Pennsylvania rolls to 38-20 win in 43rd Big 30 Charities Classic

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Tre’ Garzel rolls right, looking downfield, as Noah Werner holds off a New York rusher in Saturday’s Big 30 All-Star Charities Classic. (Photo: Pam Fischer)

Lori Chase
Aug. 11, 2016

Going into Saturday night’s Big 30 All-Star Charities Classic, Pennsylvania coach Jim Berlin said his players were “ready and anxious” to start the game.

They had good reason to be confident about their level of preparation.

With Port Allegany quarterback Tre’ Garzel playing a major role, the Keystone State squad erased an early New York lead by scoring on three straight possessions, then pounded out two more long touchdown drives in the second half to secure a 38-20 victory in an entertaining and well-played 43rd edition of the annual all-star game at Interstate Parkway Field in Bradford.

“You really can’t script it any better than that,” an ecstatic Berlin said after watching his team stop a two-game New York winning streak to close the Empire State’s lead in the series to 22-19-2. “All week long they said, ‘Coach, when the lights come on we’re ready to roll,’ and they showed up. They played a hell of a good ballgame tonight.”

The trio of Shane Rolick (107 yards), Tyler Rolick (92) and Alex Colosimo (89) keyed a Pennsylvania ground game which stacked up 343 yards and five touchdowns, while Garzel, who was originally named to the roster as a defensive back, repaid Berlin’s decision to move him to the other side of the ball with what the Smethport mentor called “the game of his life.” He was an efficient 9-for-13 for 197 yards through the air in leading his offensive unit, which included Gator teammates Nate Lowery and Dylan Baumgarner, on four scoring drives in six attempts. The Port signalcaller escaped the pass rush on several occasions to complete throws downfield, keeping the chains moving, and capped off a second-quarter march with a 3-yard touchdown run that eventually proved to be the game-winning score.

“I got to see him play for four years in the AML, and he came to play tonight,” Berlin said.

For Garzel, though, it was a team effort.

“I can’t take any of the credit, really. My receivers were athletes, all of them, and my line was fantastic. Can’t say enough about those guys,” he said. “You know these guys for two weeks, and you grow so close to them. Especially your line, because they’re the guys that have got my back. A couple of moments in the game, things got a little out of hand, and I had some linemen stick up for me. Linemen, a quarterback’s best friend.”

Both teams moved the ball with relative ease in the first half, with New York pushing inside the Pennsy 20 on its opening drive before losing the ball on a fumbled handoff. Following Pennsylvania’s lone three-and-out, the Empire State squad turned a nifty bit of trickery into the game’s first points, with receiver Elijah Ramadhan (Olean) taking a reverse pitch near the right sideline and lofting a cross-field pass to quarterback Ben Burk (Southwestern), who strolled into the end zone for the 23-yard score.

It didn’t take long for Pennsylvania to reply. Taking over at the New York 48, Garzel opened the drive with a 27-yard toss to Brady Bauer, then hit the 6-foot-4 St. Marys receiver for another eight yards to convert a fourth-and-5 from the 16, setting up a 1-yard dive by Colosimo (Bradford) to knot the score. Eisenhower kicker Grant Venmon added the extra point for a 7-6 lead.

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Ethan Budd (76) helps open a hole for the Pennsy rushing attack. Budd: “It was great. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. You go from hating people to being best friends. When you’re playing against them, it’s not real fun and you don’t want to play with them.But once you get to know them, they’re completely different people.” (Photo: Pam Fischer)

Three plays into the second quarter, New York’s next possession ended with a fourth-down sack near midfield, and the Rolick twins started showing off the talent that propelled their Kane team to AML and District 9 championships last fall. Shane did most of the damage on this drive, turning a bootleg into a 47-yard gain before scoring on a 9-yard keeper.

The Burk-Ramadhan connection struck again on the ensuing New York possession, with the Olean receiver pulling in a 7-yard pass as he crossed the goal line and Caleb Rinko (Ellicottville) adding a two-point conversion to pull into a 14-all tie.

That sent Garzel’s unit back onto the field. Taking advantage of the New York pass rush, Berlin called a perfectly-executed middle screen, with ECC fullback Noah Werner rumbling for 69 yards before finally being dragged down at the 3. Garzel snuck into the end zone on the next play, and the Pennsylvania defense forced another fumble deep in its own territory to keep the score 21-14 as the teams headed to the locker rooms.

A couple of key halftime adjustments by Berlin and his Smethport staff helped break the game open. Seeking a better matchup at the line of scrimmage, he flipped the offensive units so New York’s bigger defensive linemen would have to chase Garzel around, while providing more room to run for the Rolick-led unit.

“It seemed to really wear them down in the second half,” he said.

