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High School Spotlight

September 19, 2011

WINGATE — After two disappointing losses to begin the 2011 season, Bald Eagle Area football coach Jack Tobias, his assistants and the Eagle squad were hoping that the third time would be a charm.

Combining an efficient offense with a swarming defense, the Eagles charmed the BEA faithful Friday night as they dominated the Halifax Wildcats for a 21-0 win at Alumni Stadium.

“We just needed to get a win for these guys morale,” said BEA head coach Jack Tobias. “They have been through a lot the past couple of weeks and it is big for them to have a chance to go into the locker-room and have a lot of excitement and enthusiasm about what just took place. We’ll get in here tomorrow, do a little lifting and get ready for next week.”

The Eagles put their offense in high gear on their first possession of the game as they marched 52 yards on eight plays for all the points they were to need for the win.

Cody Ripka, who led all rushers in the game with 83 yards, picked up 51 of the 52 yards on seven carries in the TD drive.

“Their linebackers get inside a lot and that opened up the outside,” said Ripka. “I wanted the ball because coach (Tobias) challenged me to run the ball good and I just wanted to be able to finish and have a good game.”

But regardless of where the defensive personnel play, any successful running back will be quick to admit that he needs help from the ‘Hogs” up front.

“They (offensive linemen) work hard in practice and that effort showed here tonight,” said Ripka. “I really appreciate everything they do and they are pretty much responsible for anything our offense is able to do. This (the win) feels way better than the first two games.”

Coming off a huge game that saw him rush for over 200 yards, Halifax quarterback Robbie Moretz felt the effects of the swarming Eagle defense all night long as he was held to negative two yards on 22 carries by the first team BEA defensive unit.

“We just harped on it all week for them to take care of responsibilities,” said Tobias. “Certain guys had quarterback and other guys had pitch (man) and there were some times when he (Moretz) got some runs. But the biggest thing we were able to do tonight was get a big push up front and that kept guys off our linebackers and allowed our guys up front to make plays.”

Leading the defensive unit were Nicholas Uncapher, Justin Thompson and Nate Sharkey.

“Uncapher had a couple of sacks, I think Justin Thompson had a sack, Sharkey had a big fumble recovery for us and (Jeff) Koleno had a nice interception,” said Tobias. “Our linebackers also did a nice job of filling (the holes) tonight and that is something we have been harping at them to do. Right now we only have one or two players who played in the same position last year so it is just a matter of them getting reps to continue to improve and they have done that each week since the first game.”

Holding the 7-0 lead heading into the third period, the Eagles gave themselves a little breathing room and again it was on their first possession of the half.

Taking over on the Halifax 38 thanks to a short Wildcat punt, the Eagles maneuvered the 38 yards on a half dozen plays, junior quarterback Cole Long carrying the mail for the final yard and the score. The PAT attempt was blocked, but the Eagles had extended their advantage to 13-0.

The Wildcats were forced to punt on their next possession and again the Eagles had good field position as they took over on their own 46.

A long to Jon Romine pass for 18 yards, two carries by Sharkey for 18 more and a 5-yard scamper by Matt Dillon set up Long for his second touchdown of the game when he scooted to the right from 13 yards out for the score. A pass for two from Long to Colby Peters was good to set the final at BEA 21, Halifax 0.

Now 1-2, the Eagles will take their game to Philipsburg Friday night when they battle the P-O Mounties in a conference outing. Kickoff for that fray is set for 7 p.m.

Halifax 0 0 0 0 — 0

BEA 7 0 6 8 — 21

First Quarter

BEA — Cody Ripka 5 run. (Tyler Schall kick)(8:44)

Third Quarter

BEA — Cole Long 1 run. (kick failed)(6:22)

Fourth Quarter

BEA — Long 13 run (Long to Colby Peters pass)(11:15)

Team Statistics H BEA

First Downs 12 11

Rushes-Yards 44-127 37-185

Passing Yards 41 20

Passing 2-6-1 2-11-1

Fumbles-Lost 3-3 0-0

Penalties-Yards 9-60 9-80

Individual Statistics


H: Allan Kaufman 7-42, Chad Meko 8-33, Dan Hebenthal 4-27, Robbie Moretz 25-25. BEA: Cody Ripka 14-83, 1 TD; Cole Long 3-36, 2 TDs; Matt Dillon 5-26, Nate Sharkey 3-19, Dakota Bartley 5-18, Jeff Koleno 2-8, Dylan Womer 1-3, Seth Holt 1-0, Tyler Howell 1-0, Kaleb Weaver 1-0, Ryan Watkins 1-minus 8.


