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BLOOMSBURG, Pa. – For all that the Bloomsburg Panthers did to shut down Danville running back Anthony Sori for the first three and a half quarters, it would have been easy for #28 to get frustrated and not keep his head in the game.


The Panthers’ speedster running back, who entered the game with more than 700 rushing yards, had been held to just 13 yards on nine carries, mostly on sweep plays.


But in the fourth quarter, Sori came up big for the Ironmen, and he helped bring the purple and orange another big W.


Sori caught two touchdown passes from Andrew Andreychik, including the game-winning 26-yard scoring reception with 56 seconds left to propel Danville (9-0) past Bloomsburg (7-2) for a thrilling 34-30, come-from-behind victory Friday night at Bloomsburg High School.


The two touchdown catches were Sori’s only receptions of the game, but boy, were they big.


“It was frustrating when they were stuffing the ground game,” Sori admitted.


Bloom’s defense did plenty of stuffing the potent Ironmen ground attack, which entered the game averaging more than 270 yards on the ground. This night, the red and black held Danville to just 115 yards on 36 rushing attempts, and battering ram of a fullback Russell Heath had a team-best 76 yards on 17 carries, most of that in the first half.


And the Panthers had Danville down by 10 points on three separate occasions in the second half – 16-6, 23-13, and 30-20. But the leads weren’t safe.


“These kids just don’t ever give up,” said Danville head coach Jim Keiser. “(This win) is huge for this program and for this town. They’ve waited 11 years for this.”


Early on, though, Bloomsburg was stealing the show, through, of all things, the legs and mobility of junior field general Blake Rankin.


Bloom led 9-6 at halftime, thanks in large part to the play of #5, who is getting looks from Rutgers. By halftime, Rankin had run for 49 yards and thrown for 47 more. He scored Bloom’s first touchdown on a 1-yard sneak with 39 ticks left in the first quarter. He also helped pin Danville deep in its own territory on its initial possession with a beautiful punt downed inside the five yard line. Danville went three-and-out, and the snap of the punt sailed out of the back of the end zone to give Bloom a 2-0 lead with 8:04 left in the first stanza.


Danville found its rhythm following Rankin’s touchdown run. The Ironmen began a slow, methodical march down the field, matriculating the ball Hank Stram-esque with a steady diet of Heath, mixed with the occasional Sori sweep or Andreychik keeper. All told, the 15-play, 78-yard, 6:58 drive was capped on a 4th-and-3 pass from Andreychik to Mikeal Owens-Wright from four yards out.


The second half became all about the aerial assaults.


Rankin (17-of-36, 222 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT) suddenly got his connection with sophomore wide receiver John Klingerman going, and it paid big dividends for the Panthers. Klingerman hauled in scoring passes of 32, 34 and 9 yards in the second half, and caught six passes for 138 yards on the night.


“He’s an outstanding player,” Bloomsburg head coach Larry Sones said of Klingerman. “His speed, his change of direction….” – Sones tailed off, practically left speechless of #2′s playmaking ability.


Each Bloomsburg score brought an answer from the Ironmen. Andreychik scored on a 5-yard run to make it 16-13; hit Garrett Llewellyn on a 54-yard scoring pass to make it a 23-20 game.


“That (pass to Llewellyn) was a 5-yard hitch,” Andreychik said. And with Llewellyn’s speed, the short and simple pass turned into a bigtime play.


After Bloom made it 30-20, Andreychik and Sori hooked up twice. The winning touchdown was set up by Danville blocking a Bloomsburg punt and recovering at the Panther 25 yard line. Two plays later, Sori scored the winning touchdown, sending the Ironmen faithful into delirium.


Bloomsburg still had a chance to win it, as Rankin (26 rush, 142 yards) broke off runs of 23 and 12 yards to advance to the Ironmen 27 yard line with less than 30 seconds left. But Rankin was sacked to end the game, and Bloom was left to wonder what might have been.


Sori might have summed things up most succinctly after the win.


“Good teams don’t come back and win games,” #28 said. “Great teams do.”

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On November 5, 2004 the Garnet Valley Jaguars didn’t score a point against Great Valley. Who would have thought the next time Garnet Valley would be shutout would be six years later.


