Bisons capitalize on turnovers in victory
CRESSON – For the second week in a row, the Penn Cambria football team turned the ball over four times. For the second week in a row, the Panthers suffered a loss.
The Panthers watched Bedford use a balanced attack, behind sophomore quarterback Austin Montgomery, whose team played error-free on offense in a 20-2 victory Friday night.
“The turnovers … we forced things a little bit,” Penn Cambria coach Jason Grassi said. “We tried to get something moving in the second half throwing the ball, but we’re still not there yet.”
Bedford had two solid opportunities to score in the first half, but did so only on its first-quarter chance. Montgomery orchestrated a seven-play, 47-yard scoring drive after the Bisons’ defense stopped the Panthers on a fourth-and-two. Tailback Jeremiah Bingham scored on a 4-yard run, which was followed by Montgomery’s PAT kick.
Penn Cambria’s next three first-half possessions ended in a fumble, an interception and a punt. Bedford got down to the Penn Cambria 10 with 1:33 left in the first half, but instead of leading 10-0 at the break, Montgomery just missed a 27-yard field goal.
“It would have been nice to put some more points up on the board,” Bedford coach Kevin Steele said. “We have some things to work on, but there are some things we did well.”
To start the second half, Penn Cambria fumbled the ball at its own 5-yard line, and Bedford needed one play to score, a Montgomery 5-yard run. The quarterback, who runs a form of the read option, had Penn Cambria defenders on their toes all night.
“He does a great job of hiding the ball, and then he pulls it out. You never know what he is going to do with the football,” Grassi said.
Up 14-0, Penn Cambria gave its fans some hope. Bedford’s Kody Blevins picked off a Mark Mardula pass at the 1. However, on the very next play at the 7:28 mark, the Panther defense gang tackled Bingham in the end zone for a safety.
“We have to keep fighting, keep scrapping. We will be alright,” Grassi said.
Penn Cambria’s momentum ended four plays later with a punt. That is when Montgomery executed a nine-play, 80-yard scoring driving, culminating in a 26-yard touchdown pass to Zach Sipes with 48 seconds to play in the third, setting the final at 20-2.
“Yes, he is a 10th grader, but he played some for us last year, so his experience is really not that of a sophomore,” said Steele, who watched Montgomery pass for 101 yards on a 5-for-9 day, while rushing for 36 yards on 10 carries.
Bingham and August Cook combined for 24 carries and 110 yards on the ground.
“Cook had a couple of nice runs last week … he is a great atlete and we are just trying to get him some carries, keep everyone healthy and spread the ball around,” Steele said.
Grassi used Chad Tsikalas at quarterback for three quarters, and Mardula for one quarter, the third. Both combined for a 6-for-16 night and two picks. Mardula was stopped behind the line of scrimmage three times, Tsikalas twice.
“Our defense played outstanding for us. I was very proud of those guys,” Steele said.
Bedford is at Richland next week, while Penn Cambria hosts Central Cambria.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bedford7 0 13 0 – 20
Penn Cambria0 0 2 0 – 2
B-Bingham 4 run (Montgomery kick), 2:52
B-Montgomery 5 run (Montgomery kick), 11:37
PC-Safety, Bingham tackled in end zone, 7:28
B-Shaffer 26 pass from Montgomery (kick failed), :48
RUSHING: Bedford-.Cook 11-51, Bingham 13-59, Montgomery10-36, Ellingson 3-26, Blevins 6-56, Downs 2-3, TEAM 2-(-2). Penn Cambria-Tsikalas 7-16, Hurley 7-26, Kost 3-67, Strasser 7-24, Mardula 4-(-12), TEAM 1-(-1).
PASSING: Bedford-Montgomery 5-9-0-101. Penn Cambria-Tsikalas 5-13-1-64, Mardula 1-3-1-2.
RECEIVING: Bedford-Blevins 2-20, Shaffer 2-53, Sipes 1-28. Penn Cambria-Mardula 2-29, Delerme 2-19, Hurley 1-11, George 1-7.
INTERCEPTIONS: Bedford-Blevins, Shaffer. Penn Cambria-None.