By: Nate Brown | Towanda Daily Review | November 5, 2011
SAYRE - The Redskins played host to their cross-town rivals, the Wildcats of Athens, in Friday night's Rusty Rail game. The result followed the trend of the previous ten games as Athens has won their 11th straight Rusty Rail game starting back in 2001. The Redskins have set their own trend. From 2001-2008, the Wildcats had blown Sayre out of the water, but the past three years, including last night's matchup, have all been close games.
The Wildcats used a balance of both running and passing. Sayre mainly relied on the legs of five different running backs and even the legs of quarterback Brad Felt. All six Redskins combined for a total of 255 yards on the ground with all three of Sayre's touchdowns also coming from their ground attack. Casey Shiposh, running back of Athens, ran the ball 21 times for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Athens' quarterback Nick Carl went 10-for-13 passing for 152 yards and two scores. Jonathan Canfield sacked Brad Felt into the Redskin's own end zone for a safety. When it was all said and done, the Wildcats would hoist the Rusty Rail trophy victors, 30-21.
The first quarter showed no breakthrough for either offense. Athens would then score first on the first play of the second quarter. Following two 15-yard passes from Nick Carl to Ray McDougan and Brad Sampson, Casey Shiposh took the ball three yards into the end zone for six points. Troy Stivason would then tack on the extra point. Sayre would respond very quickly as it only took them two plays on their next drive to find the end zone. Jesse Dagutis took the handoff and headed to the right side. He rounded the corner after receiving a key block and staying out the reach of many diving Wildcats on his way to the end zone for a 72-yard touchdown run. Bernard Ketter would convert the PAT. Athens drove the field on their next drive. With the end zone in sight, Nick Carl tossed a jump-up-pass to Brad Sampson. Sampson would deflect the ball which landed perfectly into the hands of Alex Lyons of Sayre. Sayre would fail to convert on this mistake as they had to punt to Athens. Casey Shiposh did all the work for the Wildcats on the next drive as he ran the ball three times for 53 yards, capping the drive off with a three-yard touchdown run. Stivason would yet again nail the extra point. On Sayre's next possession, Alex Lyons took the ball up the middle as an Athens' defender punched the ball out perfectly and was recovered by Justin Schlosser of Athens. The Wildcats would fail to convert on the mistake as they turned the ball over on downs with 3:58 left in the half. Sayre would work the clock and the field as they drove from their own 33 yard line to the end zone, ending the drive with a two-yard, fourth down touchdown run by Alex Lyons. Bernard Ketter hit the PAT. After a half, the game was tied 14 all.
Athens would score on their first drive of the second half after stopping the Redskins on a three-and-out. This time, the Wildcats used the passing game for 63 of the drive's 67 yards. Nick Carl would connect with Brad Sampson on a screen. Sampson would then do the rest as he outran the defenders, diving into the end zone for a 30 -yard touchdown reception. Stivason converted the PAT. After stopping the Redskin's next drive, the Athens acquired the ball on their own one-yard line via a Michael Bostwick punt. Nick Carl would then fumble the snap as Sayre's Gabriel Nobles would fall on the ball at the one-yard line. Brad Felt would then keep the ball himself as he punched it into the end zone. Ketter would convert the PAT. On Athens' next drive, Nick Carl would connect with a wide open Curt Moore over the middle who would then take the ball into the end zone for a 50-yard touchdown. Stivason converted the PAT.
Being down 28-21, Sayre needed to come up with a big play. After driving 43 yards, the Redskins took the snap from their own 22-yard line. Quarterback Brad Felt would fire a pass towards the end zone, which would then be picked off by Nick Carl, which saved the game for the Wildcats. Nick Carl would then fumble the ball on Sayre's one-yard line, as it was recovered by Sayre. With 99 yards to go, Sayre needed something big. On the third play from scrimmage, a big play did in fact happen, just not for the Redskins. Jonathan Canfield would track down Felt in his own end zone and sack him for a safety. Sayre then attempted to onside kick the ball, but it was recovered by Athens.
Brad Felt went 1-7 passing for 28 yards for the Redskins. Jesse Dagutis was the lead rusher for Sayre as he carried the ball eight times for 87 yards and a rushing touchdown. Brad Sampson was the lead receiver of the game as he caught four passes for 53 yards, two yards better then Ray McDougan's 51 yards on four receptions.