to deny Smethport a shot at the AML North title.

“(Heck) of a good night to be a Gator,” coach Justin Bienkowski said. “Some of those old-school guys over there will probably tell you, there’s no two better teams to beat than Coudersport and Smethport. So we’ll take it.”

Gator quarterback Tre Garzel threw for 133 yards and three touchdowns, with senior Chris Lashway hauling in one of those scores and finishing with 85 receiving yards and a fumble recovery on defense. For the Hubbers, Adam Shunk scored three touchdowns while quarterback Dustin Zetwick rushed for a game-high 109 yards and passed for another 190, including 108 to Justin Elder.

“It was a fistfight, that’s for sure. That’s what we expect from a rivalry game like that,” Smethport coach Jim Berlin said. “Throw the records out the window – both teams could be 0-for, or one team way up and the other one down, and that’s the kind of football game you’re going to get out of Smethport and Port. It was a pretty good one.”

LAST TIME IN SMETHPORT: October 4, 2013 – Hubbers 35, Gators 14

Reporter Argus, Oct. 10, 2013: There’s little secret to Smethport’s offense this year: With the Hubbers’ combination of power (fullback Ryan Stratton) and speed (halfbacks Ryan Nielsen and Adam Shunk) behind a stout offensive line, they’re lining up and running right at opposing teams.

That gameplan proved effective against Port Allegany on Friday night, with the Hubs rolling up a season-high 322 rushing yards in a 35-14 victory over the Gators to snap Port’s 11-game winning streak in the ancient rivalry between the neighboring schools.

“It’s big for the kids – it’s all about the kids,” Smethport coach Jim Berlin said. “That’s one thing we started out the year talking about, was overcoming things we haven’t done in a long time. The kids were aware that we haven’t beaten Port in a long time. That was definitely something they were prepared for and wanted to make happen.”

Nielsen led all rushers with 121 yards on just 10 carries, while stablemates Shunk (10-89) and Stratton (14-76) each scored a touchdown and quarterback Dustin Zetwick added a pair of scoring runs.

“Smethport’s a big team. They got into us, and we couldn’t get off the blocks,” Port coach Mike Bodamer said. “Stratton’s a nice back – besides the kids from Kane, he’s probably the best kid we’ve seen all year. He’s definitely tough.”

(Helmets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Helmet Project.)

Week 7: Gators outrun Terrors

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS (4-3)

18

OTTO-ELDRED TERRORS (0-7)

0

Lori Chase
Oct. 22, 2015

The Port Allegany Gators rolled into cold, rainy Otto-Eldred last Friday on a two-game winning streak, knowing they’d most likely need another one to stay tied for the lead in the Allegheny Mountain League North Division standings.

The Terrors didn’t make it easy, stopping the Port offense on downs three times inside the O-E 20. But with the Gator defense keeping their opponent off the scoreboard for the second time in three weeks, two touchdown drives proved to be more than enough points to secure an 18-0 victory and set up a showdown for first place in the AML North at Smethport next Friday night.

“We struggled with red-zone tonight,” Port coach Justin Bienkowski said. “We knew it was going to be tough. Anytime you face Tim Burris, Nick LaBella, Boyd Fitzsimmons, good football guys, classy guys, you know you’ve got to pay attention to detail. Yeah, the score says 18-0, but that goal-line stand at the end was huge for them. They play the game and coach the game the right way, and I wish them all the best.”

With rain and gusting wind once again affecting the passing game, the Gators (4-3, 3-0 AML North) made full use of an offensive wrinkle unveiled against Coudersport, with quarterback Tre Garzel splitting out wide and Dylan Baumgarner and Jordan Seefeldt each taking ‘wildcat’ snaps from center to pile up a season-high 357 rushing yards and 454 of total offense.

“We talked about different ways that we could move the ball on offense,” Bienkowski said. “Tre’s not a running back by trade, so if we put Dylan or Jordan in the backfield … Dylan runs the ball well, Jordan reads the defensive line well. We just figured it gave us more options of running when they stack the box. Just trying to give ourselves more options offensively, and it’s always good to give defenses more things to gameplan for.”

Baumgarner (20 carries-103 yards) and Mac Tanner (14-100) each hit triple digits in yardage, the first time two Port rushers have accomplished that feat since Trent Neal and Matt Bodamer did it at Sheffield in 2012, and Josiah Ramadhan (6-82) and Seefeldt (7-64) also ran well against the Terrors.

“They controlled the clock and controlled the line of scrimmage, and their backs made us miss,” said LaBella, the former Port assistant in his first season at the O-E helm.

