Change in approach sparks Bulldogs

Ray Shreckengost

Change in approach sparks Bulldogs

Redbank Valley made a halftime adjustment to dedicate itself to the run and the switch sparked the Bulldogs' 27-6 win over Smethport in a rematch of last year's District 9 Class A title game

By Chris Rossetti

For the CLARION NEWS

SMETHPORT

At halftime of the key midseason matchup between Redbank Valley and Smethport Friday night, Bulldogs' head coach Blane Gold knew something had to change.

After all, while his team was leading 8-6, it was struggling mightily on offense having managed just 18 total yards of offense in the opening 24 minutes, including just three on the ground.

Change it did.

The Bulldogs committed to a rushing attack right out of the gate in the second half, and that rushing attack was a big reason Redbank Valley won a key 27-6 decision over the previously unbeaten Hubbers.

"We just basically said we were going to make a decision, make the commitment to run the football," Gold said.

Committing to the run meant committing to the big fellow in the backfield, Ray Shreckengost.

After handing the ball to Shreckengost just four times in the first half - for 17 yards - the 6-foot, 216-pound senior was given the rock 23 times after the break for 108 yards giving him 27 carries for 125 yards.

On the opening drive of the second half, alone, Shreckengost carried the ball six times for 66 yards expanding Redbank Valley's lead to 15-6 with a 1-yard run.

Gold praised his offensive line for allowing the Bulldogs to commit to the ground game.

"That is the group we have probably put the most amount of pressure on this year because we have such high expectations for them," Gold said. "We knew coming into the game they were going to be a key, and they just did a fantastic job down the stretch."

While Redbank Valley's offensive line and Shreckengost were taking over the game, the Bulldogs' defense made sure the offensive's work wasn't for naught.

After allowing Smethport quarterback Noah Lent to run 17 times for 98 yards before halftime, the Bulldogs limited District 9's leading rusher to negative five yards in the second half and Smethport to 123 for the game.

"That (defensive) is our pride and joy," Gold said. "That's the stuff we really take a lot of pride in. Nine (Lent) is a tremendous athlete. We've been reading a lot about nine. Two (Redbank Valley's Joseph Mansfield), 24 (Shreckengost, who also plays on defense), and 55 (Kolby Barrett) are good for us. These guys, they've been playing in our system for four years. It was an opportunity they were excited about tonight to take on a guy (Lent) who, quotes, puts up video-game numbers. I couldn't be prouder of these guys that have been playing the system for four years. If you look at the matchups the last two years, that's 12 total points we've allowed them. That's just saying a lot about the effort of those guys because if it's a very, very, very good offense."

After the Shreckengost touchdown to start the second half, Redbank Valley started to put the game away two drives later thanks to an acrobatic touchdown catch by Chris Marshall on the right side of the end zone to make it 21-6.

Shreckengost then put a capper on his big second half with a 3-yard run with just 1:49 to play.

Despite just the 33 yards of offense in the first half, Redbank Valley led by two points thanks to a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown by Ashton Kahle followed by a 2-point pass from Gunner Mangiantini to Marquese Gardlock.

Smethport got its lone touchdown on a 9-yard Lent to Brandon Higley touchdown pass just before halftime but saw the 2-point conversion stopped.

Redbank Valley managed just 175 yards on the night with 157 coming in the second half.

With the win, the Bulldogs are now 5-1 overall, while Smethport fell to 5-1.

Redbank Valley is at Bucktail Friday.

KNOX - Due to illness, the Keystone boys' basketball team was unable to play or hold practice for a little more than two weeks but if the Panthers suffered any rust from the prolonged shutdown, it didn't show.

CLARION - There would have been no shame for the Clarion Area girls' basketball team to come up short in their KSAC crossover against visiting Moniteau Friday night (Jan. 14) seeing as how the Bobcats had two consecutive games postponed and Clarion was taking on the Warriors under the direct…

COUDERSPORT - The Clarion and Redbank Valley wrestling teams traveled to the county seat of Potter County last Saturday (Jan. 8) for the Coudersport Duals. Each team wrestled five matches; the Bobcats posting a 2-3 record and the Bulldogs going 3-2.

