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Written by: Andrew Schaffer on Saturday, October 9th, 2021
In what was expected to be an offensive contest it turned out to be a defensive contest between rivals in the Battle of the Bell. Penn Trafford relied on their defense in the second half in particular in the 15-10 win over Gateway. “I thought our defense was awesome” said Coach Ruane.
Penn-Trafford got the ball to start the game but went three and out. Gateway’s first drive started with great field position at Penn-Trafford’s 46 yard line. After a couple of runs and a pass they were at the 19 yard line, after that the drive stalled but Gateway did take the lead on a 35 yard field goal by Cole Plaskon that made the score 3-0 Gateway.
Penn-Trafford’s second drive of the game started at their own 5 yard line and it was looking like a good drive as they methodically drove down the field featuring a trio of runners. But the drive turned bad when they got to midfield they turned the ball over on a fumble.
Gateway started at midfield but couldn’t move the ball and they went three and out. That was the story for most of the night they just couldn’t get anything going on offense.
Penn-Trafford’s next drive started at their own 20 yard line. After a first down at the 34 yard line the biggest play of the drive occurred on second down when Cade Yacamelli busted a 52 yard run down to Gateway’s 10 yard line. On second down Carter Green scored on a 4 yard run which gave Penn-Trafford a 7-3 lead with 9:22 in the second quarter. Yacamelli was main runner in Penn-Trafford’s win, he had 130 yards on 20 carries.
Gateway’s next drive was plagued by penalties and on the punt the ball was snapped over the kickers head and went out of the back of the end zone resulting in a safety. That made it 9-3 Penn-Trafford with 7:13 in the second quarter. They also got the ball back on the free kick but they didn’t do anything with the ball.
Gateway started the next drive own their own 18 yard line. A couple of plays into the drive Brad Birch completed a big pass to Patrick Body down to the Penn-Trafford 11 yard line. On second down Birch connected with Dallas Harper for a 8 yard touchdown. After the extra point Gateway now had a 10-9 lead.
Penn-Trafford’s next drive toward the end of the half was looking like a good drive and they got as far as the Gateway 37 yard line. On the first play after the first down they fumbled it away and Gateway recovered. But after the Penn-Trafford fumble, Gateway gave it right back on a fumble of their own. That fumble proved to be costly when Penn-Trafford took the lead again as time expired on a 42 yard field goal by Nathan Schlessinger. That made it 12-10 Penn-Trafford at the half.
Gateway got the ball to start the second half but went three and out. Penn-Trafford’s first drive started with great field position at Gateway’s 47 yard line. After a first down, they were at the Gateway 35. In the end Penn-Trafford turned the ball over on downs.
After that big stop Gateway had the ball on their own 30 yard line. The drive didn’t go anywhere and resulted in a three and out. That was story of the entire second half, Gateway just couldn’t move the ball. “They answered the call, we challenged them thought we gave up one big play, but when the game was on the line they made it happen “ said Coach Ruane.
The final points of the game occurred on Penn-Trafford’s second drive. It was a drive full of runs and took up a lot of time. “We were able to maintain the ball, get ourselves in field goal range a couple of times and score some points, would’ve liked to finished those drives but it worked out” said Coach Ruane. They would do just that on this drive and got into field goal range. Nathan Schlessinger kicked his second field goal of the game this one being 36 yards which gave Penn-Trafford a 15-10 lead with 9:48 remaining in the game. “Schlessinger he’s unreal, three year starting kicker, his field goals were humongous tonight” said Coach Ruane.
Despite Gateway not being able to move the ball they did have the chance to win the game. They were into Penn-Trafford territory but a run was stuffed on fourth down which won the game for Penn-Trafford “The whole D-Line came down and we made it” said Coach Ruane.
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