Late in a first quarter mostly dominated by a field-position scrum, the Gators set off on a 13-play, 70-yard march to the end zone, with Baumgarner and Seefeldt alternating long runs before Tanner punched the ball in on first-and-goal from the 5. Seefeldt added the two-point run to make the score 8-0 with two minutes and change gone in the second stanza.

After a quick O-E three-and-out, Port went back to its weatherproof ground-and-pound gameplan, chewing up more than seven minutes in a drive that pushed to the Terror 8-yard-line before stalling out as the half ended.

The start of the third quarter duplicated the one against Coudy, with the Gator D forcing a quick punt and the offense on the move again. A long, twisting run by Tanner, stiff-arming a would-be tackler at midfield and spinning away from the sideline, moved the ball to the O-E 33.

Then, they shifted into reverse. Back-to-back holding penalties, topped off with a personal foul on the Port sideline, left the Gators staring at an improbable 1st-and-45 play from their own 30.

No problem. Garzel took the snap and lofted a screen pass to his left, with Baumgarner hauling it in, sidestepping a lunging defender, and picking up a convoy down the visitors’ sideline for a back-breaking 70-yard touchdown catch-and-run. In front of a Terror Senior Night crowd stunned into silence, Tanner added the conversion for a 16-0 lead.

“We’ve been working on the rocket screen, working on coming down the line of scrimmage and getting our line downfield to the next level. We’ve been preaching that since August 10th,” Bienkowski said. “It just all went together, and Dylan got the ball in his hands and made a good play.”

Facing a two-touchdown deficit without their best player, 2014 Big 30 All-Star running back Seth Drummond (out with a knee injury sustained two weeks ago), and with top receiver Heath Stewart still limited in his return from a broken arm, the Terrors struggled to gain any traction all night before finally mounting a drive as the fourth quarter ticked away. A well-executed double pass moved the ball deep into Gator territory, but from first-and-goal, a sack by Baumgarner and a pair of good pass-defense plays by Tanner and Seefeldt ended the threat.

The Port offense took just three plays to flip the field, with Ramadhan breaking loose for 70 yards and Tanner ducking and dodging his way for 19 more to the O-E 1, but the Terrors held once again to take over at their own 9 with just over a minute left in the game. From there, Ramadhan applied the finishing touch with his third tackle-for-loss of the night, blindsiding quarterback Sawyer Drummond in the end zone for a safety to complete the scoring.

Victory safely in hand, Bienkowski and his squad could finally look ahead to Friday’s visit to ancient rival Smethport, with the winner taking control of the division.

“Our focus this week was on Otto-Eldred, because next week wouldn’t mean anything if we went in there at 2-1 in the North,” he said. “But we’ll enjoy this one over the weekend, then start getting ready for coach Berlin’s option offense. They went back more to an old-school 1990’s look. Adam Shunk’s having a heck of a season so far, and they’re big up front.”

The Hubbers (3-4, 3-0 AML North) handled Cameron County 25-8 last week, with Shunk rushing for 257 yards and four touchdowns. The 5-foot-5, 140-pound senior has already joined the 1,000-yard club after only seven games, including three straight 200-yard performances.

“It’ll be a good old-fashioned AML East battle from back in the day. We’re trying to spread out a little and still run, they’re packing the box and running it. I don’t know that there’ll be a whole lot of throwing the ball,” Bienkowski said. “They’ve got Jimmy Duffy and Shunk in the backfield, we’ve got Mac and Dylan, and Josiah gives us some speed. We’re gonna have our best, and I’m pretty sure Jim (Berlin) will have his best ready to go, and we’ll see what happens.”

NOTES:
– With his 100-yard rushing performance and long touchdown catch, Baumgarner made his second appearance on the D9Sports.com Player of the Week honor roll.
– The Gators are now tied with their namesakes from Allegany-Limestone (N.Y.), also 4-3, for third place in the Olean Times Herald Big 30 large-school poll behind Kane (7-0) and St. Marys (6-1).

