Bowman, Dawgs run by Line Mtn.
Published: November 8, 2012
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HEGINS - Before ending the regular season November 2 with a Tri-Valley League game against Line Mountain, senior running back Blake Bowman said there was no way that the Dawgs would treat the game merely as a tune up for this weekend's District 11 Class A football playoffs.
Once the game got under way, Bowman not only talked the talk, he also walked the walk.
To be more precise, he ran the run, carrying 29 times for 268 yards and scoring all six touchdown in Tri-Valley's 42-28 victory.
With the win, the Dawgs (9-1, 8-1 TVL) maintained their hold on the No. 2 seed and play a home game against Marian in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10. Meanwhile, the loss sent Line Mountain (8-2, 7-2) limping into the District 4 Class A playoffs with a road trip to Southern Columbia (10-0) looming.
"For a lot of us, Line Mountain is an even bigger rival than Williams Valley," Bowman said. "It was a big game for us, and this is the way we wanted to go into the playoffs."
Unofficially, Bowman has now rushed for 1,957 yards this season, which breaks the single-season record of 1,930 set by Justin Olano in 1998. His school-record career total is now 4,318.
In the first quarter, Bowman turned a fourth-and-1 into a 9-yard touchdown run and then scored from the 1 on third-and-goal early in the second quarter. Then came the first of two back-breaking runs that resulted in touchdowns.
With the Dawgs facing a third-and-21 at midfield, Bowman broke free and scored on a 50-yard run to make the score 21-0 midway through the second quarter.
Then, after the Eagles turned a muffed punt into an 11-yard touchdown run by Dillian Michael, Bowman ran for a 3-yard touchdown on third-and-goal with 42 seconds left in the half for a 29-6 halftime lead.
After scoring on a 19-yard run early in the fourth quarter, Bowman capped the scoring for the Dawgs with 40-yard run. His combined yardage on the six touchdown runs alone was 122 yards.
"Let's just say that the line did a real good job up front and our wide receivers blocked well," Bowman said. "Some of those holes were really big, and all I did was run."
Line Mountain, to its credit, responded with a competitive second half behind the passing of Cole Rickert, who completed 12-of-24 passes for 150 yards. His 34-yard TD pass to Jeremy Renn, who had five receptions for 76 yards, was the only scoring in the third quarter.
"We had the choice of putting our tail between our legs or coming out and playing football in the second half," Line Mountain coach Rod Knock said. "We're not used to being down like we were, but the way we played in the second half is the only positive we can take from this game."
Meanwhile, there is plenty the Dawgs can take from the game as they prepare for the postseason. They have been able to maintain leads to win and come from behind to win, with an overtime loss to Williams Valley costing them an undefeated season and the league title.
"We came out focused and were ready for this game," Tri-Valley coach Mike Kogut said. "They have given us some pretty good losses in recent years, so it didn't take much to get our kids fired up."
Tickets for the semifinal will be on sale Wednesday, Nov. 7 through Friday, Nov. 9 in the Tri-Valley High School office from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Advanced tickets are $6 for adults, $3 for students and $3 for senior citizens. All tickets purchased at the gate will be $6. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.
Upper Dauphin 14
The Indians posted a 43-14 victory over the Upper Dauphin Trojans during their their battle November 3.
Pine Grove 26
LEWISTOWN - Neil Bodley rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns to break the Juniata single-season school rushing record, and the Indians stormed past the Cardinals in a Tri-Valley League game.
Bodley scored on runs of 24 and 34 yards as Juniata built a 35-6 lead midway through the second quarter and 49-13 at halftime. He added a 55-yard interception return in the third quarter.
Ryan Heim rushed 33 times for 191 yards and two touchdowns for Pine Grove, which amassed 342 yards of offense, but committed six turnovers.