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Battle to the Gators: Port Allegany Tops Redbank Valley

Drew Evens played a key role on both sides of the ball for Port Allegany in its win over Redbank Valley Friday. Photo by Patrick Crants

PORT ALLEGANY, Pa. – Peyton Stiles’ 6-yard touchdown run followed by Drew Evens’ 2-point conversion run with 3:02 to play lifted Port Allegany to an 8-7 win over shorthanded Redbank Valley in a clash of top District 9 Class 1A teams at Port Allegany.

Also See: D9 Recaps

“It was a really good game,” Port Allegany lineman Carson Neely said on the Generational Wealth Management Postgame Show. “It was preached up to be the game of the year, and it was all of that.”

Watch Neely’s postgame interview

           

Redbank Valley (7-1) was playing without several players including quarterback Cam Wagner and wide receiver/defensive back Ashton Kahle – all the school’s administration said was “we do not comment on medical conditions of players or disciplinary policy of players.”

“We knew they were still a great team with or without them,” Evens said. “We knew that and knew that we still had to come to play.”

Rewatch the game

The game was still a great one, though, as the teams went into the fourth quarter scoreless before Redbank Valley went up 7-0 on a 90-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Braylon Wagner – Cam’s younger brother – to Tate Minich with 7:24 to play.

           

“Obviously, we were down a little bit,” Evens said. “But, we got back up because we knew the game wasn’t over. We knew we had to drive down the field and punch it in ourselves.”

The Redbank Valley touchdown came right after Port Allegany failed to convert on a fourth-and-4 play from the Redbank Valley 11-yard line.

Evens looked like he wanted to hand the ball off to Blaine Moses, but Moses slipped leaving Evens to try to improvise. He was stopped at the 10-yard line.

“I think the ground just gave (on Moses),” Evens said.

But the Gators’ defense didn’t allow a yard on Redbank Valley’s first two plays before Braylon Wagner hit a streaking Minich in stride for the 90-yard touchdown pass. The ball went nearly 50 yards in the air before Minich caught it around midfield

Watch the play

           

Port Allegany came right back going 65 yards in 11 plays, all rushes, scoring on the 6-yard Stiles run.

“Our coaches thought it (the power running game) would work, and I guess it did,” Evens said.

After a timeout, the Gators, who haven’t tried an extra point all season, went for two, and Evens’ number was called. The senior found the end zone to give Port Allegany the lead.

           

“The place was going crazy when (the Stiles touchdown) happened,” Evens said. “First off, we had to calm down and get everyone together. The line opened up a huge hole there. The blocks were held up perfectly. It was a wide-open hole, and I just got in.”

Redbank Valley then moved to its own 46-yard line where he faced third-and-3 when Evens dove in front of a Bulldog receiver for an interception.

“I saw the role, and I saw their guy hook up,” Evens said. “I thought he was wide open, so I tried to fly up on it. He threw it, and I made a play.”

Evens then ran for a first down to seal the victory.

Evens had a big game rushing 19 times for 88 yards while going 4 of 11 passing for 40 yards. He had the interception and also broke up two other passes on defense and was named the Allegheny Grille of Foxburg Player of the Game.

Listen to Evens’ full postgame interview

Also for Port Allegany, Moses ran 13 times for 57 yards with Noah Archer adding 14 for 50 yards.

Braylon Wagner was 10 of 23 passing for 175 yards, a touchdown, and an interception, although a handful of his incompletions were dropped passes.

Minich caught three passes for 112 yards and the touchdown with Aiden Ortz adding six catches for 54 yards. Drew Byers ran 15 times for 20 yards.

Both teams are now 7-1 on the year.

Port Allegany is at Keystone next week with Redbank Valley hosting Brockway.

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