            Garnet Valley has won the past two meetings against the Ridley Green Raiders. The first meeting in 2008 Garnet Valley went on to win big, 41-28. In the second meeting the win went to Garnet Valley with a 20-14 win. The third meeting consisted of a different story. This meeting Ridley controlled the game from start to finish. Ridley’s coach, Dennis Decker said, “The fact that they have beat us the last two years has left a sour taste in our mouths but we weren’t preparing any more or any less because we have lost the last two. We just wanted to come out and get a win tonight.”


            The Ridley Raiders walked onto Moe DeFrank Stadium on Friday night looking to stay undefeated; and they did just that. Although it took the Green Raiders nine and a half minutes to score after running back Jalen Randolph’s five yard touchdown run, that was just the beginning of a long night for the Jaguars.


            The Green Raiders lightning bolt and heart of the team is senior running back Shahaid Smith. Rushing for a total of 195 yards, Smith scored the Green Raiders second touchdown of the game on a quick two yard touchdown run after getting the offense down the field. Not only can Smith run a short touchdown to the end zone, he can run the long ones too.


            As halftime was nearing, the Garnet Valley Jaguars began to move the ball down field. Smith, who not only had a great offensive game but also played a part on defense, intercepted Jaguars quarterback Jake Helmes’ pass to end their drive and to go into halftime with an almost three touchdown lead, 19-0. Smith said, “I knew the time was running out, I knew they were just going to try to catch the ball and get out of bounds so I just stepped up and made the interception.”


            Garnet Valley knew coming into the second half they needed to stop Ridley’s offense being down 19-0. Well just 52 seconds in the second half Smith dashed into the end zone from 37 yards out. “The line’s blocking was excellent. It was a great call by the coach. After that it was a shake and miss of the defenders to get into the end zone” said Smith.


            Ridley wasn’t done scoring. The offense decided they have put the ball enough on the ground and decided to go to the air. After the Green Raiders defense recovered a fumble at their own 39 yard line by defensive back, Dion Shaw, Ridley’s first play on offense was a pass. Green Raider’s senior quarterback Sean Blundin threw a 61 yard touchdown pass. On the receiving end was senior wide receiver Norm Donkin. That big touchdown pass took the air right out of the stadium.


            To put the game to rest, the Green Raider’s lightning bolt, Smith, ran in his third touchdown of the game on a 15 yard touchdown carry to make the score, and the final 38 to 0. The last time a defense shut down Garnet Valley’s offense was six years ago. Garnet Valley hasn’t seen a goose egg on the score board in a high school player’s career and a half.


            “This was the best defensive game we’ve played all year long. To hold a team like that, as good as they are, as well coached as they are to zero points, I think says something about our defense” said coach Decker as he commented on the Green Raiders defense which had two fumble recoveries and two interceptions.


            Next week if Ridley wins they will at least share the Central League title with a win against Upper Darby at home at 7:00pm. If Springfield can beat Strath Haven, Ridley won’t have to share anything and bring the whole title back to Ridley.


            There are 16 teams that make the Quad A playoff tournament. For the Garnet Valley Jaguars to be one of them 16 teams they need to beat Lower Merion. The game will be at Lower Merion on Saturday afternoon at 2:30pm. It is a must win for the Jaguars to continue to play further football in 2010.

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Boyertown had it all going for themselves. 8-0 record, 6-0 in the PAC-10 including a 34-28 victory over Pottsgrove, and a 5th place ranking in the District one AAAA Football playoffs.


It all came crashing down to earth as Owen J. Roberts used 285 yards on 37 carries,  six touchdowns from Ryan Brumfield and the defense forced five Boyertown turnovers as the Wildcats crushed the Bears 55-14 Friday night in a PAC-10 game in Bucktown.


With the win OJR (7-2 overall, 6-1 league) should clinch a AAAA football playoff spot, but  also control their own destiny for their first PAC-10 football championship since 1993.


“The kids were focused all week,” said OJR Head Coach Tom Barr. “They didn’t say this was a must win for us. They just took it as , OK, this is our next game and we need to take care of business,” he added.


And take care of business they did.


Following a defensive stop, OJR took over on downs at the 35 and drove 65 yards on 13 plays as Brumfield scored on a 5 yard run with 40 seconds left in the first quarter.  John Pennell added his first of seven extra points as OJR lead 7-0. Brumfield carried 11 times for 65 yards in the drive.


