Bald Eagle Area Wins Squeaker over Penns Valley
Written by: William Albright on Saturday, September 15th, 2012
WesternPAFootball.net Senior Writer
WINGATE – When Penns Valley invaded Alumni Stadium Friday night for its annual battle with Bald Eagle Area, it was much more than a battle for the Iron Bell trophy.
It was more like two heavyweight boxers, exchanging punches and jabs from the opening kickoff to the final play of the game with only one man standing when the clock read 0:00.
In the end, the Eagles swerved and juked as they took every punch thrown at them by Penns Valley before walking off the field with a hard-fought 21-20 win over the Rams.
Going into the 2012 season, Bald Eagle Area head football coach Jack Tobias felt he had a special group of kids on his team. Friday night at Alumni Stadium, the Eagles showed just how special they could be in crunch time.
“I have to give coach (Martin) Tobias a lot of credit because they played a heckuva ball game against us tonight.” said BEA head coach Jack Tobias. “Obviously we are happy with the outcome, but we aren’t happy with the way we performed. We had the ball on the ground way too many times, we had personal foul penalties and I keep talking to these guys about paying attention to details. I just told them after the game that we have to commit to each other as a team, we are going to do things right every day in practice because if we take care of little things, they will eventually add up to big things for us.”
While Jack Tobias was happy with the win, Ram head coach Martin Tobias was certainly not disappointed with the effort from his Rams, but was disappointed for his team in that the Rams total team effort resulted in another loss.
“It was a good high school football game between two teams that really went at it,” Tobias said. “We had our chances, but we just didn’t come with the big play in several situations when we needed it. We gave it all we had and in the end, we left it all on the field.”
Although they were able to move the ball most of the game, the Eagles shot themselves in the foot a couple of times that might have cost them more points.
“Offensively we were able to move the ball whenever we wanted to, but in key situations, we made mistakes that cost us.” said Jack Tobias. “We are a good football team, but there are still a lot of little things that we have to clean up. I am not taking anything away from our kids because we are 3-0 and that is the first time that has happened here (at BEA) in 19 years. There were more fans here tonight than I have seen here for a long time and I told the kids that is going to keep growing, but they have to work hard and make the effort it takes to be good.”
After the two teams slugged it out in a scoreless first period, the Eagles drew first blood when Dion Barnard scored his first of two touchdowns on a one-yard run. Tyler Schall made it 7-0 BEA with his first of three successful conversions.
Not to run away and hide, the Rams took the ensuing kickoff and put together a 70-yard, 7-play drive, quarterback Cameron Tobias capping the march with a 10-yard scramble to paydirt.
The kick failed, but midway through the second period, the Eagle lead had been cut to 7-6.
On BEA’s next possession, the Ram defense made its presence known on the third play from scrimmage as Luke Weaver scooped up a BEA fumble and returned the miscue 40 yards for the score.
Again the PAT was no good, but with the quick six, the Rams held their first and only lead at 12-7.
Obviously aroused after giving up the pigskin on their last possession, the Eagles took over on their own 32 and manufactured a textbook 68-yard, 12-play drive, Barnard capping the march by scoring his second touchdown on a 3-yard run.
Schall was again good from placement, and the Eagles regained the lead for keeps at 14-12 with only 25 ticks left on the clock left before halftime.
For the game, Barnard was the workhorse for the Eagle offense as he rushed for 181 yards on 27 carries and the two scores.
“I wouldn’t be able to have a game like this without my line,” said Barnard. “Caleb Day, the Cramer boys (Tanner and Levi), (Hunter) Hall and (Hunter) Clark. Without them in front of me, I wouldn’t be anything. I just tell them that if they block I will take care of the rest.”
Although there were no points put on the board in the third period, the Eagles dominated play as they ran 19 plays to just four for the Rams.
As it turned out, one backbreaker for the Rams came on the first play of the fourth period when Bryan Greene broke through the line and sprinted 59 yards for the score. Schall completed the BEA scoring when he kicked what would turn out to be the game-winner with his third PAT.
But hold the phone because the Rams had at least one more call to make.
Following a 54-yard kickoff return by Ian Brown that carried to the BEA 25-yard stripe, the Rams needed only five plays to find the end zone, the mini-march capped by a two-yard TD run by Luke Weaver.
A big play on the march was a 21-yard aerial connection from quarterback Cameron Tobias to Brown that gave the Rams a first-and-goal at the BEA 6.
On the conversion attempt, Tobias threw a strike to Taylor Collison for the two points, and with almost nine minutes left in the game, the Rams had crept to within a single point of the Eagles at BEA 21, Penns Valley 20.
Both teams had opportunities to seal the deal in the final eight minutes, but neither could complete the mission.
BEA drove to the Penns Valley 15 where a drive stalled short of the sticks. In desperation, the Rams went for a fourth-and-two deep in their own territory, but they too fell short of a first down.
“The kids said, hey, we only need two yards so let’s go for it,” explained Martin Tobias. “And the coaches said, let’s sell out. We need something to show that we believe in the kids, let’s give it a whirl and although we didn’t make it, we were fortunate to hold them on their next possession.”
Unable to take advantage of the excellent field position, Penns Valley had one final opportunity to pull off the upset win as they drove to the BEA one-yard line with only seconds on the clock. However, the Eagle defense stiffened and kept the Rams out of the end zone and a quarterback sneak ran the final second off the clock to preserve the 21-20 win for the Eagles.
If there was a player of the game for the Eagles, it would have been Barnard, while for the Rams that honor would have gone to Liam Benfer who must have had his name called 20 or more times for defensive plays during the game.
“He played hard from start to finish,” said Martin Tobias of Benfer. “He had just a fantastic game. He is really coming into his own and I am really pleased with the effort he gives us. He just did a super job.”
Penns Valley 0 12 0 8 — 20
BEA 0 14 0 7 — 21
BEA – Dion Barnard 1 run (Tyler Schall kick), 9:27 (7-0)
PV – Cameron Tobias 10 run (kick blocked), 7:15 (7-6)
PV – Luke Weaver 40 fumble return. (rush failed), 5:25, (7-12)
BEA – Barnard 3 run(Schall kick), :25 (14-12)
BEA – Bryan Greene 59 run (Schall kick), 11:47. (21-12)
PV – Luke Weaver 2 run (Tobias to Taylor Collison pass), 8:46. (21-20)
Team Statistics PV BEA
First Downs 11 19
Rushes-Yards 26-103 53-300
Passing Yards 140 74
Passing 8-16-0 10-15-0
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 3-2
Penalties-Yards 5-46 4-32
PV: Cam Tobias 7-50, 1 TD; Taylor Collison 11-33, Dom Hook 2-12, Vince Rowles 4-8, Luke Weaver 2-0, 1 TD.
BEA: Dion Barnard 27-181, 2 TDS, Bryan Greene 3-63, 1 TD; Dakota Bartley 11-44, Kaleb Weaver 6-29, Nate Sharkey 1-2, Cole Long 5-minus 19.
PV: Cameron Tobias 8-16-0, 140 yards.
BEA: Cole Long 10-15-0, 74 yards
PV: Ian Brown 5-84, Luke Weaver 1-31, Sam Koser 1-19, Taylor Collison 1-6.
BEA: Jordan Kobularcik 2-32, Dakota Bartley 5-27, Jon Romine 1-8, Robert Jones 1-4, Bryan Greene 1-3
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