FRILLS CORNERS - It's been a number of years since the Union High School girls' basketball team was a force in the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference and District 9 but on Thursday night (Jan. 6), the Golden Damsels announced their return.

CLARION TWP. - Rebuilding the Clarion-Limestone girls' basketball team has been a long and arduous process for Lions' head coach Gus Simpson but if C-L's game Dec. 22 is any indication, the Lions' rebuild is nearing completion.

FRILLS CORNERS - In a year where the KSAC Small School landscape is in a state of flux, the North Clarion boys' team made a statement they might be the team to beat when it is all said and done.

CLARION - What the 2021-22 Clarion boys' basketball team lacks in experience they make up for in heart as was evidenced Friday night (Dec. 17).

CLARION - The 2021-2022 Clarion wrestling team is young and lacking any veteran grappler with a postseason pedigree. Despite this, head coach Lee Weber enters this year's campaign optimistic; he has almost a full squad, which should make the Bobcats more competitive in duals than the squad t…

The Golden Damsels struggled from the field down the stretch of a 46-39 setback to Elk County Catholic

Redbank Valley's bid for a PIAA Class A title falls shy with a 21-14 loss to Bishop Guilfoyle in the championship final

Today (Dec. 9), the Redbank Valley football team will be attempting to do something no District 9 football team has ever done; win a state title.

WHEELING, W.Va. The Golden Eagle volleyball team's historic 2021 season came to a close on Thursday night (Dec. 2), as fifth-seeded Clarion fell to fourth-seeded Edinboro 3-1 (25-19, 19-25, 20-25, 18-25) in the opening round of the NCAA Atlantic Regional. Clarion (22-10) took the first set a…

PITTSBURGH - Maybe the perfect quote to sum up the Redbank Valley football team's 2021 season would be, "Mighty oaks from little acorns grow."

CLARION - It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Clarion University's Memorial Stadium Friday night (Nov. 26) as the snow was falling at a healthy clip and even though there was no tree or tinsel, the Redbank Valley football team got what they were wishing for.

EAST STROUDSBURG The Golden Eagle volleyball team claimed the third Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) championship in program history on Saturday afternoon, defeating top-seeded Gannon 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-17) at East Stroudsburg's Koehler Fieldhouse. It is the Golden Eagles' fi…

MECHANICHSBURG - To win a state title is special in itself but to win two in a row puts a team in rarified air.

CLARION - Redbank Valley's bid for a second-straight District 9 Class A title was at a crossroads late in the Bulldogs' title tilt with Union/A-C Valley as Redbank Valley was tied at 21-21 with the Falcon Knights and faced a fourth-and-11 at the Union/A-C Valley 21 but the Bulldogs' Tate Min…

SLIPPERY ROCK - For about a half an hour Tuesday night (Nov. 16), the Clarion Area High School volleyball team looked like they were in serious trouble as WPIAL champ Bishop Canevin went on a 9-3 run to take a 20-14 lead in Game One of the PIAA Class A semifinals but in the end, the Bobcats …

SLIPPERY ROCK - You'll have to excuse the Clarion Area High School volleyball team if they weren't awed by the PIAA quarterfinal stage on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 13) at Slippery Rock Area High School but the Bobcats have been here before.

RIMERSBURG - For three-straight years, the Union/A-C Valley football team was close to breaking into the playoff win column but the Falcon Knights always seemed to fall short.

KNOX - Familiarity plays a significant role when it comes to a team's comfort on a playoff stage which is what likely aided the Keystone High School volleyball team in their District 9 Class 2A semifinal against Karns City.

CLARION - Clarion is headed back to the District 9 Class A championship game and the PIAA playoffs after a convincing 3-0 sweep of rival Clarion-Limestone Tuesday night, Nov. 2, at Clarion High School.