Bulldogs battle Indians, remain unbeaten team
Published: October 10, 2013
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HEGINS - Good football teams know how to win.
Good football teams also know how to adapt when things go wrong.
On Oct. 4, Tri-Valley confirmed it with a sloppy 41-28 victory over visiting Millersburg in a Tri-Valley League contest to remain unbeaten.
Despite some costly turnovers early in the third quarter that allowed the Indians to close within seven points, coach Mike Ulicny's team did not panic. Something it did in a Week 2 win over Juniata.
"We had some mistakes and fumbles," Ulicny said. "But our kids rallied and took control and went after it.
"Against Juniata, they panicked and it snowballed on us. We made a situation where an easy game was not. But our kids knew they made mistakes tonight and they didn't panic when Millersburg made the push on us."
After taking a quick 7-0 lead on a Hunter Harner 39-yard interception return for a touchdown, Tri-Valley (6-0, 5-0 TVL) focused on its vaunted rushing attack of Harner and Tanner Coleman.
Harner, who compiled 152 yards on 15 carries, scored on touchdown runs of 10 and 75 yards in the second quarter. Coleman, who scored on a 12-yard scamper in the third quarter, finished with 132 yards on 17 rushes.
Shortly after Harner's electrifying 75-yard dash to paydirt, Coleman stepped in front of a Christian Wingard pass and returned it 48 yards to the end zone to give Tri-Valley what appeared to be a commanding 28-0 lead with 2 minutes, 50 seconds remaining in the first half.
Though the Indians put together a quick, five-play, 58-yard drive that saw freshman Cole Shomper bolt 15 yards for a touchdown, Tri-Valley was clearly in control.
"We let them back into it," Ulicny said of Millersburg's efforts.
After deferring the first-half coin toss, the Dawgs, with a 28-7 lead, were set to receive the second-half kick.
But that's when things got a little interesting.
Millersburg's Wingard drilled a Tri-Valley player in the leg with the kick and the ball ricocheted back to the Indians, who took possession at their own 48.
Wingard, who completed 13-of-24 passes for 196 yards, directed Millersburg on two scoring drives to make it 28-21, scoring on a 1-yard run and flinging a 30-yard TD pass to Austin Lehman.
Tri-Valley, however, answered with Coleman's 12-yarder and a 22-yard TD run by sophomore Chase Schaeffer.
"Give Millersburg all the credit," Ulicny said. "They're a young team, but they played hard.
"Our kids knew they made mistakes, and that was the basic thing. They knew if they executed we would get back up on top."
U. Dauphin 43
ELIZABETHVILLE - Led by Trey Campbell, Upper Dauphin rallied from a 28-21 half-time deficit and defeated Juniata in a Tri-Valley League game.
The Trojans got touchdown runs of 30 and 4 yards from Campbell in the third quarter, when they overcame the deficit to take a 36-28 lead. Upper Dauphin added a 5-yard touchdown run from Campbell in the fourth period, after which Madison Crum-Berger booted his fifth extra point.