Mason Lieb, Penns Valley earn second ever win over Huntingdon
Written by: Nate Cobler on Saturday, September 22nd, 2018
SPRING MILLS – Penns Valley coach Martin Tobias spoke to sophomore Mason Lieb and told him to be humble before speaking to the media.
That is a lot to ask from a young athlete, especially after playing a key role in the Rams’ 35-18 win over Huntingdon on Friday night. It was only the second time Penns Valley (3-2, 2-2 Mountain League) defeated the Bearcats (1-4, 0-3), the other victory came in 2012.
“It feels good but at the end of the day, it’s a team effort,” Lieb said of leading his team. “We all work together or else that would’ve never happened. I would’ve never had those catches or touchdowns without the line blocking and everyone doing their job.”
Lieb finished the night with a team-high six receptions. Those catches were good for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
Tobias echoed the words of his receiver’s comments.
“Mason came up with some big plays, no question,” Tobias said. “I wouldn’t say we had a sophomore lead our team tonight. I would say a sophomore’s opportunity arose tonight to contribute, because every game it has been different people contributing within what we do.”
Trailing 10-6, quarterback Aaron Tobias found a wide-open Lieb just inside the numbers. Lieb shed one tackler and carried another and was tackled at Huntingdon’s 14 for a 64-yard play. Tobias connected with Lieb again to finish the drive off from 10 yards out and the Rams’ regained a lead they gave up two minutes prior.
They didn’t lose that lead the rest of the night.
After the Bearcats got to within three, Tobias and Lieb again connected to finish off a drive. On the third play of the drive, Tobias avoided being sacked twice and found Ryan Ripka up the near sideline. Ripka raced up the sideline and got knocked out of bounds at Huntingdon’s five-yard line.
Huntingdon coach Michael Hudy and Martin Tobias each saw that play as the turning point.
“We are in it until the last scramble there,” Hudy said. “We were having a comeback.”
Added Tobias: “We made something out of nothing. It just swung the momentum in our favor.”
Three plays later, Tobias rolled to the far sideline and found a sliding Lieb in the back corner of the end zone on fourth down. Penns Valley led 28-18 with 9:46 left in the game.
The game was iced when Ripka burst up the middle untouched from the Rams’ 33 and scored the final touchdown of the night for either team.
“I’m really proud of our kids for the resiliency that they showed,” Martin Tobias said. “There were a number of times that both teams going after each other the way we were, we could’ve stopped performing. They continued to give the effort right up through the end. We always tell them you got to ride out the good and the bad because every game is going to have both.”
Tobias couldn’t have been more right.
After the Rams scored just 18 seconds into the game, Huntingdon responded by scoring 10 unanswered points.
The Bearcats’ Giovan Scaccia nailed a 27-yard field goal with 8:24 left in the first quarter. Jacob Wagner took over the game on defense for Huntingdon.
With Penns Valley looking to get its’ second touchdown of the first quarter, Wagner, who had three interceptions on the night, picked off a pass in the end zone. The Bearcats were unable to score on the ensuing possession.
Huntingdon muffed a punt that was recovered by the Rams deep in its’ own territory. However, Wagner earned his second pick of the night and took it back to Penns Valley’s two-yard line with 8:38 left in the first half. Four seconds later, Andrew Hudy rumbled from two-yards out shedding a few tacklers and the Bearcats lead 10-6.
Huntingdon was within 21-18 thanks to Nick Troha’s 13-yard run at the end of the third quarter, but penalties and the Rams’ big plays were just too much in the end.
“We are undisciplined,” Michael Hudy said. “I guess that comes on me. We are working at it. We’ve got to keep trying to fix that.
“We are in these games. The last four games, we are in all of them, but we just make too many mistakes. You’re not going to win football games that way.”
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