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NBC falls yard short in defeat

By Nate Ritchey

nritchey@altoonamirror.com

CLARION — When it looked like Northern Bedford’s season had come to an end — a second chance came via a Redbank Valley penalty.

When quarterback Eion Snider’s pass intended for Hunter Walter was broken up by a helmet-to-helmet hit right outside the end zone by the Bulldogs’ Joseph Mansfield, the penalty was half the distance to the goal but no automatic first down.

On fourth-and-1 from the RV 6, Adam Johnson took the handoff from Snider but was rocked immediately by a blitzing Zeldon Fisher who knocked the sophomore for a 1-yard loss.

With the Black Panthers out of timeouts, all Redbank quarterback Bryson Bain had to do was take a knee. Once the knee was taken, the final seconds ticked off to end NBC’s season with a 21-14 loss in the quarterfinal round of the PIAA Class 1A state playoffs at Clarion University’s Memorial Field on Friday night.

“It was fourth-and-2. I’ll be honest with you, we went out to the huddle and the kids said the backside is wide open,” Northern Bedford coach Garry Black said of his team’s final offensive play. “Brownie (Kainen Brown) said every time he came in, they (Redbank Valley) are overloading it — they’re all going to be over there. Talk about an unselfish kid, he said the split back at five is going to work. They blitzed it and just made one more play than we did.”

“Our guys just absolutely battled their hearts out — gave everything they had to this football game and their brothers on the team. Somebody had to lose this football game tonight, and we were just a few yards short.”

Sequence of the game: With the game knotted at 14-14 near the end of the third quarter, NBC faced a fourth-and-5 from the RV 20. For the fifth time on the 10-play drive, Johnson tried the short side of the field but was hit for a 5-yard loss by the Bulldogs’ Chris Marshall — turning the ball over on downs. On the fourth play of Redbank Valley’s ensuing possession, Brenden Shreckengost ran up the middle, spun to avoid a few tacklers and was off to the races on a 47-yard eventual game-winning touchdown nine seconds into the final quarter.

Player of the game: Shreckengost ran 19 times for 139 yards and, in additon to his 47-yard score, had an 82-yard kickoff return to tie the game at 7-7 at the 7:08 mark of the first quarter. The senior, and the Bulldogs, didn’t expect Brenden to get the bulk of the carries as leading rusher, Ray Shreckengost III, was suspended for disciplinary reasons shortly before the contest.

Redbank Valley coach Blane Gold: “Boo (Brenden) is a guy that is 5-foot-3 and 135-pounds. We knew that someone was going to have to step up and fill that void with Ray being out. I don’t know if Boo could have been much better. From the kickoff (return for a TD) to the runs — he was just incredible tonight. He is Ray’s best friend, and we basically said since we don’t have Ray tonight — we’re going to put it on you.”

Unsung heroes: Johnson rushed 33 times for 109 yards. Snider threw for 95 yards and ran for both NBC scores — 4-yard push up the middle to open the scoring at 7:25 of the first quarter, and then on a 2-yard keeper with 3:27 left in the first half to give NBC a 14-7 lead at the break.

Most vital statistics: Both teams had five penalties, punted two times apiece, were only separated by four rushing yards on the game totals (188 for RV and 184 for NBC). Northern Bedford owned the takeaway difference by a 3-2 margin — with Remington Bowser and Rece Dibert came up with interceptions, while Marquese Gardlock picked two for Redbank Valley. The difference was a Dibert fumble recovery that led to the Snider 2-yard TD.

Black: “I’ve watched a lot of football through my life. I’ve been a coach for a long time, and I just couldn’t be prouder of a group of guys and the effort that we gave tonight. I don’t think there’s probably anybody in the state outside of our group and our community that thought we could come up here and win tonight. And, we didn’t but we sure did give it a run.”

Notable: NBC started the year 1-3 before winning eight straight leading up to the Redbank Valley game. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs won their 12th straight after dropping season-opener, 22-20, to Keystone. … Redbank Valley, the District 9 champion, tied the game at 14-14 when backup quarterback Gunner Mangiantini tossed a 31-yard pass to Chris Marshall who fought off Aaron Bowers for the score at 5:09 of the third quarter. … This is the deepest a Panther team has gone since 1995. It’s also the first 12 win team and Final Four team in Redbank Valley’s history.

Records: Northern Bedford (9-4); Redbank Valley (12-1).

Next week: Northern Bedford’s season is complete; Redbank Valley advances to the PIAA Class 1A state semifinals where it will play WPIAL champion Bishop Canevin, a 42-7 winner over Our Lady of Sacred Heart, next Friday or Saturday at a site and time to be determined.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Northern Bedford 7 7 0 0 — 14

Redbank Valley 7 0 7 7 — 21

First Quarter

NB–E. Snider 4 run (Yeatts kick), 7:25.

RV–B. Shreckengost 82 kickoff return (Adams kick), 7:08.

Second Quarter

NB–E. Snider 2 run (Yeatts kick), 3:27.

Third Quarter

RV–Marshall 31 pass from Mangiantini (Adams kick), 5:09.

Fourth Quarter

RV–B. Shreckengost 47 run (Adams kick), 11:51.

TEAM STATISTICS NB RV

First downs 17 10

Total yards 279 262

Rushes-yards 52-184 34-188

Yards passing 95 74

Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 4-10-2 4-11-2

Punts-avg. 2-36.5 2-30.5

Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-1

Penalties-yards 5-30 5-42

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING–Northern Bedford, Johnson 33-109, A. Detterline 3-12, B. Snider 3-11, M. Detterline 2-15, E. Snider 3-5, Brown 7-32, Keller 1-0. Redbank Valley, B. Shreckengost 19-139, Bain 3-5, Ross 5-7, Ortz 1-7, Kahle 3-21, Mangiantini 2-10. TEAM 1-(-1).

PASSING–Northern Bedford, E. Snider 4-9-1-95, Johnson 0-1-0-0. Redbank Valley, Bain 3-10-2-43, Mangiantini 1-1-0-31.

RECEIVING–Northern Bedford, Walter 1-30, B. Snider 2-30, Bowers 1-35. Redbank Valley, Minich 1-28, Marshall 1-31, Ortz 1-6.

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