Northern Tier League Roundup – Week 10
The regular season is in the books and the Northern Tier League is now focused on playoffs. Troy and North Penn tied for the Division 1 title while South Williamsport won Division 2.
Wellsboro 28, North Penn 26
The Hornets rallied from a 20-14 deficit at halftime to beat North Penn for the third year in a row and retain the Morton F. Jones Memorial Trophy. After the Panthers scored on their opening drive on a two yard run by Bryce Zaparzynski, the Hornets answered back to trail 8-7. Senior Quarterback Michael Pietropola and Senior Running Back Levi Mack gained 13 yards and 11 yards, respectively on the first two plays before Pietropola hit Junior Anthony Cooper for a 21 yard pass completion. Pietropola then picked up three yards before hitting Cooper in the front of the end zone in front of two Panther defenders for the nine yard score. Senior Jack Chambers‘ kick split the uprights and the Hornets trailed 7-8 with 6:57 left in the opening frame.
North Penn would score on their next drive as Bo Burleigh hit Zaparzynski on a 33 yard pass down the sidelines to take a 14-7 lead. The Panthers would then extend their lead to 20-7 with just over three minutes remaining in the opening half as a Wellsboro fumble gave the Panthers excellent field position. Zaparzynski would score his third touchdown of the half on a five yard run. Wellsboro added a score right before the end of the half as Mack found the end zone from two yards out to bring the score to 20-14 North Penn.
The Hornets opened the second half with a score on their opening drive. The Hornets took to the ground for the majority of the drive as Pietropola, Mack, and Senior Jarret Dean to get the Hornets to the Panthers’ 43-yard line. From there Pietropola hit Smethers for a five yard gain followed by a eight yard gain by Dean to give the Hornets a first down on the North Penn 25-yard line. Pietropola hit Senior Nick Levindoski for 10 yards and then called his own number on his way to a 15 yard touchdown to put Wellsboro up 21-20 after Chambers’ extra point.
North Penn answered right back on their opening drive, aided by two costly Wellsboro penalties. Zaparzynski eventaully scored his third rushing touchdown from 13 yards out to go up 26-21 with 3:41 remaining in the third quarter. The Hornets would answer back and would take the lead for good on their next drive. Pietropola and Dean were the workhorses on the drive and got the Hornets to the Panthers’ 11-yard line before getting hit with a holding call. Smethers caught a four yard pass on first-and-20 and two plays later caught his only touchdown of the game from 16 yards out with 16 seconds left in the quarter. Chambers’ extra point gave the Hornets the 28-26 lead which they would hold on to.
Troy 23, Canton 8
The Trojans won the Old Shoe in the game’s 60th anniversary and also earned the NTL large school title (which they will share with North Penn) for the first time since 1988. Both teams went scoreless in the first quarter as they traded punts, but Troy struck with 11:56 to play in the second on a three yard run by Ben Sherman. Nick Stephani added the extra point to put the Trojans up 7-0. After a Canton fumble and two more punts, Troy increased their lead to 14-0 with 3:57 in the half as Diante Jones raced 70 yards down the right sideline for the touchdown to end the scoring for the first half.
Troy went up 17-0 midway through the third quarter on a 15 yard Stephani field goal. Canton would finally get on the scoreboard with 8:07 remaining in the game. After a few key passes from John Bowman, the Warriors would set up at the Trojan seven yard line for a first and goal. Noah Barnett ran in the easy seven yards for the score. The Warriors would go for the two-point conversion and add those extra points with a completed pass from Bowman to Malachi Washington to cut the Trojans’ lead to 17-8.
Troy would score once more on the night, with a 41-yard touchdown run from Chance Lantz with just over five minutes left in the game. This time, though, the PAT from Layton Calkins would fall short, setting the final score at 23-8.
Athens 49, Sayre 0
After a disappointing 2014 season, Athens won three of their final four games to finish the season on a high note as they shut out the Sayre Redskins in the Rusty Rail game. Athens quarterback Tyler Forbes had a big day, running 14 times for 164 yards and four scores and completing 3-of-5 passes for 73 yards.
Forbes scored his first touchdown of the night with 9:13 of the first quarter on a three yard run to give Athens the early lead. Peyton Lewis scored with 3:57 remaining in the first quarter to put Athens up 14-0 on a two yard run. Forbes struck again at 9:30 of the second quarter on an eight yard run and he ended the half with a 67 yard run.
In the third quarter Forbes scored again on an 18 yard run at 9:30 and then Brandon Sturzenegger got into the act at 3:40 with a five yard run. Kalen Keathley capped the scoring with 3:32 left in the game on a one yard run.
Athens finishes the 2014 season with a record of 4-6 while Sayre ends at 3-7.
Towanda 42, Wyalusing 10
The Black Knights earned a berth in District IV Class AA playoffs as they scored 35 unanswered points after falling behind early. Fumbles would be the Rams’ downfall as star running back Luke Jennings coughed the ball up four times on the night.
The Rams struck first on their opening drive as they would take a 3-0 lead on a 28 yard Warner Mendoza field goal after a 14 play drive. Towanda would answer right back, as Steven Yates busted off a 44-yard run followed by Noah Huff’s seven-yard touchdown run. Tyler Basse’s PAT made it 7-3. Wyalusing would answer back after Towanda’s score with a short, four play drive that started at their own 47-yard line. Justin Haley scored from two yards out at the 2:57 mark to put Wyalusing back up, 10-7. From that point on, Towanda’s defense turned up the intensity and shut out the Rams.
The next three drives all resulted in fumbles. First, Jennings fumbled the ball with Towanda recovering. Just three plays later, Towanda QB Noah Huff lost control of the ball giving the Rams possession. However, Jennings fumbled again on the next drive to give the ball back to the Black Knights.
Towanda would go up 14-10 on Wyalusing after Huff connected with Dylan Bates on a 10 yard pass before the first half ended. Towanda extended their lead on their opening possession of the second half as they put together an 11 play, 65 yard drive that culminated in a Huff sneak from the one-yard line and a 21-10 Towand lead with 7:00 left in the third quarter.
Another Jennings fumble on Wyalusing’s first play on their ensuing drive would set up the next score, as the Knights traveled 65 yards in eight plays. Huff again found Bates on a three yard pass, and Basse’s extra point made it 28-10 with 4:17 left in the third. The teams would trade punts into the fourth quarter before Huff again went to the air, connecting with Brandon McClinko on a 41-yard completion to the five. From there Yates went in to make it 35-10. The Knights closed out the scoring with Huff’s third touchdown pass, this time connecting with Tyler Vanderpool on a 38 yard pass, as Basse’s final PAT made it 42-10.
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