Pennsylvania marched down the field to open the third quarter, with Garzel eluding a seemingly inevitable sack, then spotting Sheffield tight end Ryan Lemay open to convert another fourth down, setting up first-and-goal at the 3.

As Garzel remembered it, “I saw the end coming out of the corner of my eye, so I spun out. Then the second guy was there, and it was like, ‘oh no.’ I just gave a little push off and I was away from it. It just happens sometimes. I saw Lemay running down the field and I was like, ‘All right, there it is.’ Nice big target, delivered a good ball, he made a nice catch and got a couple of yards after.”

Werner punched in from the 1 to give Pennsylvania a two-score lead, and following a New York punt, Shane Rolick added his second touchdown run of the night on a pretty 23-yard bootleg to open up a 35-14 third-quarter margin.

Meanwhile, the Pennsy defense was starting to shut down the New York attack. After rolling up over 300 yards and 17 first downs before halftime, the northerners went nowhere on their first three second-half drives before finally finding the scoreboard again on a spectacular 44-yard touchdown run by Big 30 Player of the Year Jakeb Jones midway through the fourth quarter.

“Man, was he a heck of a ballcarrier,” Berlin said of the Cuba-Rushford star, who finished the game with 17 carries for 159 yards to break Virgil Graham’s 2005 rushing record by a single yard. “That last run for the score, you don’t get to see that every day. Even from that side of the field, it was enjoyable to watch that kid.”

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Mac Tanner drives through New York kick returner Nate Tackentien (28). Tanner: “It was a blast. Last chance to get on the field and go all out. These guys, these two weeks, we’ve become a family that you won’t ever forget. It was just a blessing to be on the field again one last time before we leave.” (Photo: Pam Fischer)

But if New York had any hopes of mounting a late-game comeback, they were dashed by a grinding 14-play, 70-yard drive which chewed up all but 13 seconds of the remaining time. Once again, it was Garzel breaking free to find his receivers downfield.

“A lot of that’s just will,” he said. “I never want to go down. One guy will not tackle me, is my mindset. You’ve got to make things happen. You see one guy and your mindset is, I’ve got to put a move on him and make a play afterwards.”

A 30-yard scamper by Colosimo moved the ball to the New York 3, and with time winding down, Berlin sent in the field goal unit. Late Bradford Era sports writer Greg Clark, remembered with a moment of silence during the pregame ceremonies, would’ve liked the move as Venmon, who was perfect on five extra-point attempts, booted the 22-yard three-point try “halfway to Derrick City” to close out the scoring.

For Berlin, the 1996 Big 30 Defensive Player of the Year who snagged an crucial interception during Pennsylvania’s 20-14 win in the 1997 game, completing the playing-coaching double was “an awesome opportunity.” Thanking both the Big 30 committee and his assistant coaches, he concluded, “I am super pumped right now. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get to play and then coach this game. It’s pretty cool. Pretty cool.”

While obviously happy about the victory, Pennsylvania players also spoke glowingly about the entire experience, with words like “friends” and “family” repeated often.
Perhaps Port defensive back Jordan Seefeldt, a last-minute addition to the Pennsy roster, said it best:

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Jordan Seefeldt:  (Photo: Pam Fischer)

“It was an absolute ball. Everyone said it was going to be a lot of fun, a great time, and that was an understatement. You get to play with all the players you’ve played against and see a different side of them. There’s a lot of them that are really great guys and they work really hard. The last two weeks with Coach Berlin and his staff, we’ve just had an absolute blast. It’s been a lot of fun, and then to come out and get the ‘W’ just sums it up for a lot of great careers. It was really just a good one to end on.”

43rd Big 30 All-Star Charities Classic
At Bradford, Aug. 6:
PA 7-14-14-3-38
NY 6-8-0-6-20

Scoring summary:
First Quarter
NY (4:24) – Ben Burk 23 pass from Elijah Ramadhan (13 plays, 74 yards); run failed, 0-6
PA (1:06) – Alex Colosimo 1 run (8 plays, 48 yards); Grant Venmon kick, 7-6

Second Quarter
PA (11:54) – Shane Rolick 9 run (5 plays, 52 yards); Venmon kick, 14-6
NY (7:42) – Ramadhan 7 pass from Burk (10 plays, 60 yards); Caleb Rinko run, 14-14
PA (6:17) – Tre’ Garzel 3 run (4 plays, 72 yards); Venmon kick, 21-14

Third Quarter
PA (10:24) – Noah Werner 1 run (10 plays, 79 yards); Venmon kick, 28-14
PA (5:41) – Rolick 23 run (7 plays, 55 yards); Venmon kick, 35-14

