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Quaker Valley rattled off 30 second half unanswered points, Ricky Guss scored five total touchdowns, and the Quakers improved to 4-0 Friday night, defeating Beaver, 45-21.
Beaver trailed 29-21 with 3:58 remaining, but the Quakers’ Jake Pesicka stripped quarterback Brodie List in the backfield, and Oliver Funk recovered it for Quaker Valley at the Bobcats’ 13 yard line. Guss scored on the next play, his fourth rushing touchdown on the night, and the home team converted the two-point conversion to pad its lead, 37-21.
“We really got into a great swing of momentum, especially in the second half,” Funk said. “We came off the ball firing. I guess the quarterback was trying to throw it, and we popped it out and I fell on top of it.”
Beaver (2-2) fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, and Smith Johnson’s six-yard scoring run with 1:28 left put the game on ice for the Quakers.
The Bobcats took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched 76 yards in 12 plays to take a 21-15 lead. List connected with Tyler Wallace for a 24-yard touchdown strike on fourth-and-13, giving the Bobcats’ their first lead since 7-0.
Quaker Valley’s defense clamped down after that, though, holding the Beaver offense to less than 15 total yards over the final 18 minutes.
“We really feed off each other’s energy,” Funk said. “Once one person makes a play, the next guy is more motivated to make a play. It rolls into the whole team firing off.”
Trailing by six, Jordan Taylor’s 53-yard reception late in the third quarter set up the Quaker’s go-ahead touchdown. After two shorts runs moved the ball inside the redzone, Guss carried it in from 12 yards out to put the home team back in front, 22-21.
Following a Beaver three-and-out, Ethan Moore ripped off 36-yard scamper, and four straight running attempts by Guss ended with a two-yard touchdown.
“We’re a second half team all the way,” starting center Josh Magee said. “In the second half we come out with all our big running plays.”
Quaker Valley led 15-14 at the break, taking advantage of a pair of blocked punts. Beaver jumped on the scoreboard first, as Charlie Zorich stepped in front of a Guss screen pass and returned it 55 yards for a score on the game’s opening possesion.
Andrew Seymour broke through the Bobcats’ line at the 6:32 mark of the first quarter to block Beaver’s first punt attempt. The Quakers recovered, and Taylor scored on an eight-yard swing pass to tie the game, 7-7.
“We had a formation—we saw it on film,” Seymour said of the blocked punt. “Throughout the week in practice we executed it going live snaps, practicing everything we needed to do, and we executed it when the time came.”
Guss blocked the Bobcats’ punt on the next possession, and his one-yard sneak put the Quakers ahead, 15-7, following a successful two-point conversion.
With the first half winding down, Beaver drove 67 yards in 58 seconds, capped by three straight receptions to pull within one, 15-14. Zorlich made a leaping grab in the back of the endzone, hauling in List’s 15-yard pass with 20 seconds left.
Guss finished the night 7-19 for 129 yards and a touchdown through the air and added 93 yards on the ground.
“We enjoy tonight, but we have a big season ahead of us,” Guss said. “We can’t take days off with our schedule and our conference—everybody can play—so we have to come ready for next Friday.”
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