Port Allegany's run through the AML South continues as the Gators won 55-14 over Ridgway Friday night at Memorial Field.
"They are a good football team," Ridgway coach Mark Heindl said. "You cannot take anything away from our kids, they did not quit. They left everything out on the field. Port Allegany came in, they got that big lead in the first quarter, 21-0 but our kids did not fold their tents. Our goal in the second half was to win that, we came out and won the second half. We'll take that momentum into next week."
Port Allegany quarterback Matt Bodamer continued his white-hot pace in the early season, finishing 15 for 17 with 285 passing yards and seven passing touchdowns in just one half of football before resting in the second half with the Gators holding a 48-0 halftime lead. He passed Derek Buganza's mark for career touchdowns in District 9 with his third touchdown.
"He had many a touchdown pass," Heindl said. "He's a well-oiled machine, he's got great guys surrounding him and that's what good football teams do. Our day's coming. We got to keep working out the kinks and it'll come around our way too."
From the start of the game, the Gators were in control. Ridgway could not get a first down on its initial possession. On the punt, the snap was low and the Ridgway punter reached down on his knee which meant he was down and gave the Gators the ball at the Ridgway 5-yard line. The first play from scrimmage saw the Gators take the lead as Bodamer found Rickie Bova in the flat for a 5-yard connection and a 7-0 lead.
The Elkers went three-and-out on the next possession and Port Allegany wasted little time in adding another touchdown as Bodamer looped a long pass over double coverage to Tyce Miller. Miller sprinted toward the end zone for a 60-yard touchdown and a 14-0 Port Allegany lead with 7:30 left in the first quarter.
Ridgway had to punt on its next possession but the Gators gave Ridgway a good opportunity as Port Allegany fumbled on its first play from scrimmage. The Gator defense was once again able to hold Ridgway without a first down and the Elkers turned the ball over as they were only able to get 10 yards on a 4th-and-11 play from the Gator 28-yard line. Ridgway struggled in the first half on the offensive side of the ball as the Elkers had minus-2 yards of offense in the first half. The Gators finished with 349 yards by the end of the first two quarters. Heindl said there was a noticeable difference in size at the line of scrimmage.
"There's a big size difference," Heindl said. "It's not an excuse but we are a young football team. You take a team that's been to the district finals the last two seasons. They won it last year and have a good shot at repeating this year. That's a big feat. Our guys did not back down from them."
Bova caught his second touchdown pass of the quarter on a 32-yard crossing route to his left with three minutes left in the quarter for a 21-0 lead.
As the second quarter continued, so did the touchdowns for the Gators as Nick Conway caught a 23-yard strike as Bodamer rolled out to his right for a 28-0 lead with 10:51 left in the second quarter.
Alex Gular caught a 24-yard touchdown pass on a screen play with 7:21 left in the second quarter which upped the lead to 34-0 as the extra point was missed. After Ridgway fumbled the kickoff, the Gators were set up in excellent field position at the Ridgway 19-yard line and took advantage as Bodamer found Conway for a 19-yard connection and a 41-0 lead with 7:07 left.
Port Allegany put an exclamation point on the first half as Bodamer found Conway for a 31-yard touchdown pass and a 48-0 halftime lead for the Gators.
In the second half, backup quarterback Jordan Seefeldt scored on a 13-yard touchdown run for a 55-0 lead with 1:38 left in the third quarter.
Ridgway would get on the board as Zac McKnight would sprint down the right side for a 71-yard touchdown just 33 seconds later.
Ridgway would add a touchdown in the fourth quarter as McKnight ran to his right for a 41-yard trek into the end zone.
Ridgway (1-2) opens AML South play against Elk County Catholic (3-0) next Friday at 7 p.m. at Dutch Country Stadium.