H: Robbie Moretz 2-6, 41 yards, 1 interception.

BEA: Cole Long 2-5 20 yards, 1 interception; Jeff Koleno 0-5, Tyler Schall 0-1.


H: Dan Hebenthal 2-41.

BEA: Jon Romine 1-18, Cody Ripka 1-2.

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Wyndmoor, Pa., The LaSalle Explorers (D12, AAA, PCL) used a suffocating run defense and Senior quarterback Matt Magarity’s two touchdown passes to wear down last year’s AA state champion West Catholic to the tune of a 24-0 whitewash at Springfield Montco. The Explorers rebounded after losing last week to New Jersey power Bergan Catholic 41-17.

Both teams struggled early as there were a combined 11 penalties for 115 yards in the first 14 minutes of play. LaSalle then began to bear down in the second quarter going on an extended 11 play, 93 yard drive (66 of the yards from Magarity’s arm) ending with his 5 yard pass on a fade pattern to Colin Buckley and a 6-0 Explorer lead. Just before the half the Explorers struck again on a 24 yard pass from Magarity to Sean Coleman and a 14-0 halftime lead.

The LaSalle defensive front line put so much pressure on West’s skill players that it enabled the linebackers to play more downhill and make plays that the Burrs ran right at them The Explorers keyed on  Burrs sensational junior running back David Williams forcing them to rely more on quarterback Jaleel Reed’s ability to run. Williams ran for over 200 yards last week against Archbishop Wood but Explorer defensive coordinator John Steinmetz’s plan worked to perfection as they kept Williams in tow by limiting him to 37 yards on 13 carries and no run greater than 10 yards from scrimmage.

The Explorers used the running attack in the second half to wear West down as running back Tim Wade led them on a 13 play drive toting the rock seven times in the series for 33 yards and scoring on a 13 yard bolt down the right side and 21-0 lead. Ryan Winslow’s field goal early in the fourth quarter ended the scoring. Wade had 25 carries for 131 yards and one touchdown. Magarity was unofficially 11 for 20 for 160 yards and two touchdowns.

The Burrs finished up a murderous start of season schedule going 0-3 having played two very good District 12 AAAA teams and maybe the best AAA team (Archbishop Wood) in the state. You have to give this small school credit for stepping up and taking these games. It will certainly prepare them to defend their state AA title and a little easier schedule down the road. LaSalle (2-1) also finished up a tough three game stretch and will travel to Monsignor Bonner next week.

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BETHLEHEM – For a second straight week, Nazareth Area found their team down in the second half and again it was Dan Harding who engineered a comeback. The Blue Eagles overcame a three-touchdown deficit to defeat Bethlehem Liberty in front of 7,000 fans Friday night at Bethlehem Area School District Stadium.

It was the Liberty Hurricanes who struck first with a Devon Jones 40-yard touchdown run. The extra point was blocked and the Hurricanes led 6-0.

The Blue Eagles overcame an early turnover, got one back, and Harding went in for the five-yard touchdown run with 3:33 left in the first quarter to tie the game up at six.

The Hurricanes dominated the second quarter scoring with four of the five touchdowns. Jones went in for a 28-yard run. James McCarthy scored on runs of one-yard and 76-yards. The Blue Eagles only score in the quarter came from a Harding to Adam Bridgeforth 16-yard touchdown pass. Michael Harris finished the scoring for the Hurricanes going in for a 30-yard run with 16 seconds remaining in the first half.

Liberty had 15 first downs and over 270 yards rushing in the first half. The Hurricanes went into halftime with a commanding 34-13 lead.

