SMETHPORT TOPS PORT ALLEGANY
|By Paul Costa – For D9Sports.Com
SMETHPORT – The Gators of Port Allegany traveled the 10 miles to Smethport Friday night to renew their annual war with the Hubbers. In the end it was the host beating the visitors 42-14.
The game, which has traditionally been played at the end of the season for decades, was moved to Week 2 due to realignment in the AML. But despite the early date and game time temperatures hovering around the 80° mark, the intensity level was that of a playoff game-typical of this rivalry.
After trading initial possessions in the first quarter, Smethport's senior tri-captain, Danny Mitchell found a seam in the right side of the Gator defense and was off to a 60-ard touchdown romp. Mitchell then tacked on the point after kick for an early 7-0 lead.
Later in the first quarter, senior linebacker, Steve Bartas recovered a fumble deep in Port Allegany territory setting up another Mitchell touchdown, this time from two yards out, giving the Hubbers a 14-0 lead.
The battle of field position continued to go the Hubbers' way in the first half with their average starting point being their own 47-yard line while the Gator's average starting position was their own 17-yard line.
Midway through the second quarter, senior quarterback, Jeff Shostak, (A Week One D-9 honorable mention for Player of the Week) capped a six play, 57-yard drive with a thrilling 21-yard sprint past half the Gator defense. With one player left to beat at the goal line, Shostak put on a move that left Anthony Flint, the Gator's captain, pounding the turf in frustration. The extra point was wide to the right, but Smethport now led 20-0.
Just before the half, facing third and long from the Gator's 15-yard line, Shostak hit a wide open Mitchell floating untouched out of the Hubber backfield for the touchdown. The two-point conversion was added by Shostak, capping the four-play, 50-yard drive leaving the score at the half Smethport 28, Port Allegany 0.
Port Allegany received the second half kick-off but couldn't generate much offense. Bartas ended the Gators possession with a 30-yard interception return down to the Gator 19-yard line.
Shostak then hit pay dirt on the third play running in from six yards out. The Mitchell extra point was good and the mercy rule went into effect with about eight minutes to go in the third quarter with Smethport leading 35-0.
The Hubber JV's scored again, late in the third when junior reserve, Scott Ayers when bulled in from the one, following an Eric Alter fumble recovery to give Smethport a 42-0 lead.
Port Allegany's reserves added two late scores - one coming on a 41 yard fumble return by Brett Wilcox and a 4-yard run by Chad Haskins.
Individual standouts for the Hubbers included Mitchell who finished with 71 yards on 4 carries, Shostak with 72 yards on 12 carries and Ayers who picked up 71 yards on 9 carries for the reserves. On defense, Eric Raydo led the way with 14 tackles, followed closely by Nick Vandermark who had nine.
S – Danny Mitchell 60 run (Mitchell kick)
S – Danny Mitchell 2 run (Mitchell kick)
S – Mitchell 15 pass from Shostak (Shostak run)
S – Shostak 6 run (Mitchell kick)
S – Scott Ayers 1 run (Mitchell kick)
P – Brett Wilcox 41 fumble recovery (Kick good)
P – Chad Haskins 4 run (Kick good)