Rutler goes up for a catch

Coudersport’s Logan Ruter (12) goes up for a leaping reception during Saturday’s playoff game against Redbank Valley.

The Coudersport Falcons football team’s season came to an end at Redbank Valley Saturday afternoon, Oct. 24, 28-12.

Coudersport and Redbank Valley both threw interceptions at opposite ends of the field to open the contest, Coudersport’s being in the back of the endzone after a full drive that almost turned into a first quarter led. The opening quarter ended up scoreless for the third straight week.

As the second quarter began, an interception was returned to the redzone setting up the Bulldogs in prime position for the first score of the game. Two of Coudersport’s turnovers were turned into easy touchdowns in the game. The first one was when Bulldogs quarterback Cam Wagner found Dalton Bish from 15 yards out to open the scoring at the 8:56 mark, which was also on a long 4th down. Redbank Valley then tacked on two more scores in the quarter, another passing touchdown from Cam Wagner to Marquese Gardlock for 31 yards at 5:44, and a 54-yard catch and run by Trenton Rupp after breaking free of the Falcons’ defense on the sideline a minute before the half. Coudersport found themselves buried at halftime, 21-0.

Redbank put the game away on the first play of the second half on the next costly turnover, this one a fumbled pitch option that was returned 20 yards for a touchdown by Joe Mansfield.

However, the Falcons kept the Bulldogs out of the endzone for the remainder of the game while scoring twice. Coudersport capped off a long drive with a four-yard run by Brandt Kightlinger for the first Falcons touchdown as time expired in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Falcons found paydirt once again when senior quarterback Hayden Keck hooked up with Brandt Kightlinger in the back of the endzone for a 21-yard score. Keck completed his last career pass to Gavyn Ayers as time expired, who has seen significant playing time this season especially at runningback, and has a good chance of taking over at quarterback next season after leading his Jr. High team to an undefeated season in 2019.

Hayden Keck was 9/22 passing for 106 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions while Brandt Kightlinger ran 27 times for 120 yards and a score with the 21-yard scoring catch.

For the Bulldogs, Cam Wagner was 12/16 passing for 146 yards and three touchdowns while Ray Shreckengost led in rushing with 11 carries for 20 yards.

Each team committed four turnovers. Coudersport shut down Redbank Valley in rushing holding them to just 30 yards on 25 carries, but it was made up for with 213 passing yards.

Redbank Valley improved to 5-0 and will now take on 5-0 Smethport on Saturday at Brockway’s Frank Varischetti Field at 1 p.m. for the District 9 Championship. The Hubbers defeated Union/AC-Valley 12-10 at home on Friday night to get there. The Bulldogs haven’t won a D9 championship since 1996 while the Hubbers haven’t since 1998. Both teams were dominated by Coudersport in the title game the past two years, Smethport in 2018 (44-7) and Redbank Valley in 2019 (42-13).

The Falcons close out the year with a record of 4-2, their fourth consecutive winning season.

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