At Duke Center, Oct. 16:

Score by quarters:
Port Allegany Gators 0 8 8 2 18
Otto-Eldred Terrors 0 0 0 0 0

Scoring summary:
Second Quarter
PA (9:22) – Mac Tanner 5 run (13 plays, 71 yards); Jordan Seefeldt run, 8-0
Third Quarter
PA (6:40) – Dylan Baumgarner 70 pass from Tre Garzel (7 plays, 77 yards); Tanner run, 16-0
Fourth Quarter
PA (1:05) – safety, Josiah Ramadhan tackled Sawyer Drummond in end zone, 18-0

Team statisics:
First Downs: Port 18, O-E 5.
Rushes-Yds: Port 52-357, O-E 28-77.
Passing Yds: Port 77, O-E 22.
Comp-Att-Int: Port 2-6-0, O-E 2-5-0.
Total Yards: Port 434, O-E 99.
Fumbles-Lost: Port 3-0, O-E 0-0.
Punts-Avg: Port 2-39.5, O-E 5-33.2.
Penalties-Yds: Port 9-98, O-E 1-10.
Total Plays: Port 58, O-E 33.
Time of Poss.: Port 27:33, O-E 20:37.

Individual statistics:
Rushing: Port Allegany – Dylan Baumgarner 20 carries-103 yards, Mac Tanner 14-100 (TD), Josiah Ramadhan 6-82, Jordan Seefeldt 7-64, Tre Garzel 5-8. Otto-Eldred – Damen Palmer 14-41, Heath Stewart 9-27, Sawyer Drummond 5-9.
Passing: Port Allegany – Garzel 2 completions-6 attempts-0 interceptions-77 yards (TD). Otto-Eldred – Palmer 1-1-0-21, Drummond 1-4-0-1.
Receiving: Port Allegany – Baumgarner 1 catch-70 yards (TD), Seefeldt 1-7. Otto-Eldred – Grant West 1-21, Palmer 1-1.

(Helmets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Helmet Project.)

AML Week 7: Port Allegany at Otto-Eldred

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS (3-3)

OTTO-ELDRED TERRORS (0-6)

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2015
DUKE CENTER, PENNSYLVANIA
7:00 PM EDT

HISTORY

LAST 10 GAMES: Gators lead, 7-3, but Otto-Eldred has won the last two after snapping a six-game losing streak in the series in 2013.

LAST MEETING: October 10, 2014 – Terrors 29, Gators 22

The Terrors (1-6) went ahead for good on a 67-yard connection from quarterback Nick Appleby to a wide-open Dakota Eaton late in the third quarter, then held the Gators (1-6) twice on downs in O-E territory in the final period to notch their first win of the season.

“A must win,” coach Virgil Graham said. “Our last two have been must-wins. That’s the only way we can approach these now, is that we have to have our backs against the wall and work together as a unit. Basically, our mantra this week was not to let as many opportunities pass; we’ve had a lot of missed opportunities that have come back to haunt us. We limited those this week, and it ended up going in our favor.”

The loss dropped Port into a four-way tie in the AML North at 1-2 with O-E, Coudersport, and Sheffield, which also picked up its first win with a 36-6 decision over the Falcons. In a showdown for first place in the division, Cameron County powered to a 43-6 win over Smethport.

LAST TIME IN DUKE CENTER: September 27, 2013 – Terrors 12, Gators 0

Rolling up 172 rushing yards behind the tandem of Sam Colebert and Seth Drummond and shutting down the Port Allegany offense, Otto-Eldred made two first-quarter touchdowns stand up in a 12-0 victory over the Gators in an Allegheny Mountain League North Division game on Friday night. The Terrors’ win was the first against Port since eking out a 15-14 decision in 2006, and their first shutout in the series since 1975.

“We couldn’t do much of anything. Eldred played very well defensively,” coach Mike Bodamer said. “They blitzed a lot of people and got after Jordan (Seefeldt) pretty well. We couldn’t connect on a pass and couldn’t run the ball. We made a couple of stupid mistakes to give them their touchdowns early on, but defensively, we played fairly well. We were in the game; we just could not sustain a drive whatsoever.”

Drummond rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown while also hauling in six passes for another 80 yards, while Colebert added a game-high 69 yards on the ground and caught a touchdown pass from Dakota Vaughn for the game’s first score.

Both teams joined Cameron County at 1-4 on the season, leaving them two games behind the trio of Coudersport, Sheffield, and Smethport in the AML North, and with an uphill climb to qualify for the District 9 playoffs.

(Helmets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Helmet Project.)

AML Week 6: Gators ground Falcons

COUDERSPORT FALCONS (2-4)

12

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS (3-3)

26

Lori Chase
October 15, 2015

The Coudersport Falcons rolled into last Friday night’s football game at Port Allegany on a two-week winning streak, hoping to extend it to three in a row and take control of the Allegheny Mountain League North Division race.

The Gators had other plans.