On the ensuing drive, the Bears tied it at 7-7 as Tom Froelich scored on a five yard run with 11:04 left in the second quarter. The touchdown capped a 64 yard five play drive.  The first play of the drive was the big play as Quarterback Dylan Pasik (7-15, 74 yards but three costly interceptions) found Brook David for 39 yards.


But back came Brumfield and the Wildcats.


Again driving 65 yards, this time in 12 plays as Brumfield went over from the three with 4:45 to go before halftime. Brumfield carried nine time for 36 yards in the drive and Quarterback Ryan Megay found Ian Brazier for a 23 yard completion in the drive to make the halftime score 14-7.


That was just a warm-up of what was to transpire.


Taking the second half kickoff, Brumfield needed four plays for his third score of the night, a 58 yard run that included a great block by Megay with just 2:05 gone in the third period as the Wildcats increased their lead 21-7.


And by this time, Boyertown couldn’t stop the OJR jail break.


After an exchange of possessions, Brunfield was right back at it scoring on a 33 yard run with 4:26 to go in the third quarter to increase the lead to 28-7.


Then on the first play after the kickoff,  Jon Neiman (nine carries 48 yards) fumbled the football and Kyle Moore recovered for the Wildcats on the Bear 48. Before the first play was run, there was a 15 yards Unsportsman Like penalty and player ejection on Boyertown moved the ball to the 33 yard line. Sam Funk (eight carries 39 yards) gained seven on first down and Brumfield took it the rest of the way on second down for an insurmountable 34-7 lead for the Wildcats.


The Bears (8-1 overall, 6-1 league) then got back on the scoreboard as Pasik scored on a four yard run that capped a 66 yard seven play drive as OJR still lead 34-14 with 1:15 to play in the third quarter.


But Brumfield was still not finished.


Boyertown tried its second unsuccessful onsides kick as Paul Minninger recovered both for the Wildcats. Getting the ball on the Bear 49, the Wildcats played a little ball control and Brumfield scored his sixth touchdown of the night, a three yard run with 8:27 to play in the game.


“We worked hard all week so we deserved this,” said Brumfield. “This was without a doubt the best week of practice in my four years here,” he added.


OJR’s defense and  second team offense put two late scores on the board as Nate Blevins returned a fumble 60 yards for a touchdown and Dylan Frierson, the heir apperant at tailback scored from 15 yards out.


OJR now plays a very tough Perkiomen Valley team next Friday night in Collegeville, while Boyertown must regroup and play Methacton next friday night at home.

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PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. – The game of football is one of adjustments. Some are big adjustments and some are subtle. And sometimes, it’s the subtlest of adjustments that yield the biggest impact.


Just ask LaSalle head coach Drew Gordon, who simply tweaked an offensive formation at halftime.


“We switched from a double tight set to a spread formation to open up some running lanes,” Gordon said. “And our kids did a great job with it.”


LaSalle College (8-1) piled up 372 rushing yards – 237 of them in the second half – to flatten St. Joseph’s Prep (4-5) and the Hawks’ three-game winning streak 31-7 Saturday evening at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School.


Perhaps the greatest beneficiary from the offensive adjustment was Explorer senior running back Jamal Abdur-Rahman. After earning every bit of his 58 first half rushing yards, most of which came on three runs of 22 and 23 yards. Rahman exploded for touchdown runs of 66 and 69 yards in the second half and finished with 243 yards and two scores on 20 totes.


“The coaches told us, told our linemen that we were a second half team,” the Villanova-bound Abdur-Rahman said. “We always have the intensity real high (in the second half).”


The Hawks were able to keep LaSalle close for a half, but eventually were too physically worn down to contend with the three-pronged rushing attack of Abdur-Rahman, Tim Wade and Kevin Forster.


“When you don’t control the ball offensively and you’re on the field defensively (for most of the game), then you get worn down,” said St. Joe’s Prep head coach Gabe Infante. “In the first half, we were with them blow-for-blow.”


The Hawks and Explorers each missed first half field goal attempts – St. Joe’s a 27-yarder and LaSalle a 34-yarder – and the lone first half score came courtesy of a Wade 8-yard run. Wade’s run was set up two plays earlier by a hook-and-ladder play spanning 38 total yards, with Abdur-Rahman finishing the final 35 yards down to the Prep 9.


