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A three part drama, Wildcats outlast Panthers! @saltsburg_blair @homerwildcats

Written by: on Saturday, October 9th, 2021


River Valley Panthers (6-0) vs Homer-Center Wildcats (5-1)

Friday October 8, 2021

By Gregory Ricupero

Twitter @Gregory Ricupero

@saltsburg_blair @homerwildcats

Last Meeting – 1st meeting ever

A Three Part Drama ! Wildcats survive Panthers!

A three part drama took place Friday night in Homer City. The undefeated Panthers were missing their top two running backs but were up to the test.The Wildcats were celebrating homecoming and riding a five game winning streak.

The Wildcats got the ball first, managed one first down and punted. The Panthers would manage only 29 yards in the first half and were repeatedly in long yardage situations. Their first drive was all passes, including one sack and a total of four yards loss. Homer-Center was able to score on its second possession as Cole Mcanulty hit Michael Krejocic on a slant pass for a 31 yard touchdown. The Wildcats jumped out to an 8-0 lead.


The Panthers only real offense of the first half came on their next possession. They gained 24 yards, used up the last seven minutes of the quarter and converted two fourth and short situations. But they were forced to punt after multiple penalties including a holding call. The Wildcats started their next drive at their own four. They managed two first downs to get the field advantage back. River Valley suffered a sack on their next offensive drive and punted. The Wildcats next drive covered 51 yards and ended in another touchdown. The big play was a fourth and four hard count which drew the Panthers offsides. Collin Troup capped the drive with the first of his three touchdowns and the Wildcats led 14-0.

Both teams would then fail to convert fourth downs. River Valley would run two plays and go into the half trailing by two scores. End of Act One Wildcats 14 Panthers 0

In the second half, the roles were reversed. The Wildcats gained only 25 yards. River Valley got the ball first and drove 66 yards in six and a half minutes for their first touchdown. They overcame a holding call and a fourth and four. Rocco Bartolini scored the first of his two touchdowns and it was 14-7.

The rest of the third quarter was a series of punts. River Valley had the ball to start the fourth quarter and quarterback Braden Staats was sacked, but off setting penalties kept the drive alive. On the next play Staats hit a wide open Luke Wooding for a 45 yard touchdown. The game was tied and the Panthers had momentum.

It took the Wildcats 15 seconds to answer as Troup took the kickoff and raced up the right sideline before cutting back for a 70 yard touchdown. The Wildcats were ahead 22-14. Both teams punted on their next possessions. The Panthers next drive stalled due to a holding penalty and a sack. Homer had the ball with under seven minutes to go and fumbled. It was the games only turnover in regular time. The Panthers would drive 44 yards with Bartolini scoring from a yard out. The game was tied with 4:26 to go.

The Wildcats went three and out. Starting at their own 43 but with only one timeout the Panthers drove th the Homer 24. They used their final timeout to set up a 41 yard field goal attempt. It was short. End of Act Two Panthers 22 Wildcats 22

The game went to overtime. The Wildcats Troup gained 6 yards and then scored. The Panthers stuffed the two point conversion. River Valley had a short gain on their first play and a holding call on their second play. The Panthers needing a touchdown threw an incomplete pass and were sacked. The final play from the Wildcat 30 was a Hail Mary that was picked off.


 This was another great Heritage Conference game. Both teams fought hard and it could have went either way. If The Panther can beat Cambria Heights at home next week we could have a three way tie at the top.


RV  0- 0- 7-15- 0=22

HC  8- 6-0- 8- 6=28

HC-Michael Krejocic 31 pass from Cole Mcanulty 2pt Collin Troup run (0-8) 7:18

HC- Collin Troup 6 run 2pt pass ng (0-14) 3:20

RV- Rocco Bartolini 2 run xp Keith Behanna (7-14) 5:31

RV- Luke Woodring 45 pass from Braden Staats Xperia Behanna (14-14) 11:43

HC- Troup 70 yard kick return 2pt Noah Henry pass from Mcanulty (14-22) 11:28

RV- Rocco Bartolini 1 run 2pt Rocco Bartolini run (22-22) 4:26

HC- Troup 4 run 2pt run ng (22-28)

Congratulations to Coach Greg Page would becoming the winningest coach in Homer-Center history!


Next week

Homer-Center @ Purchase Line

Cambria Heights @ River Valley

Heritage Conference Scores

Cambria Heights 49 Penns Manor 12

Marion Center 21 Northern Cambria 7

Curwensville 24 Purchase Line 22

West Shamokin 70 United 36

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