The comeback kids would get the party started in the second half with Nazareth’s freshman, running back Jordan Gray scoring on an 18-yard run. Harding added two more touchdown passes to Andrew Bridgeforth (18-yards and 51-yards) to tie the game up at 34 with nine seconds remaining in the quarter.

The Hurricanes took the lead back with 9:51 remaining in the game.  Stephon Font-Toomer ran right up the middle for a 33-yard run putting Liberty up 41-34.

Harding threw for 394 yards including a 32-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Bridgeforth with 38 seconds remaining in the game to bring Nazareth back within one, 41-40. The Blue Eagles decided to go for the win and Harding’s two-point conversion to Dan Shepherd cemented the comeback 42-41.

Harding’s two favorite targets on the night were Adam Bridgeforth who had 12 catches for 143 yards and one score and Andrew Bridgeforth who had 160 yards and three scores.

Liberty’s Quarterback James McCarthy led the way with 215 yards rushing and 73 yards passing.

Nazareth (3-0) hosts William Allen next Friday night. Bethlehem Liberty (2-1) will try to rebound home next week against Whitehall.

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Originally scheduled for Friday, Dunmore welcomed the Invaders of West Scranton to Bucks Stadium tonight.

Playing their first game since September 2, West Scranton did not show signs of rust early as they scored the first touchdown of the game. The Invaders were led by the legs and hands of senior Malcolm Sweeting. Number 1 rushed for 44 yards and a touchdown. Sweeting caught 6 passes for 91 stripes.

However, the home standing Bucks, would score the next 26-points after Sweeting’s Invaders notched the first seven. Dunmore registered a, 26-13, win and improved their record to 3-0.

Dunmore’s sophomore running back Daiqwon Buckley led the Bucks’ rushing attack with 113 yards on 16 carries. Buckley has averaged 6.0 markers per tote in each of his first three games. Austin Seamon rushed for two scores in the contest as he now has scored seven times this year on the ground. Dunmore’s signal caller Jordan Dempsey didn’t put up jaw-dropping numbers, though, he managed the game by connecting on 5 of 8 passes for 32 yards and a score. Dempsey has not thrown an interception in the past two games.

The Bucks will travel to take on Montrose next week as West Scranton (1-1) will play unbeaten Delaware Valley.

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KEMP MEMORIAL STADIUM: After flood waters ravaged much of the Susquehanna Valley and its tributaries, including areas like Catawissa, Elysburg and Shamokin, things were looking much more back-to-normal on Saturday night. The week-three football game was pushed back a day due to the fact that both teams had just played the previous Monday. Each team was victorious in their last contest, setting up this Heartland Conference cross-over rivalry between ‘AAA’ Shamokin and ‘A’ Southern Columbia.

The Indians received the opening kick to start, but turned the ball over to the Tigers after coming up short on a fourth-and-inches play near mid-field. With excellent field position, Southern went to work. Casey Savitski ran for the first first-down of the game on a six yard rush, where and incidental face-mask penalty advanced the ball to the 31 of Shamokin. That’s when Matt Moore got his first touch of the night, cut to the outside, and raced 31 yards for the opening score. SC’s kicking game struggled all night starting with the initial PAT, which was nearly blocked and sailed wide left. The score was 6 – 0 for the Tigers.

The Tiger Defense then forced Shamokin to another three-and-out series when Moore stopped Zach Tillett for no gain on 3rd & 7. After the punt, Southern began to march forward until a sack and intentional grounding penalty netted a 2nd & 27 at the Tiger 40. The set-back was quickly over-come however, when Tyler Levan caught a screen pass and ran 23 yards to the Indian 37.  Following this, Moore got his second carry. Breaking at least four tackles as he pounded his way down-field, he broke free and  went the distance. A blocked PAT left the score 12 – 0.

The Indians were able to muster a first down on their next series, but were forced to punt after six plays. The punt did help Shamokin with field position, forcing the Tigers to start from their own 20, but it didn’t seem to matter. Levan took a hand-off straight up the gut, broke to the left and never looked back, en route to an 80 yard score. The 2-point conversion failed, and it was 18 – 0.

