Penns Manor takes down Ligonier Valley
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Penns Manor football team proved Friday night that it's not a one-man show.
Sure, senior quarterback Danny Ferens had another great game, rushing for two touchdowns and throwing for another in a 20-11 victory against Ligonier Valley, but Ferens had a lot of help.
“When you talk about Penns Manor, it just shouldn't be about me. It should be about our defensive line,” Ferens said. “Our defense really came to play. We've played well defensively the past few weeks, but we kept giving up big plays. We made it our mission to stop them, and we did a great job. ”
But the performance Penns Manor put on was similar to the games it played last season while marching to the District 6 Class A title and a trip to the PIAA semifinals. Penns Manor's defense limited Ligonier Valley's potent offense to 78 yards.
Both teams are 6-1 overall and 5-1 in the Heritage Conference.
“Now that we've beaten Ligonier, we felt we can beat anybody,” Ferens said. “It's great to see how far we've come since that loss to Northern Cambria to open the season. Northern Cambria is a good team, but we've worked hard each week.”
Ferens' 64-yard swing pass to running back Cody Bytner set up his 1-yard plunge in the first quarter. Bytner rushed for 77 yards, and Ferens added 79.
A Connor Maust 29-yard punt return set up Ligonier Valley's only score of the first half, a 27-yard field goal by Maddy Grimm to trim the lead to 7-3.
Ligonier Valley didn't take advantage of good field position in the first half; it started three drives in Penns Manor territory. The Rams also had a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown by Levi Gaynor called back because of a penalty.
“They beat us on the line of scrimmage,” Ligonier Valley coach Roger Beitel said. “We didn't have a good week of practice, and I have to do a better job.”
Penns Manor ran 21 plays in the third quarter but only led, 13-11. Ferens (2-yard run) scored on a time-consuming 70-yard, 14-play drive to open the second half, but Maust returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a score. Scott Fennell connected on a two-point conversion to Alec Bloom.
“Sure, I was nervous,” Penns Manor coach Bill Packer said. “We were dominating the line of scrimmage, and we were only up two points.”
Penns Manor wouldn't be denied: It went on a 13-play, 67-yard drive to push the lead to 20-11. While being tackled, Ferens tossed a 3-yard touchdown pass to Corey Brown on fourth down.
“We said all along that we play as a team,” Packer said. “Teams try to shut down Danny, but we have other guys who run hard.”
The defeat was costly for Ligonier Valley, which lost its top two running backs. Ryan Torrance was ejected in the fourth quarter while fighting for a fumble, and Maust injured his right leg.
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Clairton wins 11th WPIAL football championship
- WPIAL’s Top 10 football champions of all time
- Explosive offense carries Pine-Richland into finals
- Plenty of respect between Parkway Conference rivals
- From venues to playoff format, much has changed in 100 years of WPIAL championships
- Central Catholic wildcat Petrishen wild card in game vs. Pine-Richland
- WPIAL final wins over Aliquippa haven’t changed South Fayette’s underdog mentality
- Liotta, Petrishen represent AK-Valley at WPIAL football finals
- End of an era for Ford City football and its coach; Bartolovic steps aside
- Law makes Big Nine first team — on defense
- Avonworth faces ‘tall order’ against unbeaten Clairton