Titans pull out win over Panthers
SAXTON — Tussey Mountain had an answer for every big-play strike by Northern Bedford in its 32-22 victory in the “Backyard Brawl” at Dick L. Hess Memorial Field Friday night.
The Black Panthers’ first three scoring drives all came on one play, each of which was at least 54 yards, but the Titans outgained Northern Bedford, 513 yards to 255.
Play of the game: Kaden Lucko recovered a Northern Bedford fumble at the Tussey Mountain 23-yard line with 6:06 left and the Titans up by four after a long Caden Ebersole kickoff return had put the Panthers in a position to recapture the lead just seconds prior.
Player of the game: Along with his fumble recovery, Lucko rushed 30 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 6:19 left in the fourth quarter.
Unsung hero: Landon Hennessey made a leaping grab on fourth-and-7 at the first down marker to set up Lucko’s go-ahead touchdown.
Most vital statistic: Tussey Mountain ran 79 plays from scrimmage while Northern Bedford had just 29.
Best hit: Tussey Mountain’s Chad Morningstar was all over the Panthers’ Dalton Smith in the backfield for a loss to stop a first-quarter drive.
Cool moment: Dominic Cornelius, a sixth grader at Tussey Mountain who is in a wheelchair, wore a helmet and served as a captain for the Titans and went out for the coin toss prior to the game.
Tussey Mountain quarterback Matt Leonard: “That was a hell of a catch by Hennessey. I put it a little too high for him, but he just went up and got it right on the line for the first down. That was huge.”
Tussey Mountain coach Anthony Sottasante: “Matt Leonard is just an unbelievable kid. His composure is great, his leadership has been great, and the thing about playing quarterback is — you’re either a hero or the goat. One thing’s for sure, he sure as hell was the hero tonight.”
Northern Bedford coach Garry Black: “It is just gut-wrenching. This whole game was a game of opportunities. On fourth down, when they needed it, they got six. On fourth down (a drive earlier when Northern Bedford was threatening to go up by nine), we didn’t get it when we needed 2 yards. We had an opportunity after the big kick return, and it didn’t go our way.”
Notable: Dalton Smith ran for 109 yards on 15 carries and had a 55-yard touchdown run for Northern Bedford. … Jarred Sipes ran for a pair of touchdowns for the Titans. … Leonard threw for 220 yards, and 122 of those were to Tyler Rhodes, who finished with 188 total yards from scrimmage. … Tussey Mountain was whistled for more than 100 yards in penalties.
Records: Northern Bedford (2-2); Tussey Mountain (4-0)
Next week: Tussey Mountain is at Williamsburg, and Northern Bedford hosts Everett.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Northern Bedford 0 13 9 0 — 22
Tussey Mountain 0 14 6 12 — 32
TM–Lucko 5 run (run failed), 8:48
NB–States 67 pass from Leidy (States kick), 8:26
TM–Sipes 5 run (Hennessey pass from Leonard), 2:08
NB–Ebersole 54 pass from Leidy (pass fails), 1:51
NB–Dal. Smith 55 run (kick failed), 11:37
TM–Dav. Smith 2 run (pass failed), 7:40
NB–States 24 FG, 3:03
TM–Lucko 3 run (run fails), 6:19
TM–Sipes 10 run (run fails), 1:50
TEAM STATISTICS NB TM
First downs 10 26
Total yards 255 513
Rushes-yards 19-137 57-293
Yards passing 118 220
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 3-8-0 14-20-1
Punts-avg. 2-17 2-34
Fumbles-lost 2-2 2-0
Penalties-yards 2-10 11-103
RUSHING–Northern Bedford, Dal. Smith 15-109, Ebersole 2-14, Leidy 1-11, Clark 1-3. Tussey Mountain, Lucko 30-150, Rhodes 12-66, Sipes 6-59, Leonard 5-17, Dav. Smith 3-1, TEAM 1-(-1).
PASSING–Northern Bedford, Leidy 3-8-0-118. Tussey Mountain, Leonard 14-20-1-220.
RECEIVING–Northern Bedford, States 1-67, Ebersole 1-54, Imler 1-(-3). Tussey Mountain, Rhodes 6-122, Brumbaugh 4-69, Hennessey 3-19, Sipes 1-10.