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Written by: David Burnworth on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021
Last night I made my first ever trip to Vanlue, Ohio to catch a high school football game. Before I get into the festivities I wanted to thank the coaching staff from Value for the rosters and for taking the time to talk a little about high school football in Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, and then a little about good to great P.A. guys at games. I also wanted to say how nice it was to see the stadium close to 90% full, when combined the two teams had 34 players dressed.
Vanlue showed a nice little passing game to get things going with Jaren Klopfer finding the talented J.R. Snook for a leaping 14-yard catch and then hitting the powerful running T.J. Rickle for the 40-yard touchdown pass. He also found Snook for the two-point conversion to make this an 8-0 game, with 6:25 left in the quarter.
North Baltimore responded with a 10-yard touchdown run from their very solid 6-0, 195-pound running back Gaige DeWitt. DeWitt runs with speed and enough power to make arm tackling a big mistake by any would-be tackler. The Tigers offensive line isn’t very big as a group but last night they were able to open big holes making all of their backs. When the Wildcats defense was fresh those yards and holes were much harder to come by.
Vanlue would have a nice drive going with Kloepfer hitting Rickle (18 yards) Snook (18 yards)and then on fourth and eleven to end the quarter he found Jerome Kloepfer for a pick-up of 16yards. The drive continued to look good early in the 2nd quarter when Kloepfer found Snook on a pass play that took the ball to the Tigers 6-yard line but ended a short time there thanks to some mistakes and tough Tiger defense.
With a little over seven minutes left in the half, DeWitt went through a big hole opened up by the nasty offensive line that went for 16-yards. To me, this was about the time the Wildcats players seem to start wearing down though they never stop giving 100%. The ground and pound offense production continued for the Tigers with Torien Lute working hard for a gain of eleven. Then it was back to DeWitt who blasted off for the 29-yard pick-up. DeWitt would run into a brick wall known as T.J.Rickle on 2nd and goal from the two for a short loss. Making the play worse for North Baltimore was a flag thrown on them for another loss of fifteen. Snook tipped the Gunner Kepling just missing the pick the ball would find its way into the arms of Mitch Clark for a 19pyard touchdown on fourth and goal from the nineteen. A two-point conversion was not successful leaving this a 14-8 game. The Tigers would never trail again in this one.
Jaren Kloepfer would use his feet to nearly pick up forty yards but the drive ended without points as the Tigers defense again tightened up when they needed to. Kloepfer looked really going running the ball especially early in the game.
With sixty seconds left in the half, the Tigers used a 20-yard catch by DeWitt to set up a 10-yard quarterback touchdown run by Kepling to make the score 18-8.
The Wildcats tried to answer and things looked well when Jaren Kloepfer connected with Snook for a 12-yard pick-up. But a sack by DeWitt followed by a Rowan Tacket pick ended the drive and the half.
Just fifty-one seconds into the 2nd half Lute broke free for a 50-yard touchdown run with Kepling finding Isaiah Boyd to complete the two-point conversion making this a 26-8 game. Lute has speed to burn and he seems to read the defense well before making his move.
DeWitt would make the two final big plays in the quarter with a sack on Kloepfer then he went up the gut of the Wildcats defense for a 14-yard scoring run. Kevin Ramirez came in to kick the first of two point-after kicks to make this a 33-8 game.
Rickle would score his 2nd touchdown of the game to make this a 33-14 game. A two-point conversion pass was intercepted by Wyatt Baltz. As well as Rickle played on offense he was even better on defense where he had to have his named call over the P.A. at least ten times for tackles.
DeWitt would go 34-yards up the gut of the Wildcats defense then end the drive on a 16-yard run to make this a 40-14 game, with 5:20 remaining. The Tigers defense ended this one with two turnovers. First, Kepling would get a pick, and on the last play of the game, Isaiah Boyce recovered a fumble. In between this DeWitt would pick up 26-yards on another nice run.
PASSING 3-7 1 TD
PASSING 13-29 1 TD 2 INT’S
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