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Written by: Greg Ricupero on Saturday, November 5th, 2022
Comets get scare from Vikings!
PIAA D6 Playoffs Round One Single A
#8 Glendale Vikings (5-5) at #1 Penns Manor (9-1)
Penns Manor gave visiting Glendale plenty of chances to pull the upset in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs. A Superman’s effort by all purpose Justin Marshall helped the Comets build an early lead. Marshall would be unable to help from the sidelines with a possible separated shoulder as the Comets struggled in the 4th quarter to hold on for dear life. Penns Manor will move on to the second round. Glendale’s season ends with a tough loss.
The Comets started well taking the opening kickoff and going 59 yards in nine plays, as well as overcoming a holding penalty. But loss a fumble at the Viking 23 yard line which ended the threat. The Vikings with nothing to loss would go for and convert a fourth and two from their own 46. On fourth and six from the Comets 45 they elected to punt. Justin Marshall the versatile senior came up with his first big play of the game. He came free on the left side and was able to out fight the punter for the loose ball and run it back to the Glendale 20. The Comets would quickly move the ball to the two yard line. But the undermanned Vikings who dressed only 22 players would not roll over. The Comets were stuffed on three straight plays. They fumbled on the third play and were lucky to get the ball back when the Vikings tried to run with it before gathering the ball. Max Hill would score on fourth and goal on a sweep to the left. Colton Shields kick made it 7-0 just a minute and a half into the second quarter.
The Vikings would manage one first down before punting it back to the Comets. Penns Manor would take just two plays to go 67 yards. Ashton Courvina raced around the right end after a double handoff for 65 yards to the Vikings two yard line. Justin Marshall would score on the next play and it was 14-0 Comets. Marshall who is the teams punter and kickoff specialist would save a touchdown on the ensuing kick with a tackle at the Penns Manor 40. One play later the Vikings were at the Comets 10 after a long completion from Troy Misiura. On third and goal Misiura threw over the middle to Lucas Tarnow for what looked to be a touchdown but Marshall broke up the pass at the last moment. Draven Beatty a very good kicker would hit the uprights on a 26 yard field goal attempt into a very strong wind!
The Comets would take three minutes to go eighty yards using the clock nicely. Ashton Courvina would score from five yards out to make it 21-0. Glendale would punt on their next possession and PM would let the half runout. It looked like a mercy rule was coming up in the second half as the Comets had outscored the Vikings 21 to 0 in the second quarter.
The Comets Amin Lieb would intercept a Misiura pass at the beginning of the third quarter. The Comets had their foot on the Vikings throat. But left the Vikings get back up. Their drive was stopped by two penalties and Marshall would have to punt for the first time on the night. The Comets defense held again. The Comets punt return team which had earlier partially blocked a punt( I believe it was Marshall) blocked the punt but were offside. At this point I turned to the reporter from Glendale and said they are going to fake the punt. It was fourth and five from their own 30. Guess what happened? They faked the punt and converted for a first down. (See the video- @GregoryRicupero on Twitter) The Vikings drive stalled and they punt the ball back to PM. The Comets next drive started at their own two. As the fourth quarter started they began to move the ball out from beneath their own goal post. The drive stalled and they were forced to punt. The snap was bad and Marshall was forced to try and scramble for the first down, he came up short. The Vikings had the ball at the PM 21. On third down Misiura avoided a couple of rushers, rolled right and threw a touchdown to Logan Cree. The Vikings were down just two scores with over ten minutes left. Everyone was expecting an onside kick but the Vikings kicked deep. Marshall picked up the ball and ran completely across the field weaving in and out of tackles returning the ball to the Comets 46. They would drive to the Viking 21 before Hill threw incomplete on fourth and 15. On the drive Marshall was injured and was out of the game. The Vikings would drive into PM territory with the help of a personal foul on third and long. They converted a fourth and one at the Comets 45. A couple plays later Misiura was forced from the pocket and hit by Hill and Nathan Raffaele the ball came loose and Lieb recovered. Game over? The Comets appeared to pick up a big first down on third and eight when Hill hit Carter Smith on a slant, but another Comets penalty overturned the play. The Comets had to call timeout to get their second team punter in the game. The snap was muffed again and the Vikings had it at the Comets 18. On the next play Glendale tried a double reverse pass. The pass was under-thrown and intercepted by Adam Altemus. The Comets would get a big first down run from Hill and run out the clock. Final Comets 21 Vikings 7
GV 0- 0- 0- 7= 7
PM 0-21- 0- 0=21
PM-Max Hill 4 run xp Colton Shields 10:33 (0-7)
PM-Justin Marshall 2 run xp Shields 7:59 (0-14)
PM-Ashton Courvina 5 run xp Shields 2:41 (0-21)
GV-Logan Cree 24 pass from Troy Misiura xp Dravin Beatty 10:12 (7-21)
D6 Playoffs A
#5 Portage 20 #4 Juniata Valley 6
#2 Northern Cambria 55 #7 Moshannon Valley 28
#3 Cambria Heights 21 #6 Homer-Center 7
#1 Richland 48 #8 West Shamokin 6
#3 Bald Eagle Area 45 #6 Bellwood-Antis 19
#2 Penns Valley 55 #7 Mt. Union 7
Next Week Portage at Penns Manor
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