Fourth Quarter
NY (7:57) – Jakeb Jones 44 run (4 plays, 50 yards); run failed, 35-20
PA (0:13) – Venmon 22 field goal (14 plays, 70 yards), 38-20

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Nate Lowery: “It was really fun. It was nice getting to know people, going to practice and just hanging out, meeting new people going into college. It was just an all-around great experience.” (Photo: Pam Fischer)

Team Statistics
First Downs: PA 22, NY 19
Rushes-Yds: PA 58-343, NY 47-258
Passing Yds: PA 197, NY 122
Comp-Att-Int: PA 9-16-1, NY 13-20-1
Total Yds: PA 540, NY 380
Punts-Avg: PA 2-39.5, NY 2-52.5
Penalties-Yds: PA 10-82, NY 6-45
Fumbles-Lost: PA 1-0, NY 4-2
Plays: PA 74, NY 67

Individual Statistics
Rushing: PA: Shane Rolick 10-107 (2 TD), Tyler Rolick (7-92), Alex Colosimo 19-89 (TD), Noah Werner 5-23 (TD), Adam Shunk 9-21, Tre’ Garzel 8-11 (TD).
NY: Jakeb Jones 17-159* (TD), Andrew Morris 12-64, Ben Burk 10-19, Caleb Rinko 4-11, Simon Glogouski 1-7, Andrew Fair 1-1, Elijah Ramadhan 1-(-1), team 1-(-2).
* Big 30 Charities Classic record

Passing: PA: Garzel 9-13-1-197, S. Rolick 0-3-0-0.
NY: Burk 12-19-1-99 (TD), Ramadhan 1-1-0-23 (TD).

Receiving: PA: Werner 1-69, Ryan Lemay 4-59, Brady Bauer 3-58, Dylan Baumgarner 1-11.
NY: Rinko 4-44, Glogouski 5-32, Burk 1-23 (TD), Hunter Evingham 2-16, Ramadhan 1-7 (TD).

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Dylan Baumgarner (80) and Brady Bauer (20) wait for the snap. Baumgarner: “I thought it was a great experience, honestly. Had a lot of fun. We basically made a new family.” (Photo: Pam Fischer)

GATOR NOTES:

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With teammate Mac Tanner (21) in the background, Bryan Stahlman (54) sheds a block. (Photo: Pam Fischer)

  • Defensive end Bryan Stahlman served as one of four Pennsylvania captains, joining Brayden Howard (Smethport), Jake Shrubb (Kane) and Daniel Salinas (St. Marys.) New York captains were Nate Tackentien (Pioneer), Zach Bierfeldt (Allegany-Limestone), Wesley Senn (Randolph), and Matt Hanft (Cattaraugus-Little Valley).
  • Stahlman, one of three Port players on defense along with Seefeldt and Mac Tanner, was also one of several Allegheny Mountain League players who took part in both Saturday’s game and the inaugural Frank Varischetti All-Star Game (AML vs. KSAC) in Brockway in early July, giving him a 2-0 record this summer. While saying he enjoyed both experiences, he noted both the history of the Big 30 Game and the chance to bond with teammates over a longer two-week practice period. “Lot different than playing in the AML,” he said. “Everything was a lot quicker than what I’m used to, but we adjusted and it worked out all right.”
  • Two Port Allegany families are now a combined 6-0 in Big 30 history, with linemen Ethan Budd and Nate Lowery joining their fathers, Greg Budd and Scott Lowery (both 1983), and older brothers Seth Lowery (2011) and Nick Budd (2013) in the win column.
  • Cheerleaders Joyanna Landes and Kendra Pelchy also participated in this year’s game, and McKean County Fair Queen candidate Savannah Gray was announced with the other nominees during pregame ceremonies.
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Big 30 Charities Classic cheerleaders Joyanna Landes and Kendra Pelchy. (Photo: Pam Fischer)

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Temengil ready to roll in Rio

Aug. 4, 2016

The sport of wrestling has taken Florian Skilang Temengil to just about every corner of the world.

From growing up in Dallas, the son of immigrants from the tiny Republic of Palau in the western Caroline Islands, to becoming an NWCA All-American at Newman University in Wichita, Kansas, to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, to a gold medal at the 2016 Oceania Championships in New Zealand and bronze at the Africa Oceania Olympic Qualifier in Algeria — and even a week-long visit to Port Allegany in June for this year’s Bruno Iorfido Wrestling Camp.

Now, it’s brought ‘Flo’ from a training session in Korea to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, site of the 2016 Summer Games, where he’ll lead the Palauan delegation into the opening ceremony tomorrow night before stepping onto the mat for his opening-round 125kg freestyle match on Aug. 20.

“Palau’s such a small country, there’s not a lot of funding. We’re building a sport; I’m only the second generation of wrestlers there. So if I don’t go, no one goes from my country,” he said during his stint at ‘Camp Bruno.’

