Penns Valley’s dynamic duo of Aaron Tobias and Logan Snyder stood under their home scoreboard and rang the team’s victory bell after soundly defeating Bald Eagle Area 42-7 on Friday night.
The Rams also reclaimed the Iron Bell trophy from their rivals for the first time since 2016 thanks to a near-flawless night from Tobias and Snyder.
The senior quarterback completed 28-of-35 passes for 304 yards and six touchdowns. Eleven of his completions went to Snyder, who tallied 141 receiving yards and three touchdowns, including an acrobatic, tip-drill touchdown to finish the scoring midway through the fourth quarter.
“Logan and I have been best friends growing up and it definitely shows on the field,” Tobias said. “Our chemistry together is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. We’re just always on the same page. And to see all of us, the whole team, come out and show out and play so well, it really felt good after a good week of practice.”
Earlier in the second quarter, Bald Eagle Area’s own dynamic duo of Jaden Jones and Gage McClenahan stood on the opponent’s sideline with their shoulder pads off and their arms in slings.
The much-hyped quarterback showdown between Tobias and Jones never came to fruition. The Bald Eagles quarterback left the game after just one quarter with an arm injury, having completed just 1-of-3 passes for 17 yards.
Jones and McClenahan could do nothing but watch from the sidelines as the game unraveled for BEA (2-1, 1-1). The Rams (2-1, 1-1) took complete control of the game with 21 points in the second quarter to open up a 28-0 over a punchless Bald Eagles squad.
“I’m crushed for that kid,” Tobias said of Jones. “He works so hard. People don’t give him enough credit. He’s an amazing competitor. He competes in everything he does. I love playing against that guy too. So to see him go out, I’m really crushed right now and it hurts.”
Bald Eagle Area could only muster 24 total yards and no points in the opening half while the Rams piled up 254 yards and 28 points.
Bald Eagle Area looked poised to get on the scoreboard early in the game while Jones was still healthy, but two promising drives fizzled out once the Bald Eagles got inside Penns Valley’s 30-yard line.
Trailing 7-0 late in the first quarter, the Bald Eagles had an errant snap on a fourth-and-9 play from the Penns Valley 27-yard line, which resulted in a 19-yard loss and a turnover on downs.
Tobias and Snyder made them pay seven plays later with the first of their three-touchdown connections on an 11-yard deep out to the pylon.
Bald Eagle Area coach Jesse Nagle said his center wasn’t even supposed to snap the ball on the fourth-down play that flipped control of the contest to the Rams
“They actually clapped and our center thought it was a snap,” Nagle said. “We didn’t want to snap. We wanted the play clock to go down and we were gonna punt.”
Bald Eagle Area started to get its offense on track in the second half with Kaden Bittinger scoring from one-yard out to cut the lead to 28-7 just four minutes into the second half.
Unfortunately, Bittinger also left early because of an injury. Snyder put an end to BEA’s comeback bid on the next drive with an interception on a fourth-and-7 play from the Penns Valley 42-yard line.
On the very next play, Tobias hit Stephen Ripka in stride on a deep post for a 50-yard score, the pair’s second touchdown of the night.
Tobias and Snyder put an exclamation point on their performances on an unexpected 22-yard touchdown strike to make it 42-7 with 7:45 remaining in the game.
Tobias hoisted up a fourth-down pass toward the pylon, which was intended for Snyder. Luckily for them, Zach Braucht happened to be in the same area.
Braucht skied to catch the pass and tipped the ball up in the air. Snyder, Mr. Johnny on the spot all night, alertly dove under the falling ball for the final score of the night.
“The wide receiver that tipped it ran the wrong route and it just happened,” Snyder said “I was supposed to be in that spot and it worked out. It was a little bit of luck.”
PENNS VALLEY 42, BALD EAGLE AREA 7
(Friday at Penns Valley)
Bald Eagle Area 0 0 7 0 – 7
Penns Valley 7 21 7 7 – 42
PV - S. Ripka 8 pass from Tobias (G. Ripka kick), 4:17
PV - Snyder 11 pass from Tobias (G. Ripka kick), 11:15
PV - Braucht 12 pass from Tobias (G. Ripka kick), 6:19
PV - Snyder 15 pass from Tobias (G.Ripka kick), 2:43
BEA - Bittinger 1 run (Stere kick), 7:51
PV - S. Ripka 50 pass from Tobias (G. Ripka kick), 10:51
PV - Snyder 22 pass from Tobias (G.Ripka kick), 7:45
Top Rusher: BEA: Bittinger 10-52-1. PV: Winkelblech 4-39.
Top Passer: BEA: Jones 1-3-0-0 17. 220. PV: Tobias 28-35-0-5 304.
Top Receiver: BEA: McClenahan 1-17. PV: Snyder 11-141-3
Interceptions: PV: Snyder, Shawver.
Next Game: Bald Eagle Area at Bishop Carroll, Friday; Central at Penns Valley, Friday