BRADFORD – Rain showers throughout the day on Saturday did little to deter a large crowd from gathering at Parkway Field in Bradford for this year’s Big 30 Don Raabe Charities Classic All Star Football Game. Under the direction of the Kane Area High School coaching staff of head coach Jason Barner and assistant coaches Rick Fisher, Todd Silfies and Jim Sirianni, the Pennsylvania squad romped to a 28-3 victory over New York.
The Pennsylvania squad started off slow and was not able to gain much ground on their initial possession. New York, on the other hand, had a lot of momentum from the onset, driving 66 yards in nine plays to get on the board first with a field goal, taking a 3-0 lead with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter.
Pennsylvania answered on their ensuing possession, driving down the field and taking the lead on a quarterback keeper by Kane’s Alex Anderson with 51.3 seconds remaining in the quarter. The extra point gave Pennsylvania a 7-3 lead.
On their next possession, New York was unable to get its offense moving and was forced to punt to Pennsylvania’s Ricky Pearsall. Pearsall returned the ball to the 14-yard-line and while the Pennsylvania offense was able to make it as close as the 6-yard-line, they were unable to reach the end zone and ultimately turned the ball over on downs.
New York was again unable to get its offense moving and punted the ball back to Pennsylvania, who proceeded to put on a seven play, 44-yard drive back to the end zone. With 3:24 remaining in the half, Port Allegany’s Camrin Stuckey made it in for a touchdown to increase Pennsylvania’s lead to 13-3 after the extra point attempt was blocked.
New York fumbled the ball during their next possession, setting up Pennsylvania in good field position to start their next drive. Bradford’s Pat Pascarella made a 4-yard dash into the end zone to increase Pennsylvania’s lead and Johnsonburg’s Joe Holmberg caught a pass for the 2-point conversion attempt to put Pennsylvania up 21-3 with 1:20 remaining in the half.
The New York squad’s lack of momentum continued into the second half, as they were unable to make any progress on their first drive of the third quarter and were forced to punt. The Pennsylvania team picked up where they left off and drove all the way back down the field but was forced to attempt a field goal after their drive stalled at the 5-yard line. They were unable to extend their lead though as the kick was no good.
New York’s next drive resulted in a fumble that turned the ball back over to Pennsylvania, and this time the team needed just three plays to find the end zone for the final time as Holmberg caught a 35-yard touchdown pass with 1:41 remaining in the third quarter. The extra point gave Pennsylvania a 28-3 advantage.
While neither team scored again during the remainder of the game, the Pennsylvania squad tried to continue to extend their lead further early in the fourth quarter but was unable to do so, turning the ball back over on downs after New York’s defense stopped their drive at the one-yard line. New York picked up the momentum as they began a drive down the field; however, it was ultimately marred by a fumble, a delay of game penalty and a sack. Still, the team decided to go for it on fourth-and-33; however, the pass was intercepted by Cameron County’s Jason Blose with under two minutes left in regulation, effectively sealing Pennsylvania’s victory.
Area athletes participating on Pennsylvania's squad in this year's event were Jimmy Antonelli, Robert Rollick and Kyle Schneider, all of St. Marys Area High School; David Bojalad, Zac Brody, Jake Cortina and Ricky Pearsall, all of Elk County Catholic High School; Ben Jaques and D.J. Skraba of Ridgway Area High School; Joe Holmberg and Trevor Miller of Johnsonburg Area High School; and Alex Anderson, Evan Depto, Logan Depto, Dylan Eckstrom, Sloan Moore, Marty Niklas and Dominic Sirianni of Kane Area High School.