BERLIN – The Berlin Brothersvalley football team gave the homecoming crowd plenty to cheer about on Friday night in its WestPAC clash with Windber.
Trailing early on, the Mountaineers scored 49 unanswered points, capitalizing on several Ramblers miscues to swing the momentum in their direction and won 49-7, improving to 5-0.
“These kids have grown up a lot since last year,” Berlin Brothersvalley coach Doug Paul said.
“We have been playing pretty good football, but we have yet to put together four quarters of good football. I told the kids that at halftime. We have our lax moments. First half, we were down near the end zone and penalties gave us third and long and we dropped two touchdown passes. If we could ever get it all going together, this team could be pretty special. We can score quick.”
The Mountaineers displayed their arsenal of offensive weapons against Windber with Cole Blubaugh and Will Spochart each scoring twice and Abe Countryman throwing for two touchdowns. Preston Foor, Tuck Hillegass and Ryan Blubaugh all scored once for Berlin Brothersvalley, which also got seven extra-point kicks from Brady Glessner.
“They make me look good,” Paul said. “Sometimes we get a little too dependent on Will and Cole, but it is really big to have all of these playmakers.”
Berlin Brothersvalley took the opening kickoff and was moving the ball down the field when Spochart lost the ball and Windber’s Dylan Napora recovered the fumble. Four plays later, sophomore quarterback Aiden Gray found Evan Custer for the 19-yard touchdown. Custer added the extra point for a 7-0 Ramblers lead at the 10:34 mark.
The Mountaineers responded quickly on just the second play from scrimmage, Spochart got the ball and rumbled 63 yards. Glessner’s kick evened the game with 8 minutes left in the first quarter.
After the teams traded punts, Windber got the ball back and moved down to the Berlin Brothersvalley 24 on nine straight running plays keyed by freshman back John Shuster, who finished with 112 yards on 26 carries.
On the next play, Mountaineers sophomore Cole Hetz picked off a Gray jump pass at the 15.
“That was huge,” Paul said.
“That was a little spinner jump pass and that was the first that we’ve seen that all year. We didn’t even practice that. Thank goodness Cole Hetz was in the right position there.”
Windber coach Matt Grohal agreed.
“We were driving there to take the lead again and we had that interception,” Grohal said. “We just never recovered after that.
“It’s part of the maturation process. We have to learn from some of our mistakes and stupid penalties that put us in a hole and go from there.”
Berlin Brothersvalley then marched 85 yards on seven plays, scoring on a 15-yard Countryman pass to Foor with 7:42 left in the second, giving the Mountaineers the lead, which they never relinquished.
The Mountaineers added another touchdown before the half on a Cole Blubaugh 10-yard run for a 21-7 advantage at the intermission.
Berlin Brothersvalley increased its lead to 28-7 in the third quarter as Countryman tossed a 65-yard pass to Hillegass, capping a five-play drive.
Penalties kept pushing Windber back each time the Ramblers seemed to be getting on back on track.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Spochart intercepted a Gray pass and dashed 30 yards for a touchdown with 11:50 left in the game.
The Ramblers were forced to punt on their next series and Spochart took the kick and tossed the ball to Cole Blubaugh, who returned it 71 yards for another score.
“I told Cole Blubaugh right before that punt return that it was his last play, to make the most of it,” Paul said. “Cole said, ‘what if they kick it to Will?’ and told him to figure it out and they pretty much did. They make me look good. I was as surprised as you were.”
The Mountaineers tacked on the final touchdown with 4:09 left on Ryan Blubaugh’s 3-yard run.