H.S. FOOTBALL: Ligonier Valley 21, Blairsville 17
BLAIRSVILLE — Alec Bloom picked the perfect time for haul in his only catch of the game, and Ligonier Valley remained undefeated with a win over Blairsville in a Heritage Conference football game at Memorial Stadium.
Bloom, the Rams’ 6-foot-7 tight end, soared over two defenders in the end zone and pulled in the go-ahead 8-yard touchdown reception with 8:36 to play, and Ligonier Valley got two defensive stops inside its own 15-yard line to complete a comeback from an 11-point first-half deficit.
Blairsville scored on its opening drive, on a 2-yard quarterback sneak by Scott Thompson, and the Bobcats got a 25-yard field goal from freshman kicker Andrew Stipcak to take a 10-0 lead with 4:33 left to play in the first half.
But on the ensuing kickoff, Ligonier Valley’s Dan Croyle found a seam and sped away for an 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to bring the visitors within 10-6.
Blairsville quickly answered. Two plays later, Thompson connected with running back Deion Robinson for a 60-yard touchdown on a catch-and-run as the Bobcats took a 17-6 lead.
But perhaps the biggest play of the opening half was the one that didn’t happen.
Facing a third-and-goal at the Ligonier Valley 5-yard line with less than 15 seconds to play in the half, Blairsville coach Rick Artley opted to take a shot at the end zone with no timeouts left. Thompson completed a pass to Robinson in the flat, but Croyle brought down Robinson at the 1-yard line, and the Bobcats had to settle for a 17-6 halftime lead after running out of time.
Ligonier Valley scored less than three minutes into the second half on a 1-yard plunge by quarterback Scott Fennell, who also ran for the two-point conversion to bring the Rams within 17-14.
It would stay that way until Bloom’s touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
Blairsville had one last chance, but the Bobcats’ drive stalled at the Ligonier Valley 11 with 1:29 to play, and the Rams ran out the clock.
See complete coverage in Saturday’s edition.