Penns Valley nearly takes down unbeaten Tyrone
SPRING MILLS — With a postseason-type atmosphere, Penns Valley took undefeated Tyrone down into the final minutes before falling, 27-21, in a Mountain League thriller Friday night.
“The special teams is one of the three phases we work very hard at it,” said Penns Valley coach Martin Tobias. “Our kids take a lot of pride in it and it sure helped us (Friday).”
The game had a little bit of everything, hard hits, special teams plays, lead changes and last second defensive stands, and that was just in the first half.
Both teams had mixed a strong passing game with a grind-it-out running attack.
In the fourth quarter, the Rams found themselves trailing 13-7 after a scoreless third period.
Late in the third, the Rams got the ball on its own 47. They went immediately to the air where quarterback Aiden Brinker found his favorite receiver, Gage Ripka, for a 5-yard strike.
From there it took just six plays for Brinker and Ripka to hook up for for a 4-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 13-13 with 10 minutes, 32 seconds left in the game before the extra point had fans going wild. It gave the Rams their first lead of the game, 14-13.
With the momentum, Penns Valley kicked the ball to the Golden Eagles hoping that the defense could slow down quarterback Brandon Lucas and running back Tommy Hicks.
Starting with the ball at its own 41, Tyrone methodically worked its way down the field, using a 12-play drive which culminated in a Hicks 1-yard touchdown run. The Golden Eagles converted the two-point conversion, giving Tyrone the lead, 21-14.
On the following kickoff, Penns Valley got the ball to Ripka at the 7 and he blazed his way down the field for the 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to tie the game, 21-21.
Both defenses took over and it was the Rams who would catch the first break.
Mason Lieb picked off an overthrown pass by Lucas, giving his team the ball at their own 33. However, the Golden Eagles defense forced Penns Valley to punt the ball.
Starting at their own 29, Tyrone’s offense was again driving, marching down on a five-play drive which ended in a Lucas 45-yard TD to his favorite target, Damon Gripp, giving them a 27-21 advantage with 1:38 left.
“He had a nice double move,” said Tobias. ” It was a well-thrown ball. He’s a dynamic ballplayer. We knew we had to contain him. We knew we weren’t going to stop him and he got us on that one.”
But like it had for much of the contest, the Penns Valley special teams penetrated the extra point attempt, causing their kicker to speed up his kick which went wide right.
Penns Valley tried to march down the field on offense, but the Tyrone defense was too much. However, it would be the Penns Valley defense which opened the scoring early in the game.
With Tyrone setting up for a punt, the Rams exploded through the line and blocked a kick in the end zone. With a pile of Rams near the football it was Tanner Ilgen who came up with it for the early 7-0 lead.
Tyrone tied it late in the first when Lucas hooked up with wide out Keegan Gwinn for a 17-yard TD to tie it at 7-7.
In the second quarter, the Golden Eagles added another score when Hicks blasted through the line for a 4-yard TD run. The PAT was blocked by the tough special teams unit.
Tyrone 27, Penns Valley 21
Tyrone 7 6 0 14 -27
Penns Valley 7 0 0 14 – 21
PV–Tanner Ilgen blocked punt recovery in the end zone, (Gage Ripka kick), 3:14.
T–Brandon Lucas 17-yard TD pass to Keegan Gwinn (Kendall Markley),0:49.
T–Thomas Hicks 4-yard TD run ( kick blocked), 6:02.
PV–Aiden Brinker 4-yard TD pass to Gage Ripka (Ripka kick), 10:32.
T–Hicks 1-yard run ( 2-point conversion), 5:52.
PV–Gage Ripka 93-yard kick off return (Ripka kick), 5:37.
T–Lucas 45-yard TD pass to Damon Gripp (kick failed), 1:38.
First downs 17 15
Rushes-yards 27-65 29-96
Passing yards 207 122
Total yards 272 218
C-A-I 17-27-1 17-29-0
Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 3-25 4-50
RUSHING: Penns Valley – Seth Baney 9-24, Aiden Brinker 17-41, Gage Ripka 3-31. Tyrone – Tommy Hicks 15-45, Matt Clifton 2-8, Brandon Lucas 8-6, Ross Gampe 1-1, Anthony Lowery 1-5.
PASSING: Penns Valley – Brinker 17-29 122 . Tyrone – Lucas 17-27 207.
RECEIVING: Penns Valley – Stephan Ripka 6-38, Gage Ripka 8-35 Tanner Ilgen 1-6, Alex Hammer 1-38, Miles Brooks 1-8. Tyrone – Damon Gripp 11-141, Hicks 2-34, Clifton 1-5, Gampe 2-10, Keegan Gwinn 1-17.
INTERCEPTIONS: Penns Valley 1.