Penns Manor wins at buzzer
By Paul Schofield
Published: Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, 11:12 p.m.
All Penns Manor coach Bill Packer could say was “wow.”
That describes what his team did in the final 35 seconds of Friday's District 6 Heritage Conference first-place battle at Weller Field in Ligonier.
Nathan Dumm hauled in a 37-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the game from junior varsity quarterback Clayton Stupic to give Penns Manor (7-0, 6-0) a stunning 31-29 victory against Ligonier Valley (6-1, 5-1).
The Rams, who trailed early because of mistakes, rallied behind the passing of quarterback Scott Fennell and tight end Alec Bloom, a Connecticut commit, to grab a 29-25 lead with 35 seconds left.
Ligonier Valley scored 22 points in the fourth quarter, and Bloom and Fennell connected on nine passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns, both scores coming in the final quarter.
Bloom, who had a 40-yard touchdown catch, caught a 9-yard scoring strike from Fennell for the Rams' only lead.
But Penns Manor, with starting quarterback Lucas Kowalski sidelined with an injury, put the ball in Stupic's hands, and he drove the team 91 yards for the winning score.
After throwing an incompletion on his first attempt, he connected on his next four, including the winner to Dumm.
Penns Manor, which was out of timeouts, had a first down at the 37-yard line with the clock ticking. The team quickly lined up and got the play off with one second remaining.
“I didn't know if we got the play off in time, but when I turned around I saw the ball coming my way,” Dumm said.
Packer credited center Josh Stupic for getting the snap off when he heard the official blow his whistle to start the clock.
“It's unbelievable,” Packer said. “I didn't know if we had time to get it off. It's something we haven't practiced. Clayton is our junior varsity quarterback. He might have been in a couple varsity games at the end.”
Ligonier Valley coach Roger Beitel said early mistakes cost his team.
“This was a great high school game and Penns Manor had great clock management,” Beitel said. “The credit goes to them for having their players set and ready for that final play.
“They made the play at the end, and we didn't. We felt real good after scoring and when they were backed up. We have to regroup and get ready for Homer-Center.”
Before getting injured midway through the fourth quarter, Kowalski helped Penns Manor grab the early lead.
Louie Tate scored on an 18-yard run, and Kowalski hit Dumm for 34 yards to build a 12-0 advantage in the first quarter.
Ligonier Valley turned the ball over three times in the first half, twice in scoring position.
Freshman Collin Smith raced 30 yards to get Ligonier Valley on the scoreboard in the third quarter, but Kowalski scored the first of his two TDs on a 6-yard run before the quarter ended.
Ligonier Valley's Dereck Croyle and Kowalski traded scores in the final quarter, setting up the fantastic finish.
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.
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.
- Analysis: Steelers could fill needs with free agents while not spending big bucks
- Upper St. Clair woman’s death at Drexel probed as possible meningitis
- Police charge Westmoreland County priest in $124,000 theft case
- Woman sues UPMC over pregnancy drug test
- Pittsburgh police to tear up parking tickets written ‘erroneously’
- Steelers to release LaMarr Woodley; Taylor restructures contract
- Sewickley teen’s art helps her deal with challenges of epilepsy
- Pittsburgh council introduces resolution to pay Rocco’s vet bills
- Pittsburgh’s Rubber Duck to be redeployed to Norfolk
- Crosby lifts Penguins over Capitals in last game of road trip
- Small plane crashes at Washington County Airport