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Rollers overcome slow start to advance with 21-7 win over strong Northern Bedford team

Tagged under: District 3, District 5, Gameday Hub, News

| November 18, 2023

Rain and football. We know how it goes. The weather can be a great equalizer, and it can also give a team an advantage over another. The Panthers played hard defense for the entire first half in a downpour that prevented Steel-High quarterback Alex Erby to get his proficient air show going. The teams played to a scoreless tie at the halftime break, but a break in the rain turned out to be a blessing for Erby and company. On the second play of the second half Erby found Durrell Ceasar Jr for a 46 yard td pass to get things rolling. Then the Roller defense picked off Panther quarterback Eion Snider twice to help lead the Rollers to a 21-7 win.

“We knew the weather was gonna be pretty bad. We talked about it all week. We just about being able to stay patient. Obviously the weather took away a lot of our offensive plays. I thought we extended some plays for them with some penalties” said Rollers head coach Andrew Erby.

Those penalties helped Northern Bedford get into the Steel-High redzone on the first drive of the night. A personal foul gave the Panthers the ball at the Roller 30, Snider ran for 18 yards to the 7. Another penalty put them on the Rollers four, but the Steel-High defense made 3 stops and caused a fumble on the fourth down attempt that was recovered in the endzone and taken out to the one. That would be the last time the Panthers would see the opponents goal line from inside the 20 until late in the game. The Rollers had a chance to score when the Panthers fumbled the ball away at the nine, but Northern came up with a big stop of their own to keep it scoreless at the break. “We just come out and fight. I mean they’re a good football team, hats off to them. They were showing us some things we hadn’t seen. We just had to make some adjustments and execute in the second half” said lineman Andrew Erby.

They executed well. On their next series, it took a few more plays, four of them, to go up 14-0.  Erby and Ceasar connected again, this time for a 30 yard td connection.


Ceasar intercepted Snider on the next series, but the ensuing drive did little more than chew up the clock as the Panther defense came up with a fourth down stop. “You know what they say. Defense wins championships” said Ceasar (2 td receptions and an interception) of the three total picks by the Roller defense. On the next Panther drive, Angel Luciano intercepted Snider and returned the ball to the NB 30. Ronald Burnette put the clipboard in the locker for the Panthers with a 25 yard td run.

“I’m just real proud of my guys” said Panthers head coach Garry Black. “They’re a fun group, watching film together, I couldn’t be prouder of this group. I’m just lucky enough be their coach” he said of his senior class. “We played a team that has been winning titles toe to toe, they got us basically on two plays. We just couldn’t figure out what would work against that defense”.

Steel-High will move on to the quarterfinal round to face Lackawanna Trail, a 40-0 over Dunmore.

Northern Bedford 0 0 0 7 — 7

Steel-High 0 0 14 7 — 21


Third quarter

SH – Ceasar Jr. 46 pass from Erby (Hernandez kick), 11:17

SH – Ceasar Jr. 30 pass from Erby (Hernandez kick), 7:20

Fourth quarter

SH – Burnette 22 run (Hernandez kick), 4:40

NB – Bowers 30 pass from Snider (Kochara kick), 2:21


RUSHING – Steel-High: Ronald Burnette 22-69, TD; Jaeion Perry 5-25; Kameron Chisholm 2-30; Alex Erby 7-27. Nazier Fuller 1-(minus-3). Northern Bedford: Eion Snider 15-40; Adam Johnson 9-19; Ben Gable 1-0.

PASSING – Steel-High: Alex Erby 9-13, 141 yards, 2 TD. Northern Bedford: Eion Snider 10-18, 99 yards, TD, 3 INT; Adam Johnson 0-2, 0 yards.

RECEIVING – Steel-High: Durrell Ceasar Jr. 2-76, 2 TD; Jaeion Perry 3-48; Kameron Chisholm 3-12; Nazier Fuller 1-5. Northern Bedford: Aaron Bowers 2-32, TD; Aidan Pittman 3-26; Rece Dibert 3-16; Carson Foor 1-13; Adam Johnson 2-18; Ben Gable 1-(minus-6)

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