Athens over TowandaWritten by: EasternPAFootball.com Staff on Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
Friday nightâ€™s football match-up between the Athens Wildcats and the Towanda Black Knights was anything but usual. The Athens Wildcats came in at home as the heavy favorites playing with a chip on their shoulder. The Towanda Black Knights, both plagued by injuries and inexperience were the underdogs. All went to script as it was the Wildcats picking up an emotional win in front of a soaked crowd to take over the drivers seat in the NTL.
The game started earlier and ended late due to an hour-long rain/lightning delay, but Athens persevered for a 30-10 win over Towanda. One would think that the game would get sloppy after the rains started, but things slopped up early – even before things got wet. Athens fumbled five time in the first quarter and lost three of them. They finished with 11 fumbles, losing six.
Nick Place started the scoring, converting with a 32-yard field goal for Towanda.
The Wildcats responded quickly. Tyler Birdsall took the kickoff raced 96 yards up the home sideline for a touchdown. Stivason converted on the PAT to take a 7-3 lead.
After teams exchanged fumbles, Towanda took over on their 34-yard line. Austin Schoonover took a handoff and raced 31 yard before Ray McDougan brought him down on the three with a touchdown-saving tackle. The Black Knights couldn’t convert and turned the ball over on downs.
Athens took over, but Birdsall fumbled on the second play of the series. Athens tried to pick the ball up in the endzone, but Towanda’s Dan Lejiedal fell on the ball for a score. Place added the extra-point for a 10-7 lead.
The Wildcats tried to respond to the Knights’ score with a drive downfield, sparked by a personal foul on Towanda and leaping snag by McDougan on a Stivason pass for 29 yards. The drive ended with a 37-yard field goal by Stivason that went wide right.
Athens got the ball back after a Noah Huff fumble and Stivason redeemed himself with a 31-yard field goal to tie the game.
After a punt by Towanda on the next series, the Wildcats took over on their own 42. After five Birdsall runs, Stivason found McDougan wide open along the opposing sideline. He broke two tackles and scored on the 18-yard pass play.
Stivason failed to convert the PAT and the Athens led at the half, 16-10.
With the 10:30 left in the second half, lightning caused a delay that lasted nearly an hour. When the teams returned the field amid pouring rain, Athens seemed ready to play.
After a Towanda punt, the Wildcats took over near midfield. After a 13-yard run by Birdsall, who ended the game with 127 yards on 22 carries, Athens found themselves near red-zone territory.
McDougan then showed his ability to slip tackles. He caught a short pass from Stivason, slipped and slid across the field, stepping out of numerous tackles before tip-toeing down the sidelines, covering nearly fifty yards on the 21-yard touchdown pass for a 23-10 lead.
Athens scored again on a one-yard run by Stivason that Birdsall set up with a 35-yard run. Stivason added the extra-point for the final tally.
The fourth quarter featured a fumble feast as the teams look far from sharp and the highlight of the quarter was Hope Raezer’s appearance on the defensive line.
Share This Post: