Purchase Line gives up big plays in loss to Blacklick
Saturday, September 15, 2012
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
NANTY GLO - For the second consecutive week, the Purchase Line football team found ways to move the ball with a solid running game. But again, the Red Dragons were hit with too many big plays.
Senior running back Josh Huey rushed for 273 yards and two touchdowns, but a few key passes and an interception returned for a touchdown helped Blacklick Valley top Purchase Line, 27-13 on Friday evening.
"I really thought we handed it to them on the front line," said Dragon head coach Brandon Overdorff. "The only people that were stopping us was ourselves."
Purchase Line was picked off on its first series by Viking cornerback Matthew Worthington. The Vikings started their drive on the Dragons' 30-yard line. Blacklick Valley drove down to the 8, but was sacked by defensive end Luke Barnett for a seven-yard loss. Johnny Sheesley's fourth down pass fell incomplete for the turnover on downs.
Four plays later, Huey found running room up the middle and outran a few Viking defenders for a 76-yard touchdown run. Dalton Patterson tacked on the extra point to give the Dragons a 7-0 lead.
On the kickoff after the touchdown, Sheesley gave the Vikings excellent field position on a 40-yard return to the Purchase Line 48.
Blacklick Valley ran the ball all the way to the 14-yard line. On the seventh play of the drive, Viking quarterback Blake Ray found Jeremy Stutzman in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. Sheesley ran in the 2-point conversion.
On the last play of the first quarter, Ray found Sheesley on a 36-yard pass that Sheesley took to the 2-yard line. Worthington ran in the touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. The 2-point conversion failed to put Blacklick Valley up 14-7.
"I think defensively we had a big task in slowing down 12 (Sheesley) and we did a pretty good job 85 percent of the time, just like we did last week, but we give up a big play," said Overdorff. "Until we stop giving up big plays, we're going to be on the losing end of about every football game."
The Vikings ran just four offensive plays in the second quarter. However, Purchase Line could not cash in on the opportunities.
The Dragons best chance came at the end of the quarter. With Huey and Grant Syster sharing the carries downfield, the Dragons found themselves at the 4-yard line with 20 seconds left in the half. Huey took the carry and was brought down at the 1-yard line.
When the referees spotted the ball and blew the whistle, the Dragon quarterback took the snap with two seconds to go and spiked it with his knee down. The officials kept the clock rolling as time expired, due to his knee being down.
"I'm not looking for excuses and I don't want to place blame anywhere," said Overdorff. "But it took them 20 seconds to figure out if we had a first down or not and to set the ball. To me, that was a little crazy. I felt we killed it with two seconds to play. The clock had two seconds. The official said his knee was on the ground when he spiked it."
"I'm not going to argue with that, but I had a different look at it. Having said that, we should've scored three plays earlier, and we don't know how to finish. It's on us and not them."
The Dragons forced Blacklick Valley to punt after the first three plays of the second half. Sheesley booted the ball 66 yards all the way to the Dragon 1-yard line.
After another three-and-out for Purchase Line, the Vikings started their possession at the Dragon 31. Grant Reigel scored on a fullback dive from the 8-yard line to put his team up 13 points.
On just the second play of the fourth quarter, Shawn Jones picked off a Dragon pass and took it to the house for a 40-yard interception return.
Dragon quarterback Luke Stolitza was injured last week and Overdorff said both backup quarterback Alec Sunderlin and Josh Pierce will take the snaps going forward.
"We have to find a kid that can step up and throw the ball down the field," said Overdorff. "I have total confidence in Alec. He's a great kid. He steps up and does what I tell him to do.
But we have also worked Josh Pierce at that position. We felt that he brought something to the table too, so we tried to play both of them."
Blacklick Valley ran the clock much of the fourth quarter. But on the Dragons last series, Huey found a hole on the left side and ran 60 yards for the score with just 16 seconds left. The 2-point conversion pass was incomplete.
"We still have to clean it up on offense," said Overdorff. "Mistakes are just killing us. There's just no excuse for that and we have to get better at it. That falls on my shoulders. It's my responsibility to get this program where it needs to be and we are a long way away.
"It's going to take a lot of work and a lot of perseverance by the coaching staff and these players to get to where we need to be."
"We'll just keep fighting and working. We have to clean up mistakes. We have to learn how to finish. We had all kinds of opportunities throughout this football game to put ourselves in a great position to win."
Purchase Line fell to 0-3 on the season and hosts Homer-Center on Friday. The Wildcats defeated Marion Center, 28-12, on Friday. Blacklick Valley improved to 3-0 and travels to Windber.
Blacklick Valley 27
Purchase Line 13
Score By Quarters
Purchase Line 7 0 0 6-13
Blacklick Valley 8 6 6 7-27
PL-Huey 76 run, (Patterson kick), 5:14.
BV-Stutzman 14 pass from Ray, (Sheesley run), :42.
BV-Worthington 2 run, (pass failed), 11:56.
BV-Reigel 8 run, (kick failed), 4:34.
BV-Jones 40 interception return, (Sheesley kick), 11:01.
PL-Huey 60 run, (pass failed), :16.
Total First Downs 12 12
Rushes-Yards 49-345 39-175
Comp-Att-Int 0-6-2 2-7-0
Passing Yards 0 50
Total Plays-Yards 55-345 46-225
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 1-0
Punts-Avg 2-27.5 3-40.3
Penalties-Yards 8-73 4-20
Purchase Line-Huey 35-273, G. Syster 13-63, Pierce 1-9.
Blacklick Valley-Sheesley 18-108, Reigel 9-41, Worthington 7-20, Dulashaw 2-20, Team 1-(-1), Ray 2-(-13).
Purchase Line-Sunderlin 0-of-2, 1 Int.; Pierce 0-of-4, 1 Int.
Blacklick Valley-Ray 2-of-6, 50 yds., TD; Sheesley 0-of-1.
Blacklick Valley-Stutzman 1-14, Sheesley 1-36.