Richland goes back to back as Caleb Burke shines! @rhsfootball @LVRamsFootball (Gallery)
Written by: Greg Ricupero on Saturday, November 16th, 2019
Richland Back to Back Championships as Caleb Burke Shines!
District VI 2A Championship Game
#1 Richland Rams (11-0) vs #2 Ligonier Valley Rams (12-0) from Altoona’s Mansion Park
Last Meeting District VI Championship 11/16 Richland 21 Ligonier Valley 12
With both teams scoring almost 50 Pts/game and giving up less than 10pts/game something had to give. Richland won the toss and deferred. LV started at it’s own 24 , ran three plays and punted. Richland drove 61 yards for the game’s first score, a Kellan Stahl 12 yard pass to Caleb Burke on 4th down. Autumn Facci added the point after. The big play was a 35 yard pass from Stahl to Trevor Tustin. Ligonier started its next drive at it’s own 20. LV nerves started to show as they fumbled on three of the next five plays before finally losing the ball to Richland’s Lucas Sabol. Richland immediately took advantage with a one play touchdown drive. Stahl hit Tustin down the right sideline for a 37 yard touchdown and with Facci’s kick , it was 14-0 at the halfway mark of the first quarter. LV’s next drive lasted four plays as they moved the ball from their own 23 to the 37 and punted. Richland drove from their own 28 to inside the Ligonier ten. The big play was a 47 yard screen pass from Stahl to Allen Mangus. At this point it looked like it might be a route. But Ligonier’s John Beard intercepted Stahl’s pass in the end zone. At this point Ligonier seems to get a little life as the first quarter ends.
Both teams punt on their next possessions. Ligonier then drove inside the Richland 20 before being stopped on downs. Ligonier’s star running back Kylie Miller was stopped just short of the first down. Momentum is now back with Richland. Four plays later, Tustin lined up in the “I” goes 77 yards for a touchdown. An illegal formation penalty negated the play. Both teams punt again. Richland decided to run Tustin again and he fumbled at their own 27. Ligonier’s Dunavin Graham recovered the ball. Ligonier drove inside the Richland five and fumbled again, just before the half. Richland then ran out the half, with Burke running out of a wildcat offense.
The second half started with Richland getting the kick off and being without their quarterback Stahl. Stahl was unable to play quarterback in the second half because of a hand injury. He did however continue to play safety on defense. Burke took over at quarterback and Ligonier started to sell out to stop the run. Needing to back the defense up, Burke’s first pass was badly overthrown and intercepted. Ligonier drove inside the 20 again but Burke came up with an interception in the end zone. Both teams exchanged punts. Richland started their next drive on their own 46 and got a 20 yard run from Burke. On 3rd down from the Ligonier 31 Burke tossed it up for Tustin who fought two defenders for the ball and then broke their tackles for a touchdown. Ligonier then came out with a no receivers set and powered the ball down the field driving inside the Richland ten, aided by a couple of big Miller runs. On 4th and 5 from the six they brought their receivers back into the game, completing a pass to the one which set up their only touchdown. Quarterback Sam Sheeder’s 1 yard sneak right before the 3rd quarter ended gave Ligonier hope. Richland got the ball as the 3rd quarter ended leading 21-6.
Richland scored in just under two and a half minutes. The big play was an outstanding catch of a Burke pass by Griffin Larue. His diving catch was good for 40 yards. A couple of plays later, Burke faked a handoff left and ran right directing traffic as he scored. Ligonier didn’t quit driving inside the Richland 20. But on 4th down Sheeder was sacked and Richland took over on downs. Richland ran two plays before Burke hit Larue on back to back 30 plus yard completions. The second one covered 31 yards for a touchdown. Ligonier went three and out and punted. Richland took a knee in the victory formation and the game was over.
Ligonier Valley played it’s last game as a member of the Heritage Conference as they will join the WPIAL next year.
Richland will continue to play in the PIAA playoffs, as they will meet Bishop McDevitt next weekend.
Caleb Burke caught a TD, ran for a TD, threw a TD and intercepted a pass.
The Richland Rams had just too many play makers for Ligonier-Burke, Stahl, Tustin, Larue and a great supporting cast.
LV 0-0-6-0 =6
R-Kellan Stahl 12 pass to Caleb Burke xp Autumn Facci (0-7) 8:01
R-Stahl 37 pass to Trevor Tustin xp Facci (0-14) 6:02
R-Burke 31 pass to Tustin xp Facci (0-21) 4:16
LV-Sam Sheeder 1 run xp failed (6-21) 0:31
R-Burke 16 run xp failed (6-27) 10:02
R-Burke 31 pass to Griffin LaRue xp Facci (6-34) 2:42′
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