With the offensive line paving the way for Mac Tanner’s three rushing touchdowns, Tre Garzel hitting some timely second-half throws, and the defense bottling up the Falcons in their own end of the field for most of the night, Port pounded out a 26-12 victory at “The Swamp” to stay tied for the division lead with Smethport.

“It’s always good to get a North win,” coach Justin Bienkowski said. “As I told the kids, we just accomplished Step 2, we’re 2-0 in the North. I said, ‘We’ll worry about Eldred on Tuesday. Enjoy this.’”

The Gator defense keyed on shutting down Coudy receiver Navada Waterman, who tallied both touchdowns in the Falcons’ 13-7 win over Ridgway and followed up with a 47-yard scoring catch from fellow senior Darren Keglovits in their 24-0 shutout at Otto-Eldred last week, but managed just one catch against Port.

“That’s a dangerous team. We talked about it all week,” Bienkowski said. “Credit to Navada Waterman’s speed – and they tried to isolate him, do some motions and different things to get him alone – and Keglovits is a heck of an athlete at the quarterback position. All week long, we talked about not necessarily double-teaming (Waterman), but making sure we had four eyes on him instead of two, making sure we knew where he was at.

“Fear nobody, but you’ve definitely got to respect them. A couple times when we didn’t, they beat us.”

The Falcons did hit a couple of big plays, opening the scoring in the second quarter on a 20-yard jet sweep by Zach Layag following an interception by Jared Green, and adding a 40-yard fourth-and-long Keglovits-to-Aaron Wolfinger touchdown toss in the fourth.

Except for those two short drives, though, the game belonged to Port. While the defense was allowing just two first downs and 70 yards of total offense on Coudy’s other 10 possessions (not including a kneeldown to end the first half), an interception by Dylan Baumgarner set up a 21-yard run by Tanner to tie the score midway through the second quarter. The Gators stitched together two long touchdown marches to start the second half after a Coudy three-and-out, taking a 20-6 lead early in the final stanza on runs by Baumgarner and Tanner, then burned almost another six minutes off the clock to leave the Falcons little time to mount a comeback attempt after they’d drawn back within eight points with the Wolfinger score.

“Jason (Luther) and I were talking in the first half. We wanted to just wear ’em down, wear ’em down, wear ’em down,” Bienkowski said. “Regardless of the points, we knew we could get them in the third and fourth quarter if we kept going. We came out, stuffed them on D, and then went right down the field and scored.”

Running behind the line of Bryan Stahlman, Jesse Rush, Nate Lowery, Jacy Richardson, and Ethan Budd, Tanner finished with 142 yards, tacking on his third score of the night with 2:45 remaining to salt the game away, and Baumgarner added 81 yards on three catches to go with his touchdown run and interception on defense. After an uneven first half, Garzel was on the money after the break, hitting his first five passes and 7-of-9 overall to finish 10-for-17 for the game.

Lowery led the charge on defense with three tackles for loss and a pass deflection, with Budd (1.5 TFL), TyDel Green (1.5 TFL), Stahlman (1 TFL) and Josiah Ramadhan (1 TFL) also disrupting the Falcon backfield, Jordan Seefeldt defending three passes, and Garzel snaring an interception to end Coudy’s final possession.

“Every football game is won at the line of scrimmage. I give credit to Port Allegany, they really took it to us. Late in the first half and then in the second half, they really controlled the line of scrimmage, and that’s where the game was won,” first-year Falcon coach Ben Cary said. “I try and tell our guys all the time, ‘This game is going to be won up front on the offensive and defensive lines.’ Unfortunately for us tonight, we just didn’t have what it took to get the job done up front.”

While not thrilled with some “boneheaded plays” during the first half, Bienkowski was pleased with the way his squad responded.

“Made some nice plays out there. Dylan and Jordan played some good defense in the secondary, and Tre made some good throws. A good all-around win … well, a good all-around second half. We played a pretty ugly first half, but we’ll take it,” he said. “That’s what we’ve got, a bunch of kids that will let us coach them, will take a chewing-out but will do what we tell them to do. We’re preaching family, family, family, and our guys, coaches and players, are as tight a team as I’ve ever been a part of. That has to count for something.”

The Gators (3-3, 2-0 AML North) travel to Otto-Eldred on Friday night to play the winless Terrors (0-6, 0-2). O-E has been blanked in each of its last two games, losses to Coudersport and Smethport, after losing returning Big 30 All-Star running back Seth Drummond to a knee injury against the Falcons.

There will be a familiar face on the Terror sideline, as first-year head coach Nick LaBella taught and coached in the Port Allegany school system before returning to his alma mater.

