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Bald Eagle Retains Iron Bell in Thriller (gallery included)

Tagged under: District 6, Game Photos, Gameday Hub, News

| September 9, 2023

Tonight’s game was the thirty-eighth meeting overall and the thirty-sixth time Bald Eagle and Penns Valley battled for the right to take home the Old Iron Bell, but in recent years the rivalry has taken on even more significance because of the quality of the teams meeting on the field. Bald Eagle and Penns Valley have both ascended to be among the best teams in District 6, so when these two teams meet, more than bragging rights and possession of the Old Iron Bell are at stake.

Both teams came into this contest with identical 2-0 records and both were ranked among the very best in the state. It was not an elimination contest, it is much too early in the season to call it that, but the winner would likely have the advantage when it comes to playoff seeding at the end of the season.

This game would prove to be worthy of the hype.

Penns Valley won the coin toss and elected to take the ball. John Meyer faked a reverse to Danin Kerstetter and took the opening kickoff to just past the 50-yard line. Following a couple of Ty Watson runs for a first down, Quarterback, Jackson Romig ran through a hole on the left side of the line and sprinted for a 37-yard touchdown. Watson kicked the extra point and the Rams led 7-0.

Bald Eagle would go three and out on their opening possession and following the punt the Rams would take over on their 40-yard line. Romig was injured on first down and had to leave the game. Undeterred, Jarrett Stover would come into the game and on the very next play connected with Kerstetter on a beautiful 56-yard bomb to the Bald Eagle three-yard line. Watson would run it in on the next play and following his conversion, the Rams led 14-0.


Bald Eagle was able to move the ball for a couple of first down, but the drive eventually stalled, and the Rams would take over on downs.

Penns Valley’s offense went back to work. Following a Romig pass to John Meyer for a first down, Romig would hit Watson for 29-yards to set the Rams up with a first and goal at the Bald Eagle four. The Eagle defense would finally rise up and sacked Romig at the 15-yard line. Following a 5-yard run, Watson would close out the first quarter by drilling a 27-yard field goal for a 17-0 Ram lead.

The second quarter would see Bald Eagle take possession on their 38-yard line. Cameron Dubbs started to find some running room and Bald Eagle was able to advance the ball into Ram territory. A bad snap would eventually stall the drive, forcing the Eagles to punt.

The Rams would take over inside their own ten-yard line. What happened next changed the course of the game. Watson broke through a hole off the left side and sprinted approximately 70 yards to set the Rams up deep in Bald Eagle territory, but the Rams were called for holding, wiping out the huge run. The penalty also meant the Rams now had the ball on their own seven-yard line. On the very next play, Romig was sacked in the end zone for a safety and the Eagles trimmed the lead to 17-2.

Following the free kick, Bald Eagle would take over near midfield. A big 4th down pass from Carson Nagle to Kahale Burns helped move the Eagles deep into Ram territory, but on 4th and goal from the seven, Spencer Althouse came up big, breaking up a pass in the end zone.

After the teams traded possessions, Penns Valley would get one final shot to add to their lead, but Watson came up just a couple of yards short on a 50-yard field goal attempt and the Rams would take a 17-2 lead into halftime.

Bald Eagle took the opening kickoff in the second half and wasted little time getting back into the game. On third and ten from the Ram twenty-two, Nagle hit Camron Watkins with a touchdown pass. The two-point conversion failed, and the Eagles now trailed 17-8.


The fired-up Eagle defense held the Rams on a three and out, and the Bald Eagle offense immediately went to work. Cameron Dubbs got things started with a 31-yard run. Nagle connected with Wyatt Stackman for 30-yards to move the ball to the Ram eight-yard line. Dubbs would take it in on the next play, and following the conversion, Bald Eagle was now only down 17-15.

The Rams would quickly go three and out, and following the punt, Bald Eagle took over on the Ram forty-six-yard line. On the very first play, Nagle connected with Watkins on a perfect pass to give the Eagles their first lead of the game. The conversion failed and Bald Eagle led 22-17.

Bald Eagle had scored 20 points in little more than six minutes. If Penns Valley hoped to remain in the game, it was time for them to respond, and that is just what they did.

Starting from their own twenty, Penns Valley would lean on Watson to move the ball into Bald Eagle territory. Romig would then connect with Kerstetter for a 44-yard catch and run to move the ball to the Bald Eagle one-yard line. Watson would score on the very next play to regain the lead 23-22. The two-point conversion would fail.

The Rams would catch a huge break when Bald Eagle fumbled the ensuing kickoff but following two sacks and a personal foul on the Rams, Penns Valley would attempt a deep pass to Kerstetter, but it was intercepted, and Bald Eagle took over on their own twenty-two.

Penns Valley would once again cause a fumble on the very next play and was once again presented with a golden opportunity to take control of the game. Again, Bald Eagle stepped up with some great defense. The Rams also hurt themselves with another personal foul and they would be forced to punt.

With time now running down in the fourth quarter, Bald Eagle would embark on a methodical drive. Starting from the eighteen yard-line, Nagle connected with Watkins to move the ball to their thirty-nine. Once in Ram territory, Dubb took over by running for two first downs, including one on fourth down. The Eagle drive stalled at the Ram seven and Gabe Foster lined up for the kick to put the Eagles ahead. Kerstetter would break through the line to block the kick and the Rams would take over with a chance to put the game away.

The Eagle defense would rise up and would force the Rams to punt. Bald Eagle would have the ball at midfield with 2:58 to play. Following a holding penalty, The Eagles faced second and twenty, but undeterred, Nagle would hit Wyatt Spackman for a huge gain that would move the ball inside the Ram twenty. Following another first down, Dubb would carry it in from the one. The two-point conversion failed, and Bald Eagle led 28-23 with a little more than a minute remaining.


Armed with just one timeout, the Rams would embark on a desperation drive that would move into Eagle territory but would ultimately come up short. Bald Eagle will hold onto the Old Iron Bell with their 28-23 victory.

This was clearly a game worthy of the rivalry. It was a back-and-forth affair with both teams getting off the deck when it seemed their opponent had taken control. The fans witnessed two outstanding football teams on the field tonight and it would not be surprising to see them face off once again in the the District 6 playoffs.

Gallery thanks to Jeff Jodon


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