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Mustangs’ offense comes to life in 2nd half

PORTAGE — Marty Slanoc got his first victory as the new head football coach at Portage Friday night.

However, the victory did not come easy. Portage only held a 13-0 lead at halftime against Blacklick Valley. The Mustangs scored two rushing touchdowns, and another on a punt return, during the third quarter en route to a 34-0 victory.

Scott Berardinelli had three rushing touchdowns for the Mustangs. The defense picked off four passes and held Blacklick Valley to 139 total yards.

Play of the game: A 41-yard run by Oren Heidler. The play did not go for a touchdown, but it did change the tempo of the game. After struggling on offense in the first half, Heidler’s run on the fourth play of the second half gave the Portage offense a much needed shot in the arm. The run set up a 9-yard TD by Berardinelli, giving Portage a 20-0 lead.

Player of the game: Berardinelli. He led all rushers with 61 yards on seven carries. He had touchdown runs of 3, 7 and 9 yards.

Unsung hero: Corey Sossong had two interceptions for Portage in the first half. His first interception set up the Mustangs’ first touchdown, giving them a short field. His second interception late in the first half ensured that Portage got a 13-0 lead at halftime.

Most vital statistic: Slanoc talked about his defense after the game. It allowed only eight total rushing yards on 27 rushes. It also held BV to 131 yards passing.

Marty Slanoc quote: “Honestly, it’s not really a first win for me, it’s just another win for our program, which has a rich history. Through all of our coaches and our players, I am just glad we got a chance to play. I guess technically I am the coach of record, but to me that’s not a big deal.”

Scott Berardinelli quote: “It’s my senior year. That was a great experience. I love it out here. I got three touchdowns. That was awesome. It wasn’t just me, it was my linemen and all of the blockers. They are the reasons why I got the touchdowns.”

Blacklick Valley coach Rich Price quote: “Honestly, I thought defensively we played pretty well. Offensively we struggled at times. We couldn’t get a lot of consistency, and that’s a testament to Portage.”

Notable: Slanoc had served as an assistant coach under long-time mentor Gary Gouse.

Records: Blacklick Valley (0-1), Portage (1-0)

Next week: Blacklick hosts Meyersdale. Portage travels to North Star.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Blacklick Valley 0 0 0 0 — 0

Portage 7 6 21 0 — 34

First quarter

P–Berardinelli 3 run (Tubbs kick), :39.1,

Second quarter

P–Berardinelli 7 run (K. Cargo pass failed), 2:12.

Third quarter

P–Berardinelli 9 run (Tubbs kick), 9:42.

P–Heidler 2 run (Tubbs kick), 7:52.

P–Zatek 57 punt return (Tubbs kick), 5:17.

TEAM STATISTICS BV P

First downs 8 9

Total yards 139 239

Rushes-yards 27-8 30-155

Yards passing 131 84

Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 13-36-4 4-14-0

Punts-avg. 6-26.8 5-23

Fumbles-lost 2-0 3-1

Penalties-yards 6-42 7-68

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING–Blacklick Valley: Hessler 7-12, Williams 1-10, Schilling 1-3, Younkin 1-(-1), Szymusiak 2-(-2), Little 2-(-2), Wurm 13-(-12). Portage: Berardinelli 8-61, Heidler 7-58, Trusik 6-16, Claar 2-14, Wolford 3-5, Nesbella 1-5, Gouse 1-2, Miko 2-(-9)

PASSING–Blacklick Valley: Wurm 11-33-3-133, Brown 2-2-0-(-2), Szymusiak 0-1-1-0. Portage: Miko 4-13-0-84.

RECEIVING–Blacklick Valley: Williams 5-79, Little 2-31, Szymusiak 4-23, Gdula 1-2, Hessler 1-(-4).

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