Bald Eagle Area Reclaims Curtin Bowl With 28-6 Win
Written by: William Albright on Saturday, November 5th, 2011
By BILL ALBRIGHT
WINGATE — Combining for only four wins during the season through nine weeks, Bald Eagle Area (3-6) and Bellefonte (1-8) were going nowhere but home following Friday night’s season finale.
However, despite the sub-par records, the two teams went toe-to-toe in the backyard battle for bragging rights and the Curtin Bowl, and when the smoke cleared, the Eagles claimed both the bowl and the bragging rights as they came out on top of the Red Raiders by the final of 28-6 at Alumni Stadium.
“This was a great way to end the season as a springboard into next season,” said BEA head coach Jack Tobias. “To end the season on a win is a great way to go out and the young guys are excited heading into the off-season to get in the weight room and prepare for next year. These guys were 1-9 in junior high and they were 4-6 here this year so I am really happy for them. We didn’t quite get to .500, but I am very proud of them for the way they worked for the past three years.”
Not only was a big win for the Eagles and a solid way to end the season, it came over their close neighbor in the battle for the Bowl.
“To win the Curtin Bowl for these guys and get that back was big for us,” Tobias said. “We lost it last year and to bring it back was huge for them (players) as well as for the coaching staff heading into the off-season.”
For the Raiders, head coach Duffy Besch, his assistants and the Raider Nation, it was yet another loss in a very tough season. But one thing that Besch saw in his club through the rough times was that they never gave up and battled to the end.
“We did exactly what we wanted to do and that was come in, play tough defense, be able to move the ball and be able to do some things,” said Besch. “We didn’t give up the big plays to start with and that was big for us. We made some adjustments at halftime that we thought would help, but in the end, this one just got away from us.”
Although the Raiders finished at 1-9, Besch couldn’t have asked for any more fight and determination from his club.
“I just told the kids that they battled each and every week and they battled non-stop,” he said. “For that I will always love them and appreciate them for because when you are in the position we were in, that many times is hard to do. They never quit and kept fighting and for that, they will always be a part of this family.”
The Eagles struck first in the opening period when Cody Ripka went in from nine yards out for his first of three touchdowns, capping a 48-yard drive on six plays set up with an interception by Dakota Bartley. Tyler Schall gave the Eagles all the points they were going to need for the win with his first of four PATs.
After shooting themselves in the foot on two occasions, the Raiders finally got things moving following a short BEA punt to the Bellefonte 46.
From there on the fifth play of the possession Malik Breon took a handoff from quarterback Jordan Fye to the house for the final 36 yards and the score. The PAT from placement was no good, but the Raiders kept themselves very much in the ball game at 7-6 BEA.
“When you are making those kinds of mistakes, you try to make corrections,” said Besch of the pair of costly early fumbles. “It becomes frustrating and it makes playing the game a struggle. We need to try and fix those things as we move forward. We learned a lot of lessons this year and the guys learned a lot about moving themselves forward and being young men. The mistakes can come and go, but what we need to take from this is the things we need to do to get better. We’ll go back, have a good off-season, work with the kids to make some corrections and hopefully turn this thing around.”
The 7-6 BEA lead remained intact until the middle of the third period when Ripka capped his outstanding game with his second and third touchdowns of the night on runs of 5 and six yards. For the game, the senior running back finished with 174 yards on 26 good for the three scores.
“He is a workhorse. He is a workhorse and I love the kid,” said Tobias. “He works hard, he does everything you ask of him and he never questions a thing. But he would be the first guy to tell you to give credit to his line because without them doing the job they do, he couldn’t do those things. Those guys (offensive linemen) stepped up tonight, made things happen on the edge for him and he made some nice cuts and was able to get a lot of yards.”
Already leading 21-6, the Eagles set the final when Ripka made the transition from runner to passer by hitting Jordan Kobularcik with a 28-yard scoring aerial on a halfback pass play with eight minutes left in the game. Schall set the final with his fourth PAT of the game.
Bellefonte 0 6 0 0 — 6
Bald Eagle area 7 0 14 7 — 28
BEA — Cody Ripka 9 run. (Tyler Schall kick)(:25)
BEL — Malik Breon 36 run. (kick failed)(5:23)
BEA — Ripka 5 run. (Schall kick)(6:01)
BEA — Ripka 6 run. (Schall kick)(3:14
BEA — Jonathan Kobularcik 28 pass from Cody Ripka. (Schall kick)(8:26)
Team Statistics BEL BEA
First Downs 14 19
Rushes-Yards 28-135 50-266
Passing Yards 93 122
Passing 13-24-2 6-12-0
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 2-1
Penalties-Yards 4-31 7-49
BEL — Malik Breon 12-87, 1 TD; Colin Turner 7-29, Jordan Fye 9-19.
BEA — Cody Ripka 26-174 3 TDs; Matt Dillon 10-53, Jeff Koleno 5-18, Dakota Bartley 2-11, Dion Barnard 5-11, Nate Sharkey 1-2, Colby Peters 1-minus 3.
BEL — Jordan Fye 12-24-2, 93 yards, 2 interceptions.
BEA — Jeff Koleno 5-10, 94 yards; Cody Ripka 1-1, 28 yards, 1 TD; Cole Long. 0-1
BEL — Malik Breon 6-54, Jesse Hocker 3-22, Colin Turner 1-7, Bill Thompson 1-6, Tyler Haslet 1-4.
BEA — Jordan Kobularcik 2-53, 1 TD; Colby Peters 3-42. Jonathan Romine 1-27.
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