By: The Review | Towanda Daily Review | October 23, 2016
SAYRE — Its been a long time coming, but when it finally arrived it came in a hurry, as Sayre put 35 points on the board in the second quarter on the way to a Northern Tier League Division II-clinching 48-6 win over Columbia-Montour Vo Tech.
Sayre last won a division or overall league championship in 1980 when the Redskins played in the Sullivan Trail Conference. For reference, Sayre head coach Steve Satterly hadnt been born yet.
Satterly and his staff thought this group had the goods to be a special team. As the season progressed, this group, which had found success at every level, began to realize what they had, too.
"This is a great group of kids that really work hard every day," said Satterly. "Theyve had success all throughout their football careers and we knew as a staff coming in this year that we were going to have a special team. (The trick) was just getting them to realize it. Half way through the season, it kind of clicked that they were as good as they wanted to be. They deserve everything they get. Its awesome to be here and to be a part of it."
Shortly after Sayre clinched the league title, Wellsboro downed Wyalusing 48-0. That means the Redskins will be the top seed in the District IV Class A playoffs which begin in two weeks.
Coming into Saturdays game, the Redskins had won six straight — a rare feat in Sayre. the last quarter century — and needed just a win over the one-win Rams of CMVT to lock in their first-ever Northern Tier League title.
The Redskins got a quick punt from the Rams to open the game and took over on their 49-yard line. Five plays and 2:39 later, Tylor Belles, who ended the day with 167 yards and four touchdowns on just eight carries, scored from 20 yards out.
After another quick stop on defense, the Redskins gave the ball to Belles on their first snap and he went 61 yards for his second score.
The Rams, missing numerous players who work on Saturdays, showed signs of life the next time they had the ball. Starting at their 20-yard line, the Rams held the ball for nearly seven minutes and advanced to the Redskins 47-yard line before incurring 30 yards in penalties and eventually punting from their 19-yard line.
After a hold backed Sayre up to its 30-yard line, Matt Ingrassia, who finished with 92 yards and one score on five carries, blew through a hole on the left side and raced 50 yards to CMVTs 20-yard line. After two touchdown runs were called back on penalties, Ingrassia finally scored a touchdown from 14 yards out that counted.
Sayre got another quick stop on "D" -- the Rams had 20 total yards of offense in the first half after a 20-yard pass catch and run on the last play of the half -- and another quick score when Belles went in from 25 yards out four plays later.
The coup-de-gras came in the last two minutes of the half.
Belles scored from 14 yards out three plays after a muffed snap gave the Redskins the ball at the Rams 20.
The Rams left the ensuing kickoff on the ground and Tyler Harbst scored from 35 yards lout two plays later.
The next CMVT snap sailed over the quarterbacks head and Sayre recovered at the 20. Three plays later, Chris Ray scored on a 9-yard run to end the Redskins scoring for the day.
The Redskins played everybody, putting no starters on the field after the half.
Finally, with 7:51 to play, CMVTs hard-running Sevon King, who finished with 118 yards on 21 carries, bulled in from 12 yards out to close out the scorebook.
With a program that has had continual success, the school and community expects that success and is happy when it comes.
At Sayre, where that success hasnt been there in years, the level of excitement is elevated. After the game, the senior football players, cheerleaders and band members gathered near the schools Coaches Wall of Fame to play and sing the Alma Mater. A good percentage of the crowd took in the scene, as few wanted to leave the stadium.
"That was something out there, wasnt it," said a soggy — yes, he did get doused post-game — Satterly from the friendly confines of the coachs office. "Its history for the kids and something for them to cherish. We, as coaches, will cherish it, too.
"Its good for the town," said Satterly. "In a small community like ours, to have success in, this year, multiple sports, but especially football — people rally around football teams and that was great for the community."
The Redskins have now won seven straight after dropping the first two games of the season, marking the first time in 44 years a Sayre team has won that many straight.
The Redskins season is far from over. Friday night, Sayre travels to Athens at 7 p.m. for the annual Rusty Rail game hoping to end another streak. Sayre won the first Rusty Rail game in 2000, but Athens has won the last 15 straight.