Things were looking very bleak for the Indians when Jamie Slotterback sacked Tucker Yost for a loss of 5, setting up a 3rd & 15 at the Shamokin 35. However, fullback Draven Miller gave them a break on the next play. Finding a hole in the middle, he burst for the 65 yard score with 9.8 seconds left in the first quarter. The Indians had some life now at 18 – 7.

The kick-after-touchdown went to Savitski, who scrambled and fought his way down to Shamokin territory at the 41. A hit well out-of-bounds added another 15 yards to the 26 yard marker. Next, QB Brad Fegley was hit late on a pass attempt as time ran out in the first quarter. The Tigers had another shot from the 13th hash-mark with 0:00 on the clock. Savitski once again got the ball and bulled his way to the end-zone. A score of 25 – 7 marked the end of a wild opening period.

Unable to gain much on the ground, Yost went to the air to keep the next drives going. He connected with Devin Madara for 30 yards, then 2 and 6. Finally, on 3rd & goal at the 2 he tossed a flare pass to Andrew Hasuga for the score, making it 25 – 14.

Toward the end of the first half, Shamokin was forced to punt, when a fumbled snap got the punter tackled at the 8 yard-line by David Jeremiah. Three plays later, Levan punched it in from the 5. The Indians had one more shot before the half, but that hope ended with a QB sack as time ran out. The teams entered the lockers with a score of 33-14.

Southern’s first team was only in the game for one series in the second half, and that resulted in another score by Levan. Not to be out-done, the second-team added another touchdown at 4:33 in the 3rd when Cody Pavlick rumbled in from the 20. Coach Roth got his reserves some valuable playing time for the remainder of the game while Shamokin kept much of its first-team on the field. The Indians were able to add one more score early in the final quarter to make it 46-21 on a 2-yard dive by Miller. In all, the Tiger reserves held strong, including a goal-line stand at the end of the game.

SHAMOKIN (1-2) hosts a struggling Selinsgrove(0-3) team next week in HAC-I action. The Indians have a somewhat softer schedule in the middle of their season to get some of the kinks worked-out. They were able to find some success passing tonight, going 11/16 for 98 yards and a touchdown. Their running-game struggled outside of the 65-yard TD run by Miller. Beside that run they averaged less than 2.8 yards per carry.

SOUTHERN COLUMBIA (3-0) hosts an improving Central Columbia (1-2) team next week in HAC-II action. They were physically dominating tonight, but will need to address some issues on defense as their season gets more difficult. As for the offense – the rushing trio was unstoppable: Levan led the rushing totals with 116 yards on 10 carries with 3 TD’s; Moore compiled 77 yards and 2 TD’s on just six carries (12.8+ AVG); and Savitski went 39 yards on 5 carries with a TD.  Defensively, Tom Schetroma, Cameron Flore, Kieth Day, Slotterback and Moore led the way keeping the Indian running game bottled-up.

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Philadelphia, Pa., Wide receiver William Fuller and quarterback Michael Keir put on an offensive air show of massive proportions as the Roman Catholic Cahillites cruised to a 32-7 victory over the Chestnut Hill Academy Blue Devils at Roxborough stadium.

People were just getting seated after the playing of the national anthem when on the very first play from scrimmage Keir hit Fuller for an 85 yard touchdown.  On their next series with the ball on their own 13 yard line Keir had completions of 20, 24 and 17 yards mixed in with senior Marcus Kelly’s 5 runs ending with Kelly’s 2 yard jaunt into the end zone and putting Roman up by two scores.

Chestnut Hill could not muster much up offensively in the first half. The Cahillites were not giving Blue Devils junior quarterback Michael Hayes and running back Cedric Madden much room in the gaps to pick up yardage holding them to 60 total by halftime. Roman’s defense, led by Jack Schanz, Roberto Harris-Barron and Brett Pellicciotti snuffed out most of what the Blue devils were trying to muster. Two more Roman touchdowns, a one yarder by Kelly and a one yard Keir to Fuller pass gave them a 26-0 halftime lead.

