Jacob Oswalt

Copy Desk

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Ligonier Valley had to withstand Marion Center’s best punch early on in its homecoming clash at Weller Field. The visiting Stingers provided two goal-line stops to stay within striking distance, but the Rams found another gear in the second quarter with 19 points.

Bedford found top gear rather quickly, as evidenced with six touchdowns on six first half drives, using an effective blend of the triple-option ground game and an efficient passing attack. Sophomore quarterback Mercury Swaim piled up 177 passing yards in the first half to compliment a punishing running game that totaled 340 yards on the night as Bedford dismantled Somerset by a 48-16 margin.

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While the spotlight shines brightly on varsity football players in the area on Friday night or Saturday afternoon, the foundation of team success is built on Mondays, when most junior varsity games take place. Jayvee programs are the brick and mortar varsity teams are built on. Without those games on Monday, young players are not given a chance to show what they can truly do in a game setting. 

By scoring touchdowns on eight of its first nine drives, it was difficult to envision a more efficient start for Richland against Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference foe Somerset. The Rams tallied the first 62 points, using explosive plays from their talented crop of skilled players in a 62-8 triumph at Herlinger Field.

With each team clamoring for its first win, Forest Hills and Somerset traded jabs throughout Friday’s Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference contest. The Rangers took their first lead of the game to end the third quarter, but the Golden Eagles finally landed the knockout blow by possessing the ball for 10 minutes and 42 seconds in the fourth quarter.

As the reigning Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference champions, Richland is expected to get every team’s best shot on a weekly basis. Friday was no different, as an urgent 0-2 Forest Hills squad jumped ahead early as the Rams faced their first deficit of the season.

By scoring on its first drive of each half, Bishop McCort Catholic took a seemingly comfortable 20-point lead in the third quarter. But Somerset found its groove on the ground by churning out time-consuming drives. The Golden Eagles scored their first touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit down to 13 points.

It was difficult to picture a better script for Chestnut Ridge’s start to the 2019 season on Friday. The Lions scored on each of their first three possessions, and used a balanced attack on offense, engineered by junior quarterback Logan Pfister, to spoil Forest Hills first-year coach Justin Myers’ debut with his alma mater.

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Following Saturday’s 5-2 loss to New Orleans in the 75th AAABA Tournament championship game, a somber mood surrounded the Martella’s Pharmacy huddle. The six-time Johnstown Collegiate Baseball League champions were unable to win a second consecutive title for the city, but the local squad certainly proved it belonged once again by taking a 1-0 lead into the eighth inning against the 16-time champions.

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