Rovers run past Gators

BROCKWAY ROVERS (3-0)

72

PORT ALLEGANY GATORS (0-3)

0

Lori Chase
Sept. 15, 2016

Injuries left an already-thin Port Allegany football roster scrambling against one of the best teams in District 9 on Friday night, with the results showing on the Gator Field scoreboard in Brockway’s 72-0 Allegheny Mountain League crossover win.

The deep, talented Rovers (3-0) entered the week tied for third in the D9Sports.com Top 10, behind only Kane and Class AAAA DuBois, and they’ll likely move up following their third dominating victory in a row and the Beavers’ loss to Meadville.

“Mad respect for their program. They’re just a better team than us right now,” said Port coach Justin Bienkowski. “We were at the top of the mountain. Now we’re at the bottom and we have to work our way back up. But I’m super proud of my guys, of the way they continue to battle. That scoreboard is not a sign of the character we have. I firmly believe that.”

Mark Latuska, a 1,000-yard rusher last year, led the Brockway attack with three touchdown runs. The 6-2, 220-pound senior punched in two short scores in the first quarter, then showed breakaway speed on a 90-yard sprint down the visitors’ sideline on his final carry of the game.

The Rovers took advantage of five first-half Gator turnovers to build a commanding 50-0 lead at the break, and began substituting freely during the second quarter.

“I told them at halftime, you’re going to have rough times, but this sport will teach you that you’ve got to keep coming back. I firmly believe that, and I’m proud of our guys for trying to become better,” Bienkowski said.

“We’re 0-3. It shouldn’t taste good. We shouldn’t be okay with it. But at the end of the day, it’s a game. It’s a high school sport where you’re making some friendships and gaining some respect for each other. That’s what we’re taking from it. We’ll come back and try to get better.”

The Gator coaching staff already knew they’d struggle to replace the seven AML all-stars lost to graduation this spring, but the task got even more difficult when both starting quarterback Daniel Jordan and two-way lineman Jesse Rush, one of just three returning starters, were sidelined.

Jake Kallenborn, seeing his first action at quarterback since early in his freshman season, completed 8-of-16 passes for 65 yards with three interceptions. Hunter Kisko, a 5-9, 160-pound freshman, took over for the injured Rush at center, often giving up close to 100 pounds to the Brockway defensive linemen.

“Hunter Kisko fumbled the first snap, could’ve very well checked out, but he played his tail off for us,” Bienkowski said. “As a freshman, playing against one of the best teams in Class AA.”

It doesn’t get any easier this week, when the Gators wrap up their crossover schedule by making the long drive to Curwensville to play the always-tough Golden Tide.

“It’s a challenge. We’ve got to be able to travel and play on the road. It’s always been a tough place to play. We’ve never beaten Curwensville down there since they entered the AML; we were fortunate enough to play them up here during our glory years.

“They’re a good team. Physical. We know what they’re going to do, we know they’ve got Nick Stewart and we know he’s going to run the ball. We just have to figure out a way to stop him.”

At Port Allegany, Sept. 9:

Score by quarters:
Brockway Rovers 29 21 15 7 72
Port Allegany Gators 0 0 0 0 0

Scoring Summary
First Quarter
B (11:42) – LeCates 24 pass from Miller (1 play, 24 yds); Esposito kick, 7-0
B (5:01) – LeCates 10 run (9 plays, 79 yds); LeCates pass from Esposito, 15-0
B (4:03) – Latuska 4 run (2 plays, 4 yds); Esposito kick, 22-0
B (0:05) – Latuska 1 run (3 plays, 57 yds); Esposito kick, 29-0
Second Quarter
B (9:27) – Latuska 90 run (1 play, 90 yds); Esposito kick, 36-0
B (5:44) – Miller 2 run (5 plays, 55 yds); Esposito kick, 43-0
B (0:35) – Serafini 10 run (4 plays, 50 yds); Esposito kick, 50-0
Third Quarter
B (9:23) – Jo. Wood 31 pass from Downer (5 plays, 54 yds); B. Smith pass from Inzana, 58-0
B (1:03) – Inzana 1 run (9 plays, 68 yds); Puhala kick, 65-0
Fourth Quarter
B (1:10) – Glasl 4 run (10 plays, 81 yds); Puhala kick, 72-0

Team Statistics:
First downs: Brockway 25, Port 10. Rushes-Yds: Brockway 28-331, Port 31-27. C-A-I: Brockway 15-22-1, Port 8-16-3. Passing yards: Brockway 243, Port 65. Total offense: Brockway 574, Port 92. Fumbles-Lost: Brockway 0-0, Port 4-3. Punts-Avg: Brockway 0, Port 4-27.3. Penalties-Yds: Brockway 6-70, Port 3-30. Plays: Brockway 50, Port 47.

Other AML Results:
Bradford 76, Cameron County 12
Kane 43, Coudersport 8
Ridgway 38, Smethport 0
Curwensville 43, Sheffield 0
Elk County Catholic 31, Otto-Eldred 0
(game called at half due to weather)

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