After a scoreless third quarter Chestnut Hill finally got on the board after recovering a Keir fumble on the Cahillite 24 going five plays and Madden taking it in from the six to cut the lead to 26-7. Roman answered immediately in five plays with the big one a Keir to Fuller pass that went for 74 yards to the Blue Devil one. Kelly’s one yard touchdown ended the scoring.

Keir ended his day going 15-19-332 yards and two touchdowns (both to Fuller). Fuller had 10 receptions for 276 yards. Both players are only juniors and will be doing this together for another year. Fuller appears to be one of the very best receivers in the state. He has size (6’2, 155) to go up a grab balls at its highest point and breakaway speed once he gets in space. He should be receiving serious D1 interest soon. Keir is not far behind. He’s got a big time arm and did a very nice job punting when he had to. In a losing effort Madden had 28 carries for 114 yards and a touchdown for Chestnut Hill.

Roman (D12, AAAA, PCL) goes to 2-1 and will play Cardinal O’Hara next week. Chestnut Hill (Independent, AAA, Inter-Ac) falls to 1-2 and will host Conwell Egan.

Scoring by Quarter

1st quarter

Roman- Fuller- 85 pass from Keir- PAT- no good- 11:40

2nd quarter

Roman- Marcus Kelly 2 yard run- PAT- Phillip Isaac- 7:30

Roman- Marcus Kelly 1 yard run- PAT- blocked- 3:28

Roman- Fuller- 1 pass from Keir- PAT- Phillip Isaac- 0:00

3rd quarter

No scoring

4th quarter

Chestnut Hill- Cedric Madden- 6 yard run- PAT-Luke Mulvanney- 7:47

Roman- Marcus Kelly- 1 yard run- PAT- blocked- 5:04

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ALLENTOWN – Brendan Nosovitch led the way throwing for two touchdowns and running for three more. Allentown Central Catholic scored 42 unanswered points in a 52-14 win over Bethlehem Catholic at J. Birney Crum Stadium Saturday night.


The start of the game looked more like two prizefighters slugging it out. Both teams scored twice in a wild first quarter.

The Vikings started the scoring barrage, running the ball ten times on their opening possession. Colin McDermott finished the drive going right up the gut for the five-yard score. Tim DiGiacomo’s kick made it 7-0 Vikings with 6:38 remaining in the first quarter.

Bethlehem Catholic only needed three plays to tie the game up at seven. Quarterback Connor Casey threw a quick out to Evan Blair who took it 65-yards for the score.

The Vikings answered the Golden Hawks scoring drive by putting together an 11-play drive of their own. The drive ended with a 26-yard field goal by DiGiacomo. Vikings led 10-7.

The Golden Hawks went to their bag of big plays. Robert Akrie took the hand-off and broke tackles en route to an 86-yard run. At the end of the first quarter Bethlehem Catholic led 14-10.

The Viking flexed their muscles and took over the game in the second quarter, scoring three times. Nosovitch scored on runs of three and 43 yards. He connected with Kevin Gulyas for a 33-yard touchdown pass with 11 seconds remaining in the first half.

The Vikings defense made the adjustment and shut down the Golden Hawks in the second quarter. If you take away the two big plays by the Golden Hawks they had less the 50 yards of total offense. Central Catholic had 16 first downs and a balanced offensive attack in the first half (128 yards rushing and 121 yards passing). The Vikings led 31-14 at the half.

The Vikings defense in the second half was perfect and gave up no points. McDermott scored on a five-yard run and Nosovitch added a 43-yard run in the third quarter.

The only scoring in the fourth quarter was a Nosovitch to Gulyas 22-yard pass. Allentown Central Catholic got their first win of the season, 52-14.

Colin McDermott led the way rushing for the Vikings with 133 yards and two scores. Kevin Gulyas had 11 catches for 163 yards and two scores.

Connor Casey led the way for the Golden Hawks with 112 yards rushing and 109 yards passing.

Allentown Central Catholic (1-2) travels to Northampton next Friday night. Bethlehem Catholic (2-1) travels to Dieruff.

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