Glendale upended by Northern Bedford, 20-6
Saturday, August 30, 2014
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
FLINTON - Gary Walstrom Jr.'s head coaching debut sure started off with a bang as his Glendale Vikings scored on just their third play from scrimmage against visiting Northern Bedford Friday evening at Dr. Roy F. Baker Field.
Unfortunately for Walstrom Jr. and the Vikings, that first touchdown was the only one they registered in a 20-6 loss to the Panthers in an Inter-County Conference matchup.
"I was pleased with the first half," Walstrom Jr. said. "Tonight was kind of a tale of two halves. The first half we came out fired up and ready to go. We scored on our third play on offense, and our defense was stuffing them.
"But as the game went on, we lost the momentum and the edge a little bit, and they just drained us. We started putting our heads down a little bit, and I was not pleased with that."
After Nate Braniff's first two fullback dives netted three yards on Glendale's first possession, Viking quarterback Jon Rojas put the ball in the junior's belly on third down before pulling it back out and taking off with it himself.
After side-stepping a pair of defenders at the line of scrimmage, Rojas got behind the Panther defense and outran everyone for a 63-yard score to give the hosts a 6-0 lead with 8:20 left in the first quarter.
The extra point was blocked.
But after the 3-play, 68-yard opening drive, the Vikings totaled negative-3 yards the rest of the half.
Despite Glendale's inability to move the ball after the first series on offense, it was able to keep the lead thanks to a bend-but-don't-break defense.
Northern Bedford marched into Vikings territory on its next three possessions, but stalled out each time.
Shea O'Donnell snuffed out one Panther drive with the first of his three sacks, while Ray Carlheim pounced on a loose football on the Viking 36 to stop another Northern Bedford series.
A pair of penalties, another O'Donnell sack and an incompletion caused by O'Donnell's quarterback hurry forced the third Panther punt of the night after they had penetrated the Viking 40-yard line for the third time.
But Glendale muffed the ensuing punt and Northern Bedford jumped on the loose ball at the Viking 9.
Just two plays later, Austin Heck scored from 4 yards out to tie the game at 6-6 with 4:49 to go in the half.
Northern Bedford crossed the midfield stripe one more time in the first half, but O'Donnell's third sack put the Panthers in a third-and-19 situation as they elected to run out the clock and go into the half knotted at 6.
"I think we were feeling each other out, seeing what we could do," Northern Bedford head coach Jeff Batzel said. "I felt like, even though it was a tie at halftime, I felt pretty good because we had experimented with some things and I thought we had a pretty good plan for the second half. And it worked out."
Sticking with a running game that netted it 107 yards in the first half, Northern Bedford drove 73 yards the first time it saw the ball after the break.
Heck collected 37 of those yards on five runs, while Elias Brallier capped the drive with a 1-yard plunge.
All but one play on the drive was a run and none of them went toward O'Donnell, who wreaked havoc on the Panther offense in the first half.
"We pretty much ran away from him," Batzel said.
"They ran away from him," Walstrom Jr. said. "They were pulling linemen away from him, They were just going totally away from him. I think the one time they ran a play-action pass to his side, he got another sack. So that hurt us."
The Panther scoring drive came after the Vikings opened the second half with gains of 11 and 7 yards on runs by Jett Sacolic and Justin Hommer, respectively.
But Northern Bedford dropped Rojas for losses on consecutive plays to force a punt and swing the momentum toward the visitor's side of the field.
"I think when we got stuffed in our first drive of the second half, that was a bit of a turning point," Walstrom Jr. said. "I think the kids started to doubt a little bit."
Glendale got the ball back at its 24-yard line after Rojas' 16-yard kickoff return following the Brallier score, but fumbled the ball away on second down, setting up the Panthers at the Viking 12.
Brallier collected his second 1-yard touchdown run of the game two plays later, and Trey Childers second PAT put Northern Bedford on top, 20-6.
Brallier rushed for 80 yards on 17 totes, complementing Heck's 24-carry, 139-yard performance night. The Panthers picked up 247 yards on 56 running plays.
"Heck had a big game for us, but Brallier had some nice little runs too to mix things up, and Rich Hershberger (10 runs for 41 yards) did, too," Batzel said.
"We have a stable of running backs. And we have an offensive line that's experienced, and they were moving people in the opposite direction. And that's what led to the strong running game."
"I think our linebackers and secondary need some work," Walstrom Jr. said. "We weren't playing how we were supposed to. We weren't making tackles and driving the running backs back. We were waiting too much."
Things got worse for Glendale on its next possession as Carlheim's punt was blocked and the Panthers recovered at their own 47.
Two Heck runs and a Brallier carry moved the ball to the Viking 24 before a holding penalty pushed the Panthers back and they ended up turning the ball over on downs.
Glendale was unable to take advantage of the defensive stop and had to punt the ball back to Northern Bedford, which ran out the clock.
"We knew Glendale had some really good athletes, and we knew they were dangerous," Batzel said. "But I thought we wore them down in the second half, and our defense played superb, especially in the second half."
Northern Bedford only allowed 24 yards in the second half and 89 in the game.
Glendale travels to Everett on Friday, while Northern Bedford plays host to Tussey Mountain.
EXTRA POINTS: Northern Bedford collected 20 first downs, while limiting Glendale to five ... Aaron Batzel connected on three of his six passes for 32 yards, while Heck was 1-for-1 for nine yards. Jacob Dasher caught three passes for 33 yards ... Rojas completed one of his four pass attempts. It was a 14-yard gain to O'Donnell ... The Panthers committed nine penalties for 61 yards. Glendale was whistled for six infractions, totaling 35 yards ... Rojas was the Vikings' leading rusher with 30 yards on 13 attempts. Hommer added 25 yards on three carries.
Northern Bedford 20
Score By Quarters
N. Bedford Á0 Á6 Á14 Á0-20
Glendale Á6 Á0 ÁÀ0 Á0-À0
G-Rojas 63 run, (kick blocked), 8:20.
NB-Heck 4 run, (kick blocked), 4:49.
NB-Brallier 1 run, (Childers kick), 3:08.
NB-Brallier 1 run, (Childers kick), 1:47.
Total First Downs 20 5
Rushes-Yards 56-247 25-75
Comp-Att-Int 4-7-0 1-4-0
Passing Yards 41 14
Total Plays-Yards 63-288 29-89
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-2
Punts-Avg 3-32 6-25.6
Penalties-Yards 9-61 6-35
Nothern Bedford-Heck 24-139, Brallier 17-80, Hershberger 10-41, Dasher 1-4, McCue 1-1. Drenning 1-1, Svitana 1-0, Batzel 1-(19).
Glendale-Rojas 13-30, Hommer 3-25, Sacolic 3-11, Braniff 6-9.
Nothern Bedford-Batzel 3-of-6, 32 yds., Heck 1-of-1, 9 yds.
Glendale-Rojas 1-of-4, 14 yds.
Nothern Bedford-Dasher 3-33, Gilbert 1-8.