FLINTON — It was only fitting that the 56th meeting of backyard rivals Glendale and Moshannon Valley came down to the final minute of Friday night’s game at Dr. Roy F. Baker Field.
That’s when Glendale’s Suds Dubler took over.
Dubler was overshadowed for most of the game by Mo Valley’s Levi Knuth, who ran for 288 yards on 27 carries. With Mo Valley leading 12-7, Dubler turned a short pass from Ethan Cavalet into a 62-yard play to the Black Knight 2.
Dubler scored on the next play from the wildcat formation with 1:03 remaining. He ran for the two-point conversion. He then ended Mo Valley’s hopes of a win by intercepting quarterback Jalen Kurten to preserve a 15-12 thrilling win.
“It was a good high school football game,” Mo Valley coach Michael Keith said. “If we punched it in during the first half, we win the football game. We were in the red zone three times and didn’t punch it in. You can do that and win football games. I told them our defense played lights-out. (Glendale) had two plays all night.”
“The winning is great,” Glendale coach Dave “Spank” Trexler said. “I know this game means a lot to a lot of people in both communities. Any time these two teams play, it’s one of those throw the records out. Mo Valley is a good team. They’re well coached. I’m just so proud of my kids’ effort, not just on the field but how they approached the whole week with our numbers being down.”
Glendale played the game with only 16 players dressed due to injuries and COVID-19 protocol.
“Up until right before the kickoff we weren’t sure we’d be permitted to play,” Trexler said. “Our administration did a fantastic job of communicating and really making this effort available to the kids. The kids came out and took advantage of the situation.”
One of the missing players was Zeke Dubler due to a sprained ankle he suffered Friday in gym class. Dubler watched the game on crutches from the sideline.
“We got that call in the middle of the day,” Trexler said. “It was a freak accident in gym class. It’s a possibility he might be back at some point. Zeke is the heart and soul of our team. In a lot of ways, it was a big loss.”
The Vikings (4-3) got the ball back at their own 38 with 2:19 left in the game after a short punt. On the second play, Cavalet threw a sideline pass to Dubler, who broke tackles and sprinted down the sideline before Tanner Kephart tackled him at the 2.
Dubler then ran up the middle for the TD and the two-point conversion.
“We know if we want to continue to advance and get better each week, we’ve got to be able to throw the football,” Trexler said. “Suds just made a Suds play. It was all will and determination. With his brother being out tonight, it changed up our gameplan a little bit, but Suds is somebody who can take it on his shoulders and just do amazing things.”
The teams went to the locker room at halftime scoreless despite the effort of Knuth, who had 164 yards on 11 carries in the first half. The Knights (2-5) were inside the Glendale 20 three times, including the 4.
“You’ve got to win the games if you have 288 yards,” Keith said. “He runs hard.”
“He gave us a lot of trouble up the middle,” Trexler said. “He has breakaway speed too, and he’s a good player.”
Niko Smeal scored on a 4-yard run on Mo Valley’s first series of the second half. After Logan Cree picked off Kurten in the third, Gage Wright bolted 45 yards for a touchdown. Wright later got hurt and was sidelined.
On the next series, Knuth bolted 51 yards for a score, but the Knights didn’t convert on the two-point conversion.
“I knew it was going to be a battle,” Keith said. “I was up here. I know what the rivalry is about.”
Notes: Wright also intercepted a pass. …. Mo Valley holds a 34-21-1 record in the series with the Vikings. … Moshannon Valley hosts Tussey Mountain next Friday, while Glendale hosts Juniata Valley.