“We’re trying to build it. That’s what I’m here for. I feel like it’s kind of a little bigger than me. I have to stick with it, keep the next kids coming up. I think it’s gonna be a good thing, staying with it, especially for the island.”

Reached via Facebook on Monday afternoon, a few days after Team Palau landed in Brazil, he relayed that “it’s been a hassle getting wrestling partners, but I was able to do a little live wrestling today and blew my lungs out with the Cuban team. It’s going to be a buildup to my match. Every day, I’ll push it a little more and feel a little better.

“The food is okay, the rooms are kind of like dorms, the people are very nice, and the facilities are big. Lots of traffic here, but Rio looks better over on the village side.”

And you’d better believe Temengil is looking forward to the Parade of Nations during the opening ceremony at the fabled Estádio do Maracanã.

“I’ll be the one holding the flag for Palau,” he said. “And maybe I’ll be wearing a surprise outfit.”

The opening ceremony will be carried on NBC (tape-delayed) at 8:00 p.m. on Aug. 5.

Big 30 All-Star Charities Classic this Saturday

With the first week of practice for the 43rd annual Big 30 All-Star Charities Classic safely in the books, Pennsylvania head coach Jim Berlin is pleased with his squad’s progress and looking forward to Saturday night’s game.

“So far real good,” said Berlin, who’s about to begin his fifth season at the top of the Smethport program after five years as an assistant coach there. “The guys have been picking up the offense fairly quickly, picking up the pace on both sides of the ball. It’s exciting to have a bunch of all-stars. You’ve got a bunch of 17-18-year-old guys who’ve been playing since they were little kids. They aren’t awestruck by the terminology.”

The Pennsy roster includes seven players from Allegheny Mountain League North Division champion Port Allegany, with Tre’ Garzel (quarterback), Dylan Baumgarner (receiver), Nate Lowery (tackle) and Ethan Budd (guard) slotted in on offense, and Bryan Stahlman (end), Mac Tanner (strong safety) and Jordan Seefeldt (cornerback) lining up on defense.

“I was talking with Justin (Bienkowski) when we were in Port the other night, and I said I could see why they were successful even with low numbers, because that’s a talented group of guys,” Berlin said of the Gator contingent. “Jordan has a very high football I.Q. as well as Tre’, and Mac’s just ready to get after it all the time.”

Sheldon VanPelt is the lone Coudersport player in the game, with Jordan Crosby and Austin Doud (Cameron County), Heath Stewart and Brycen Schneider (Otto-Eldred), Tanner Barr, Logan Connolly, and Ryan Lemay (Sheffield), and Brayden Howard and Adam Shunk (Smethport) also selected from the AML North. The Hubbers’ Dylan Dinch was chosen, but was unable to participate.

“It’s fun being around those guys, especially the guys I got to see all season on the other teams. You’ve got a good idea of what they’re about,” Berlin said.

Three of the four Smethport coaches are Big 30 alumni themselves, with Berlin and Larry Dennis playing in the 1997 edition a year after Ryan Yingling suited up for Pennsylvania. Adam Jack is the fourth Hubber assistant, while Chris Fee and his Cuba-Rushford staff helm the New York side.

“It’s very exciting to me,” Berlin said of his return to the game. “As a kid growing up around here and playing football, the Big 30, besides going to college and playing football, is one of the things you strive for. Having the opportunity to play in that game and now coach in it is very exciting. It’s real fun.

“The crowd, the buzz around the whole game, it’s exciting. Going around to the different schools for practice, hanging around with different guys, you make lifelong friends in this game. I still have guys that I talk to that I played with, and I relayed that message to these guys a little bit. These guys will make some lifelong friends and get to play in an all-star game with a bunch of really talented players. It’s fun for everybody.”

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The 43rd annual Big 30 All-Star Charities Classic is slated for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, Aug. 6, at Parkway Field in Bradford. New York will once again claim the home sideline after winning last year’s game, 44-8, to take a 22-18-2 lead in the interstate series which has raised more than $1.6 million for area charities and individuals in need.

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This year’s honorary captains, Mike DaCanal from Elk County Catholic and Paul Rinko from Ellicottville, played in the 1982 game.

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Presale tickets are available at Man’s World and Northwest Savings Bank in Bradford, or by contacting any Big 30 committee member.

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The pregame parade begins at 2:30 on Saturday afternoon, with lineup at 12:30 p.m. in the Best Western parking lot. Following the parade, there will be a tailgate party in the high school parking lot outside the football field in the pavilion. (Note: No alcohol is allowed on school property.) Gates open at 5 p.m., with pregame ceremonies commencing at 6:15.