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High School Football - Week 5 Summary
Halifax wins its 1st, while Vikings
lose to Newport in the last frame

Halifax, Tri-Valley and Upper Dauphin Area earned victories, while Line Mountain, Millersburg and Williams Valley lost in local football action Sept. 26-27.

The Vikes’ loss was their first in the league, making them one of four teams with one loss in the Tri-Valley Athletic Association (aka Tri-Valley League). Front- runner Juniata is 4-0 in the league and 5-0 overall.

Newport 31, Williams Valley 28, Sept. 26. The Vikings had a 21-10 lead entering the fourth quarter, but they could not hold off a surging Buffalo offense over the final 12 minutes. 

Newport scored 21 points in the final frame to leave Williamstown with a thrilling 31-28 victory, and keep their Tri-Valley League title hopes alive.

Williams Valley dropped to 3-1 in the league (3-2 overall), while Newport improved to 2-1 in the league (3-2 overall).

Newport put the game’s first 10 points on the board with a pair of first-quarter scores.  Kicker Hunter Wirth booted a 29-yard field goal before Trevan Dorman caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Noah Heimbaugh to put the Buffaloes up 10-0 at the end of the first quarter.

If the first quarter was all Newport, the second quarter was a complete 180.  Williams Valley owned the second frame, getting one rushing touchdown from star running back Matt Miller before quarterback Nick Rodichok connected with Garrett Zimmerman for a 42-yard score later in the quarter.  Zimmerman’s score gave the Vikes a 14-10 lead at halftime.

Rodichok had a breakout performance Friday night. The six-foot, one-inch junior quarterback had struggled through the first four games of the season, but connected on 14-of-23 attempts for 228 yards and three touchdowns Friday night.  He also completed passes to six different Viking receivers, but his biggest stat was probably the one he didn’t have in the interception column.  Rodichok had 11 picks entering the game against Newport, but threw none on Friday night. His three touchdowns against Newport bumped his season total to 11.

Rodichok struck again in the third quarter, this time connecting with Cody Miller for a 34-yard touchdown to put Williams Valley up 21-10 with 12 minutes left in the game.  Miller was the Vikings’ leading receiver, catching six passes for 69 yards and one score.

Newport’s size and speed started to take a toll on the Vikes in the fourth quarter, and it seemed there was no way Williams Valley was going to stop them anytime they got the ball. Newport used its size advantage to score three fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Rodichok tried to stop the Newport momentum when he connected with Zimmerman for a second touchdown, this one a 16-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter, but Newport punched right back, taking the lead on a late touchdown pass of their own that gave them their final lead of the game.

Matt Miller once again eclipsed the 100-yard mark, compiling 101 rushing yards and a touchdown on 28 carries.  After five games Miller has 726 rushing yards four rushing touchdowns.

Upper Dauphin Area 31, St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy 16, Sept. 26. This Centre County private school picked the wrong week to travel to Elizabethville.

One week after falling to Williams Valley, the Trojans let loose on the Wolves  to the tune of 357 yards of total offense in a 15-point victory that wasn’t as close as the final score made it appear.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Trojans scored four second-quarter touchdowns to take a 25-0 lead at halftime. Running backs Cameron Fornwald and Cole Reed each scored on the ground before quarterback Drake Lenker threw two touchdown passes – the first a 42-yard strike to tight end Ethan Schell and the second a 20-yard pass to shifty wideout Tanner Miller.

Lenker was an efficient four-for-four for 112 yards and two touchdowns.  Schell had two catches for 52 yards and a score.  Miller had two receptions for 40 yards and a score.

Fornwald struck again in the third quarter, capping the Trojans’ first second-half drive with a 43-yard touchdown run.  The senior tailback ended the game with 120 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.  His battering ram fullback Reed rushed for 66 yards and one touchdown on just five carries.

St. Joseph’s scored two late fourth-quarter touchdowns to make the game look closer than it really was.

Tri-Valley 21, Line Mountain 14, Sept. 26. Line Mountain jumped to an early 14-0 lead, but host Tri-Valley clawed back, scoring 21 second-half points to earn its first league victory of the season.

Eagle sophomore running back Kenny Boyer scored the game’s first two touchdowns to give Line Mountain its early lead. Boyer scored on runs of eight and four yards before 10 minutes had passed in the first quarter. He finished the game with 50 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. He also added one reception for 10 yards.

The Eagle offense went cold after the first frame, and neither team crossed the goal line in the second quarter, making it 14-0, Line Mountain, at the break.

Tri-Valley evened things in the third quarter. Quarterback Hunter Harner connected with wideout Jaden Buchanan for a 15-yard score before running one in himself. The second touchdown, a 12-yard run, made it 14-14 with 12 minutes to play.

Harner’s feet struck again with less than three minutes to play, running it across for the game-winning score from three yards out.

Harner finished the game with 134 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries. He was also five-for-12 for 75 yards, one touchdown and one interception through the air.

Halifax 26, Susquenita 6, Sept. 26. Susquenita led 6-0 after the first quarter, but Halifax scored 26 unanswered points to capture its first victory of the season against a team coached by Mark Kirk, who was the Wildcats’ skipper for several years in the 1990s-early 2000s.

Jake Paul rushed for 163 yards on 22 carries to lead Halifax’s ground attack, and quarterback Mason Erdman completed seven-of-13 passes for 118 yards. Paul also caught two passes for 60 yards.

Pine Grove 26, Millersburg 19, Sept. 27. The upstart Indians nearly pulled off a major upset in Pine Grove over the weekend, but Cardinal running back Mark Weinus put his team on his shoulders and carried them to a come-from-behind victory all by himself.

Weinus scored three of the Cardinals’ four touchdowns. Two of them came in the third quarter with his team trailing the visiting Indians.

Millersburg led 19-12 at halftime after Christian Wingard, Austin Marks and Cole Shomper each had a rushing touchdown.  Weinus’ touchdown runs of 86 and three yards gave Pine Grove the lead, and the Cardinal defense tightened up to keep Millersburg off the board in the final 24 minutes.

Wingard was 12-for-16 for 175 yards through the air. He ran the ball 18 times for 22 yards and one touchdown. His leading receiver was Ethan Troutman, who caught three Wingard passes for 114 yards. Connor Keim led all Indian runners with 62 yards on just 7 carries.


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