High School Sports

High school football: Bald Eagle Area boots Philipsburg-Osceola

Finally, after 60 years of football, Bald Eagle Area has a 3D offense as in running, passing and kicking.

The Eagles can thank Tyler Schall and his work ethic for that.

Schall, who kicked all seven extra points last week against Bellefonte, became the first kicker in BEA history to kick two field goals in a game, connecting twice in a 40-13 romp over visiting Philipsburg-Osceola here Friday night.

Until now kicking has been a forgotten part of the BEA offense. It was a rare season when the Eagles even managed one field goal much less two in one game, which is thought to be a school record. Many seasons they were forced to try for two-point conversions after touchdowns because they had no reliable kicker.

Not now.

“It’s good to have a kicker we can rely on,’’ said Eagle coach Jack Tobias. “When they block for him up front he can kick. I’m happy to see the hard work pay off for him. I’d see him practicing all summer. He built a set of goal posts out of PVC pipe in his back yard and he’d be out there kicking. I coach him but I don’t coach him much. I might see something and tell him but he’s the one who takes the time to work on it.

“It’s nice to have a solid kicker. It takes all of the anxiety (out of fourth down) for everyone. Before we’d be forced to go for it.’’

For Schall, it’s years of hard work finally paying dividends.

“I’ve been doing this since I was about eight years old,’’ he said. “Coach Tobias hooked me up with an assistant coach at State College (Mike Snyder) and he helped me with some things. Then I just picked up some things I saw on television. Those two (field goals) tonight were my first ones. They were some of the most exciting things I’ve been a part of. I’ve heard a lot of jokes about kickers around here. I want to change that.’’

Schall kicked his field goals on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter.

BEA had taken the early lead when a Mountie fumble at their own 45 was recovered by Josh Fye and set the Eagles up with a short field. They needed only three plays to get in the end zone. On third-and-one Dakota Bartley got loose and went 36 yards for the score. Schall booted the first of his four PATs at the 5:03 mark.

In the second period, another fumble recovery by Fye at the P-O 21 gave BEA another short field. This time, Bryan Greene needed only one play to change the scoreboard, going 21 yards on a reverse. Schall made it 14-0 with 9:54 left in the half.

“Those two turnovers were the key to the game,’’ said Mountie coach Jeff Vroman. “That second fumble really hurt. You can’t turn the ball over inside your own 30 and expect to win. ‘’

Tobias agreed.

“The turnovers were huge,’’ he said. “And Josh Fye got both of them. For a sophomore he’s further along than we expected him to be. He just continues to be around the football. But when you get four and five guys around the ball good things happen.’’

A short punt late in the half gave BEA the ball on the Mountie 47. A 22-yard pass from Jason Jones to Mitch Struble would have been the last play of the half. But the Mounties drew a nine-yard penalty that put the ball on the 9 and gave BEA an untimed down which they used to give Schall a chance at a shot at a 26-yard field goal, which he converted to make it 20-0.

“That was crucial,’’ Vroman added. “That penalty and those two fumbles cost us. That really hurt.’’

BEA added to its total on its first possession of the second half when Bartley went in from the 1 with 9:16 left in the quarter and Jones scored from the 1 with 1:59 still showing to make it 34-0 after Schall booted the PAT.

The Mounties got on the board early in the fourth quarter when Mason Pryde went in from a yard out but the run for the PAT was stopped.

BEA answered that score when Jones found Bryce Greene uncovered in the flat from the 20 and Greene outran the pursuit for an 80-yard score. P-O blocked the PAT try.

The Mounties got their last touchdown when Curtis Matsko scored from the 3 and Nick Boumerhi kicked the PAT with 2:47 left in the game.

Tobias cited the speed of the Greenes and Bartley as being key factors in the offense which has scored 87 points in two games.

“Before we were always looking at nine, 10 guys in the box,’’ he said. “I don’t think we’ve ever had three guys who can run the 40 in under 4.6. Teams have to play off them. It’s nice to have that speed on the edge.’’

BEA held the Mounties to 241 yards of total offense, only 31 in the air.

“Our outside linebackers and cornerbacks did a great job of shutting down their passing game,’’ he said.

BEA takes on its third intra-county rival Friday when it visits Penns Valley. P-O will make its home debut against Bellefonte.