Haven’s win in Backyard Brawl sends Hurricanes to districts, ends Eagles’ playoffs hopes
Schuylkill Haven knew that a win would qualify them for District 11 playoffs.
Blue Mountain knew that if they won, a Eastern Conference berth was a possibility.
So the stage was set in this longtime rivalry. The Hurricanes ran the ball a whopping 61 times for 390 yards, using their running game to tire out the Eagles defense in a 38-30 victory Saturday afternoon at Rotary Field.
All game the Hurricanes (7-3) dominated up front as their massive O-Line opened huge holes for junior quarterback Ryan Fink and junior halfback Will Casella. Fink carried the ball 32 times for 257 yards and added two scores. Casella rushed the ball 25 times for 120 yards and two scores. The ‘Canes used their power run game to push past their archrival Eagles.
Blue Mountain (4-6) struggled to move the ball in the first half.
The second half was different. The Eagles went to their aerial assault lead by senior quarterback Shane Grapsy. Grapsy completed 13-of-26 passes for 312 yards and three scores.
Haven’s Fink started the scoring when he broke a 64 yard touchdown run early in the first quarter, giving Haven an early 7-0 lead.
The score stayed that way until junior kicker Jason Trumbo knocked home a 26-yard field goal to make it 10-0 in favor of the Hurricanes.
On the Eagles’ next possession Grapsy found senior wide out Tristan Dickey for a 62-yard touchdown putting the Eagles on the board.
Casella answered before the half, restoring Haven’s two-touchdown lead.
Blue Mountain drove down the field right before the end of the half but could not score as the Hurricanes led 17-7.
Haven drew first blood in the second half as Fink found his tight end Mike Feryo for a 38-yard score to help the ‘Canes began to pull away 24-7 after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, the Eagles found their stride on offense scoring 23 points on a Will Bornstein run and two Shane Grapsy touchdown passes.
Blue Mountain’s inability to stop Haven’s run game killed the Eagles as Casella and Fink added scores to close the door on Blue Mountain’s playoffs hopes.
The win gives Schuylkill Haven a spot in the District 11 Class A playoffs. Next week they will travel to battle the Tri Valley Bulldogs (8-2), in a District 11 semifinal game. The loss ends the season for the Eagles.
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