By halftime, LaSalle had outgained the Prep 176-72, but the Hawks had actually outpassed LaSalle 17-6. LaSalle’s defense harassed Prep field general Skyler Mornhinweg into a 2-of-9 first half.


Abdur-Rahman’s 66-yard touchdown run pushed the Explorers’ lead to 14-0, and the lead ballooned to 21-0 on LaSalle’s next offensive series when Forster (5-of-13, 50 yards, TD) hooked up with Colin Buckley on a 10-yard scoring pass.


Sophomore kicker Ryan Winslow booted a 22-yard field goal and Abdur-Rahman capped the Explorers’ scoring with a 69-yard jaunt in the fourth quarter.


St. Joe’s Prep was able to cut the LaSalle lead to 21-7 when Mornhinweg hit Adrian Johnson on a 19-yard scoring pass with 3:59 left in the third quarter. And Prep seemed to have some life breathed back into it when it recovered the ensuing kickoff at the LaSalle 40 yard line.


But Mornhinweg’s ensuing deep pass was picked off by Abdur-Rahman at the Explorer 8, and the blue and gold dodged a major bullet.


Defense did it for LaSalle, too. Prep only managed 196 total yards of offense – 134 on the ground and 76 of those yards coming from senior back Mark Casale – and Mornhinweg finished 7-of-24 for 70 yards.


“The defense was sensational (tonight),” Gordon said.


About the only downside for the Explorers was Wade (12 rushes, 78 yards) limping to the sideline in the fourth quarter, apparently reaggravating an ankle ailment that has plagued him all season.


“The last 3-4 weeks, he’s limped off the field in the fourth quarter,” Gordon said. “It’s a recurring ankle injury.”


LaSalle played without quarterback Matt Magarity (concussion), who could potentially return within the next week or two. Magarity has thrown for 746 yards and 11 scores this season, but Gordon said Forster gives the Explorers some options.


“Kevin gives us some things,” Gordon said. “He gives us the ability to run the option.”


- Stats note: According to, the hook-and-ladder play LaSalle ran in the first half counts entirely as receiving yardage – 0 for Sean Coleman and the remainder went to Abdur-Rahman. I had originally made a mistake and credited the yards to Rahman as rushing yards, which would have boosted his total to 278.

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Springfield, Pa. Anyone expecting to see an exciting game with lots of action was not disappointed after the show that Desmon Peoples and his cousin Brandon Peoples put on yesterday during Archbishop Wood’s 48-34 victory over conference rival Cardinal O’Hara yesterday afternoon at O’Hara’s new field in Delaware County.


Wood (8-0, 2-0) and O’Hara (8-0, 2-0) came into yesterday’s highly anticipated matchup as the class of both the AAA Philadelphia Catholic League and state rankings. Both teams pride themselves with stingy defenses and potent offenses coming in. Something was about to give.


The fireworks started almost immediately during the Vikings first drive when Brandon Peoples ran thru the middle of the Lions defense for a 54 yard touchdown run. Not to be outdone by Peoples, the Lions Jay Watkins took the ensuing kickoff and scored on an electrifying 75 yard TD.


On Wood’s second possession, the Vikings generated a nine play, five minute drive culminating with Quarterback Joey Monahan’s one yard touchdown. Monahan then continued his good fortune when he intercepted a Ryan Laughlin pass on O’Hara’s next drive. On Wood’s very next play, Brandon Peoples scooted for another 58 yard touchdown and a 20-6 Wood lead.


O’Hara only ran five offensive plays (to Wood’s 16) by the end of the first Quarter. O’Hara began to pick up the pace in the second stanza with their own quick score offense going 68 yards in only four plays with three Laughlin completions and ending with beautiful strike to Senior WR Tyler Gallen and a 42 yard touchdown. Two series later Laughlin again connected with Gallen for a 15 yard TD pass and a tie at 20. Not to be outdone by the two Laughlin TD passes, Brandon Peoples cousin, Desmon decided to join in the fun on Wood’s next drive with his own 68 yard run then a 12 yard burst and a score giving the Vikings a 27-20 halftime lead.


O’Hara hurt themselves with two costly turnovers both before and right after the half. Wood recovered a Lions fumble in Vikings territory just before the half and fumbled again to start the second half on their own 27 yard line which ultimately led to another Wood score. Three plays after the Lions second fumble, Monahan’s 29 yard touchdown run through the middle of the Lion defense gave them a 34-20 lead. But O’Hara answered again going 58 yards in seven plays with the running of both Adam Dempsey and a 14 yard TD run by Watkins.


Any thoughts of a Lions comeback were immediately thwarted when Desmon Peoples took the kickoff and did his own circus imitation and a 95 yard touchdown and a Vikings 41-27 lead.


With Dempsey beginning to bear down on his own running game, he generated 50 yards in the next drive ending with Laughlin’s one yard plunge to bring O’Hara back to within a touchdown.


After a missed Wood field goal, the Vikings held off O’Hara next drive to try to knot the score and took advantage of an O’Hara bad snap on a punt formation that enabled them to have great field position on O”Hara’s 23 yard line. Five plays later, Brandon Peoples put an exclamation point on the game with an eight yard TD run.


Laughlin was pressured throughout and was sacked five times. The Lions also played without the services of RB’s Brendan McLaughlin (high ankle sprain) and Damiere Shaw (concussion).


For the Vikings, Desmon Peoples (11-175 rushing, one rushing TD, 95 kick return TD) and his cousin Brandon (9-170, 2 TD’s) as well as their offensive drive blocking, provided the difference in victory. Monahan (2 rushing TD’s, one interception, and a fumble recovery) also made a serious impact.


Both these teams figure to see each other a second time in two weeks when the PCL AAA league championship takes place. Wood plays Archbishop Carroll next week in their semifinal matchup while O’Hara will take on Monsignor Bonner.


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CLARKS SUMMIT, Pa. – Abington Heights’ senior back James Freuhan had the luck of escorting the lucky girl crowned as AH’s 2010 Homecoming queen.


Had the Comets not awoke in the second half from a slight scare from a capable North Pocono Trojan team, AH may have lost its crown as one of the top teams among the contingent of District 2 AAA prorgams.


Abington Hights (9-0) scored 14 quick first quarter points, then played to a draw with North Pocono (5-4) for the remainder of a 28-14 victory Saturday afternoon from The Pit in Clarks Summit. But the win was sloppy – the blue and white committed 8 penalties for 65 yards, threw two interceptions and allowed the Trojans to hang around a little longer than maybe they wanted to.


The Comets, who are ranked in many state polls this year, did move one step closer to a perfect 10-0 season and also avenged a 33-7 defeat at the hands of the Trojans in 2009.


Abington Heights made like gang busters for the first stanza, amassing 141 yards of offense (76 rushing, 65 passing), eight first downs and 14 points, courtesy of a Freuhan 1-yard run and a Mike Beamish 20-yard pass to Matt Bodamo (5 rec., 91 yards, TD).


But just as quickly as AH started, they faded. The Comets added only one additional score – a Beamish 10-yard run with 1:01 left in the half – and three more first downs to their first half totals. And North Pocono only found itself trailing 14-7 with 3:35 left in the half thanks to Nick Bell’s 32-yard interception return for a touchdown.


The Trojans, too, were able to find a little offensive life with senior tailback Marquill Eggleston. It was Eggleston who helped get the ball rolling forward for the red and black, finshing the first half with 31 of NP’s 33 total yards. Back-up quarterback Michael Craig, forced into action due to an injury to junior starter Jack Williams, only threw for 1 yard in the first half and completed just 2-of-6 passes. Craig finished the day 3-of-11 for 14 yards with two picks.


Eggleston’s 9-yard run with 8:44 left in the fourth quarter pulled North Pocono to within 21-14, but it was as close as the Trojans would get to the upset. On the Comets’ ensuing possession, battering ram Paul Gallagher had a direct role in eight of the 10 plays, crashing in from a yard out to double the margin to 28-14.


Gallagher saw extensive action in the second half as Freuhan appeared to injure his ankle late in the second quarter. Freuhan, who finished with 67 yards on 11 totes, was seen on the sidelines in the second half sporting an iced left ankle and a pair of crutches. In the absence of #4, who entered with nearly 1,100 rushing yards this year, Gallagher ran for 127 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries.


Abington Heights did outrush North Pocono 226-78 and posted 20 first downs to the Trojans’ eight. Beamish finished with 126 yards of offense for the Comets (95 passing, 31 rushing), and Eggleston paced the Trojans with 81 yards on 17 carries.

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