NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Gunner Mangiantini’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Trenten Rupp with 4:24 left in the third quarter capped the scoring in what was a tight defensive battle as Redbank Valley beat Union/A-C Valley, 10-7, Thursday night.
In a game that featured 14 punts, and only 331 yards of combined offense, it was only fitting that the Bulldogs (3-0) led 2-0 at halftime thanks to Joe Mansfield sacking Union/A-C Valley quarterback Tanner Merwin in the end zone in the second quarter.
But Union/ACV (3-1) scored on the opening drive of the second half when Merwin hit Karter Vogle for a 28-yard TD pass on a fourth-and-eight play. Colton Murray’s point-after kick made it 7-2 with 9:08 left in the third quarter.
Redbank Valley answered with a 12-play, 60-yard scoring drive capped by Mangiantini’s 24-yarder to Rupp on third-and-seven. Mangiantini’s two-point pass to Marquese Gardlock set the final.
Union/ACV reached the 20 on its next possession but stalled on downs in what was the final scoring threat of the game.
In the first half, the Bulldogs fumbled the ball away twice deep in Union/ACV territory, the first at the end of what looked to be a Mangiantini 30-yard TD run, but Merwin stripped the ball away from Mangiantini and the Falcon Knights recovered at their own 9.
On Redbank Valley’s next possession, a botched lateral pass was recovered by the Falcon Knights at the Union/ACV 18.
But Union/ACV’s inability to move the ball killed their field positioning and that led to Mansfield sacking Merwin to make it 2-0 with 4:56 left in the first half.
The Falcon Knights blocked Hudson Martz’s punt in the ensuing Bulldogs possession and nearly cashed in with some points, but couldn’t come up with the big play as Merwin was pushed out of bounds on the final play of the half on a 2-yard run from the Bulldogs’ 6.
Union/ACV outgained Redbank Valley, 195-146. The Falcon Knights’ Merwin completed 11 of 28 passes for 154 yards with Vogle catching four passes for 81 yards. Mangiantini completed 9 of 17 passes for 79 yards with Rupp grabbing two passes for 31 yards.
Neither team could run the ball, the Falcon Knights 41 yards on 34 attempts and the Bulldogs 67 yards on 33 attempts. Martz led the Bulldogs with 33 yards on 11 carries while Kylar Culbertson led the Falcon Knights with 44 yards on 13 carries.