The Redbank Valley Bulldogs (9-2) met the Coudersport Falcons (10-0) at E. J. Mansell Stadium on Saturday in the District 9 Class A High School Football Championship game. Coming into this game, the second seed Bulldogs had lost only to Union/AC Valley and Coudersport, while the first seed Falcons remained undefeated. A beautiful fall, sun-splashed afternoon set the backdrop as the teams took the field with near perfect field conditions for a November game that would go on record as one plagued by penalties and injuries and a fourth quarter that looked nothing like the previous three.
Redbank Valley won the coin toss to start off game play. Both teams had difficulty making anything happen in the first quarter until a pass interception by Redbank’s Chase Bish got things started. Follow-up carries by Joe Mansfield and Ray Shreckengost set things up for Kobe Bonanno’s 1-yard touchdown run which put the Bulldogs on the score board first with 3:44 remaining in the first quarter. A second pass interception by Redbank was turned back over on downs to Coudersport. The Falcons were unable to answer back and the first quarter ended with 7-0 Bulldogs lead.
In second quarter play, Coudersport was knocking on Redbank’s door a couple of times, including a Coudy 42 yard carry in a single play, but just couldn’t get the job done.
A 22 yard touchdown run by Coudersport’s quarterback Hayden Keck put the Falcons on the board in the third quarter. Their two-point conversion attempt to tie the game was unsuccessful though, leaving Redbank ahead 7-6. Redbank appeared to be gaining momentum and positioning itself to pull ahead when an interception by John Minor gave Coudersport possession again late in the third quarter.
A fumble by Keck and end zone recovery by Kolby VanWhy along with a 2 point conversion within the first minute of fourth quarter action put Coudersport on top 14-7, a lead Coudersport would capitalize on by sticking with what has worked for them and brought them to this point in the season – their running game. Touchdowns by Dylan Kelly and Jacob Pitcher (52 yards) brought the score to 28-7 Coudersport. A VanWhy recovering of a lost ball by Redbank’s Hetrick paved the way for a Brandt Kightlinger touchdown. The Bulldogs answered back with Sam Hetrick’s 73-yard touchdown narrowing Coudy’s lead, 35-13 with less than 5 minutes remaining on the game clock. A Keck touchdown followed by Logan Rodgers’ extra point brought the Falcon’s lead over the Bulldogs 42-13 which would become the final score as the Coudersport Falcons claimed back-to-back season Class A D9 Titles.
Coudersport will face Farrell in the PIAA Class 1A quarterfinals to be played next weekend at a District 9 location yet to be named.