Rockets survive last minute drive by Northern Bedford for 33-28 win
Written by: Billy Splain on Friday, August 31st, 2018
“If I had 100 game balls I’d give them to Bailey” said Southern Huntingdon Head Coach Ryan Garlock after the Rockets survived a last minute drive by Northern Bedford to escape with a 33-28 win. Bailey was all over the field and made some key catches as well as getting the game ending interception. His performance earned him the inaugural WesternPAFootball.net Player of the Game.
With just 4 minutes left to play, the Panthers made a key fourth down stop at their 28 and drove the length of the field, getting inside the Rocket 10 to the 8 but a fumbled reverse dropped the Panthers back to the 22 with just seconds to play. “We were running the sweep and setting up plays all night like that” said Panther head coach Garry Black. “We knew these first 2 weeks were going to be tough. Last week we held Central close for a while, tonight we had a chance to beat one of the ICC favorites. These games will help this young team grow. They’re going to win a lot of games, and maybe this year”.
After a scoreless first quarter, things heated up quickly at the 7 minute mark. After making a defensive stop at their 31, Cadin Ebersole ripped off a 52 yard td run to make it 7-0 after the kick. Ebersole had a stellar night, rushing for 123 yards and 2 scores.
The Rockets fought back and quickly with Bailey returning the kick to the 46. Several plays later Scott Garlock found Colby Varner in the corner of the endzone. The kick failed leaving the score 13-7 with 4:25 left in the 2nd. “Going in we knew it’d be a close game. My receivers are great” said Garlock. Southern Huntingdon then took advantage of a Panther fumble at the 34. Four plays later Garlock went in from the one. The kick failed leaving it 13-7 Rockets.
On the very next offensive play, Black went to his bag of tricks. Case Donaldson handed the ball to Brady Clark , who turned and lobbed it back to Donaldson. The speedy QB then went 71 yards making it 14-13.
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The Rockets still had 2 minutes to use, and they used it well marching straight to the 24 where Bailey made a fantastic move to come back for a short Garlock pass, then get into the endzone. The duo connected for the 2 point play making it a 21-14 Rocket lead going into the half. “I was supposed to throw to the corner but there was a man over him so I threw it short” said Garlock. “He made a great move on the ball.”
The second half was a near mirror of the first half as neither team could muster any offense until inside 6 minutes of the third quarter. An errant pitch was recovered by the panthers at the Rocket 35. Ebersole took the next play to the house making it 21 all.
Garlock put the Rockets back in the lead with a 24 yard td pass to Mason Smith who ripped the ball away from the defender for the score. The point after failed and it remained 27-21. A defensive stop gave Southern Huntingdon the ball at their 42, and once again Bailey shined, making another great move after the catch to get to the two where Eric Patton finished the drive give the Rockets a 11 point lead.
Northern Bedford fought back in a hurry, running that sweep to near perfection getting to the 9. Ebersole took the ball forward and fumbled it away with Diehl recovering in the endzone to end the scoring on the night.
Northern Bedford is now 0-2 and face Moshannon Valley next week. The Rockets are now 2-0 and they visit Williamsburg next.
FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS
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