NTL FOOTBALL: COWANESQUE VALLEY TAKES DOWN NORTHWEST AREA FOR SECOND NTL WIN
(2021-09-10)Northern Tier West Sports Report
WESTFIELD — Cowanesque Valley played swarming, gang-tackling defense, hit pay dirt on a couple of big plays from QB Jake Schmitt to Tanyon Brown and overcame some self-inflicted adversity to come out on top in their match-up with Northwest Area Friday night, edging the Rangers 15-14 for their second straight win.
Northwest scored 75 points in their previous two games this season, racking up points and yards in a win over CMVT and in a loss to Montgomery, but CV limited the Rangers to just over two yards per carry, forced three turnovers on the night and capitalized on a Northwest muffed punt in their own end zone for a safety.
It would be the Indians, however, that would commit the first turnover of the game. On their first possession, and after a successful fake punt that saw Brown complete a pass to Fletcher Good for a first-and-ten at the Northwest 32 yard line, the Rangers picked off Schmitt at their own 26.
The Indians, and Head Coach Mike Schmitt, never got deterred by their miscues.
“The key tonight was that we didn’t give up”, Schmitt stated. “With all the mistakes we made .. we kept playing hard and never gave up. And we capitalized on their mistakes.”
CV forced a three-and-out .. aided by a Kade Sottolano sack .. and took over at their own 43. The Indians drove into NW territory, but turned the ball back over on downs on a failed fourth-and-one run at the Ranger 36.
The Rangers drove back across midfield .. to the CV 33 .. but coughed up the ball and the Indians recovered at their own 31.
Cowanesque again forced a punt .. from midfield .. that came to rest at the CV six-yard line. The Indians took a shot downfield on first down, and while Schmitt overthrew speedy receiver Tucker St. Peter, it showed that CV’s talented receiving core could get deep on Northwest.
After a six-yard gain by freshman tailback Tim Freeman and a completion to Brown moved the ball out to the 25 yard line, a delay of game penalty gave the Indians a first-and-15 at their 20. On second-and-10, Schmitt hit Brown in stride for an 80-yard touchdown and the first points of the game. Brown hit the point after and CV lead 7-0 with 8:31 left in the first half.
The Rangers took the ensuing kickoff back to their own 43 and chewed up eight minutes off the clock with a drive that ended with a touchdown pass on a fourth-and-five from the six with just :33 seconds left in the half. The extra point attempt was no good, and after another Schmitt interception on a fade attempt to St. Peter, Northwest killed the last :13 seconds of the half and CV went into the locker room up 7-6.
Northwest wasted little time in taking the second-half lead, as they hit a middle screen that covered 44 yards for the score and converted their two-point attempt to give them a 14-7 lead with 8:43 left in the third quarter.
Cowanesque would start their ensuing possession at their own 25 before the drive stalled and the Indians faced a fourth-and-20 from their own 40. Brown, the Indians punter, converted a fake punt attempt with a completion to Fletcher Good. Good, however, would be stripped of the ball and NW took over at their own 14 yard line.
A bad snap forced the Rangers back to their own one-yard line, where on fourth-and-20 another bad snap forced the Ranger punter to unsuccessfully try and escape his end zone.
Down 14-9 with the two-point safety, CV took the free kick from Northwest and started at their own 20. After their short drive stalled at their own 36, Brown punted the ball away to Northwest, but the Ranger returner fumbled the punt and Fletcher Good scooped the ball up and headed for the end zone unimpeded.
A mental mistake by Good caused the freshman to stop at the seven yard line, however, and the Indians could not punch it in, turning the ball over on downs at the NW one-yard line.
After forcing a Northwest punt from their own 12-yard line as the final quarter started, CV took over in Ranger territory at the 43. On third-and-10, Brown, again, got a step on the NW cornerback and Schmitt, again, hit him in stride for the long score. CV’s two-point attempt was stuffed, leaving CV’s lead at 15-14 with 7:18 left in the game.
With 5:08 left, Brown intercepted the Rangers at his own 30, but the Indians failed to convert another fake punt attempt, giving Northwest the ball back on CV’s 39 yard line with 3:21 left in the game.
The Rangers got to the CV 20-yard line, but the Indians held firm, forcing an incomplete pass on fourth-and-five and taking over with 1:34 left. Northwest had only one timeout left, as CV successfully killed the clock and secured the 15-14 win.
Quarterback Jake Schmitt completed seven of his 18 attempts, good for 151 yards and the two TD’s to Brown, which accounted for 121 yards.
Freeman continued his workhorse running, gaining 66 yards on 16 attempts .. which Coach Schmitt noted, while not eye-popping, was key for them.
While the passing game provided their points, Coach Schmitt acknowledged the work of his line and his freshman tailback. “Our run game kept us moving”.
The Indians outgained Northwest 257 to 134 in total yards. In addition to his 121 yards receiving, Brown completed two passes on fake punt attempts, good for 73 yards.
CV, now 2-1 on the season, will return to action next Friday when they host 3-0 Muncy.
PHOTOS: Lance Larcom
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