“Nick LaBella is a great friend of mine, and I’m looking forward to battling against him next week over in Eldred,” Bienkowski said.

At Port Allegany, Oct. 9:

Score by quarters:
Coudersport Falcons 0 6 0 6 12
Port Allegany Gators 0 6 8 12 26

Scoring summary:
Second Quarter
C (11:27) – Zach Layag 20 run (3 plays, 49 yards after Jared Green INT); run failed, 6-0
PA (5:18) – Mac Tanner 21 run (1 play, 21 yards after Dylan Baumgarner INT); run failed, 6-6
Third Quarter
PA (4:45) – Baumgarner 10 run (11 plays, 70 yards); Jordan Seefeldt pass from Tre Garzel, 6-14
Fourth Quarter
PA (11:19) – Tanner 3 run (7 plays, 56 yards); pass failed, 6-20
C (9:25) – Aaron Wolfinger 40 pass from Darren Keglovits (6 plays, 37 yards); pass failed, 12-20
PA (2:45) – Tanner11 run (2 plays, 12 yards after turnover on downs); pass failed, 12-26

Team statisics:
First Downs: Coudy 6, Port 16.
Rushes-Yds: Coudy 22-79, Port 45-178.
Passing Yds: Coudy 89, Port 123.
Comp-Att-Int: Coudy 10-23-2, Port 10-17-1.
Total Yards: Coudy 168, Port 301.
Fumbles-Lost: Coudy 0-0, Port 3-1.
Punts-Avg: Coudy 5-33.8, Port 3-32.5.
Penalties-Yds: Coudy 5-37, Port 3-25.
Total Plays: Coudy 45, Port 62.
Time of Poss.: Coudy 19:42, Port 28:03.

Individual statistics:
Rushing: Coudersport – Aaron Wolfinger 10 carries-31 yards, Zach Layag 3-29 (TD), Anderson Nicka 4-17, Jared Green 3-6, Darren Keglovits 2-(-4). Port Allegany – Mac Tanner 24-142 (3 TD), Dylan Baumgarner 5-25 (TD), Josiah Ramadhan 9-13, Jordan Seefeldt 3-3, Tre Garzel 4-(-5).
Passing: Coudersport – Keglovits 10 completions-23 attempts-2 interceptions-89 yards (TD). Port Allegany – Garzel 10-17-1-123.
Receiving: Coudersport – Wolfinger 1 catch-40 yards (TD), Green 5-21, Nicka 2-10, Derek Keglovits 1-12, Waterman 1-6. Port Allegany – Baumgarner 3-81, Seefeldt 5-38, Tanner 1-4, Jake Kallenborn 1-0.

(Helmets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Helmet Project.)

AML Week 6: Coudersport (2-3) at Port Allegany (2-3)

COUDERSPORT FALCONS (2-3)

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS (2-3)

ALLEGHENY MOUNTAIN LEAGUE
NORTH DIVISION

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015
PORT ALLEGANY, PENNSYLVANIA
7:00 PM ET

HISTORY

LAST 10 GAMES: Falcons lead, 6-4, but Gators have won four of the last five after halting a 13-game regular-season losing streak in the series in 2010.

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: October 3, 2014 – Gators 20, Falcons 18

Jordan Seefeldt’s 26-yard touchdown run with 3:56 remaining put the Gators on top to stay, and Chris Lashway stopped the last Coudy drive with an interception. Tre Garzel rushed for two scores, including one on the last play of the first half to give Port (1-5) some momentum heading into the break.

“Every ounce of credit goes to those 19 kids we dressed tonight. Every one of them – practice guys, scout-team guys,” Justin Bienkowski said after recording his inaugural victory as the Gator head coach. “I told them, ‘If you keep believing’ …

“I mean, we didn’t win a championship or anything of that nature, but every win is hard to get with where we’re at right now. They deserve to jump around, clap their hands, scream and holler, have a great time. Great job.”

LAST TIME IN PORT ALLEGANY: September 20, 2013 – Falcons 35, Gators 16

After Coudy had taken a 20-6 halftime lead, Seefeldt’s 95-yard touchdown pass to Cory Burr brought Port (1-3) back within 20-16 early in the fourth quarter, but the Falcons (3-1) tacked on two late touchdowns to pull away.

Coudy quarterback Ethan Hite tossed two touchdown passes and ran for another score, while Coy Hoffman rushed for 133 yards and scored twice in the win. Seefeldt finished 20-of-34 for a career-high 366 passing yards for the Gators.

(Helmets courtesy of the Pennsylvania Helmet Project.)