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Py Valley shuts out Mathews

September 29, 2012
By ERIC FORTUNE - Special to Tribune Chronicle ( , Underthelights

VIENNA - For the Mathews Mustangs, to be able to run 22 plays in Pymatuning Valley territory in the first half, the chances of being even score wise with the Lakers seemed all but given.

Instead, a blocked field goal and two drives that died inside the 10-yard line sealed the Mustangs' fate as they trailed, 21-0, en route to a 49-0 setback in Northeastern Athletic Conference play.

While the Mustangs were trying to control the flow of the game, it was the Lakers (2-4, 1-0) who took momentum away multiple times.

After the Lakers took an early 7-0 advantage, the Mustangs' first play from scrimmage, a 49-yard run from Austin Arnal, set the offense up at the Pymatuning Valley 20. However, the Mustangs couldn't get the ball past the 20, and tried for the short-distanced field goal from the foot of Wyatt Ford.

But instead of cutting the lead to four, the Mustangs found themselves down by 14, as Tim Cross came across the line, blocked the kick and returned it 80 yards.

That was the story for the Mustangs for most of the night. And for the Lakers, they were having success almost every time they touched the ball.

To go up 21, the Lakers started their drive at their own 1-yard line. Grant Nowakowski found Cross at the 30-yard line and from there he was untouched on a 99-yard pass to make it 21-0 halfway through the second quarter.

"Before that, we had trouble handing the ball off, and I was like let's go over the top and we knew it would be open," Pymatuning Valley coach Neal Croston said. "They were crowding us inside. It was a nice ball and a nice catch."

This started an avalanche the Mustangs would not recover from as six plays later, Nick Holt intercepted Bagaglia's pass at the Laker 28-yard line and returned it 72 yards up the Mathews' sideline to make it 27-0.

"We had big explosive plays and were able to get outside on them," Croston said. "They had two freshmen out there and so we took advantage of that. That big touchdown with Timmy Cross and Grant (Nowakowski) and the blocked field goal got us going."

The Lakers were led by Quintin Ratliff's 116 yards rushing and Cross' 152 yards receiving.

Mathews was led by Arnal, who had 138 yards on the ground.

Pymatuning Valley improves to 2-4 (1-0) on the season. Mathews falls to 1-5 (0-1).