Tobias Sets State Record, Richland Wins Game @rhsfootball @PennsValleyASD (Gallery Mike Frazier)
Written by: Phil Myers on Saturday, November 9th, 2019
Penns Valley’s Aaron Tobias set a new standard in Pennsylvania high school football when he threw three touchdown passes to break the state record of 52 TD passes in one season. Those three scoring passes gave Tobias 54 for the 2019 season. But it was not enough as the Richland Rams won the game going away 49-21 at Herlinger Field in Richland Friday night.
— Pa Football News (@PaFootballNews) November 9, 2019
In a game billed as a battle of quarterbacks and offenses, it was Richland’s defense and Caleb Burke that proved to be the real difference makers. “I would say there were two keys to the game, it’s how our defense played against a really good Penns Valley team and Caleb Burke, the best player on the field,” stated Richland’s head coach Brandon Bailey. Add Richland’s sophomore sensation, quarterback Kellan Stahl, to the mix and one would definitely have a winning recipe.
The triumph upped their record to 11-0 and propels Richland into the District 6 Class AA finals next week in Altoona. Burke said, “this is just one step to where we want to get.” Bailey added, “it means a lot to get back to the district championship. It’s a distant memory for the kids on the team, but Richland struggled for a long time. To get to the District Final game five times in the last decade, it’s something.”
The contest did not begin well for Richland as Penns Valley used seven plays to drive 75 yards in less than two minutes to take a 7-0 lead when Tobias shoveled a pass to Austin Fisher who carried the ball into the end zone from four yards out. That TD toss tied the state record of 52 held by Matt Bodamer of Port Allegheny and Christian Brumbaugh of South Fayette.
Penns Valley fooled Richland with an onside kick, but the home team somehow recovered. From there Richland took a minute and fifteen seconds to answer. Bailey’s squad zoomed 53 yards in three plays for the equalizer. Trevor Tustin traversed the last five yards and it looked as though the game would be a track meet as both teams had scored easily with just over three minutes gone in the opening stanza.
The Richland ‘D’ however stepped up and held the potent PV offense to less than 100 yards the balance of the half. Although on their second possession the visiting Rams drove 44 yards and missed a 36-yard field goal when the ball clanged off the crossbar. Richland’s offense stalled the next couple of times they had the pigskin too. One on a fifteen-yard sack on third down and the other on a fourth down incompletion at the Penns Valley ten early in the second quarter.
On the first play from their ten after Penns Valley stopped Richland, Austin Fisher ran seven yards and was hit hard causing the ball to squirt out. Stahl was Johnny on the spot, seeing the ball come loose and then picking it up and scampering untouched 17 yards to give Richland the 14-7 lead, a lead they never relinquished.
On their succeeding drive Penns Valley was forced to punt and got off a 54-yard kick pinning Richland down at their 11. Stahl found Burke open at the 40 and Caleb stopped, juked around a defender, found a seam and was gone for the 89-yard touchdown. That gave Richland a 21-7 lead with a little over ten minutes left in the half.
The final score of the first half came with no time remaining on the clock. Richland had the ball at their nineteen with 1:15 left. Stahl ran 51 yards on a quarterback draw to begin the drive. Five plays later with the ball at the Penns Valley four an incomplete pass ended the half. But the referees detected a hold on the defense, giving Richland an untimed play before the half ended. Stahl faked a hand-off, and lobbed a short throw over the middle of the line to TE Koby Bailey who was wide open.
Penns Valley, needing some magic, recovered the onside kick to open the second half. They proceeded to drive down to the one of Richland with a first and goal. Here is where Coach Bailey’s defense really rose to the occasion. An incomplete pass, followed by a four-yard loss on a swing pass, followed by two more incomplete passes gave Richland the agate at their five.
Richland’s Rams in turn travelled 95 yards on ten plays to go up 35-7 and put the final nail in Penns Valley’s coffin. Burke made a beautiful catch for 40 yards to get Richland into PV Ram territory. Four plays after that Allen Mangus carried the ball in from the two and Richland now led 35-7 with under four minutes to play in the third quarter.
Richland scored at the 8:21 mark of the fourth quarter when Mangus raced 20 yards for the touchdown, and that started the continuous running of the Mercy Rule clock, as Richland went on top by thirty-five, 42-7. Lucas Sabol later scored Richland’s seventh and final touchdown of the game sandwiched between two Penns Valley scores.
Tobias broke the state record with his 53rd TD pass of the year at the 7:14 mark of the fourth quarter. He hit Fisher in stride for a 66-yard score. Fisher willed himself into the end zone, dragging a defender the last ten yards or so. With eleven seconds still to play, Tobias found Logan Snyder for his 54th TD toss of the year. That set the final of 49-21.
Stats, Notes, and Quotes: Caleb Burke caught eight passes for 253 yards, which breaks the Richland single game record for receiving yardage. Coach Bailey said, “we were fortunate he had a lot of single coverage. He doesn’t get that all the time. He’s one of the best there is and one of the best to ever play here at Richland.”
Stahl threw for 306 yards, going 14 of 20 for two touchdowns. He also ran for 74 yards. The leading rusher for Richland however was back up Allen Mangus, who rushed for 86 yards. He replaced Trevor Tustin who was injured late in the first quarter and did not return. Richland’s offense piled up 507 yards and had 20 first downs.
The kicker for Richland is a star female soccer player named Autumn Facci, who is a junior. She was a perfect 7 for 7 in point after tries for the night and is 40 of 44 for the year with a field goal to boot.
Tobias had 20 completions in 36 attempts for 264 yards and three touchdowns. He also was picked off twice. Seth Baney led the Penns Valley rushers with 63 yards. Fisher had eight grabs for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns. The visitors ended up with 344 total yards, 172 in the first half and 172 in the second half. Penns Valley finished the 2019 campaign with a 10-2 record. Burke added this compliment, “they have a very effective offense, great players, great skill players. And congratulations to my man Aaron tonight for getting his record.”
MIKE FRAZIER GALLERY
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