H.S. FOOTBALL: Northern Cambria 35, Ligonier Valley 34
LIGONIER — Northern Cambria scored a pair of touchdowns in the last 10 minutes of the game to score a come-from-behind win over Ligonier Valley in a Heritage Conference game Friday night at Weller Field.
Ligonier Valley quarterback Scott Fennell caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Jones on a gadget play just 45 seconds into the game to put the Rams ahead 6-0.
Northern Cambria running back Derek Baker answered and capped a seven-play, 55-yard drive with a 5-yard run with 6:02 left in the first quarter. Baker tacked on the extra point to give the Colts a 7-6 lead.
On the Colts’ next drive, quarterback Tyler Pershing hit Joey Olish for a 42-yard touchdown to put Northern Cambria ahead 14-6 with 9:09 to play in the second quarter.
Ligonier Valley responded on its next drive, however, and tied the game when Fennell hit Garrett Tobias for a 23-yard pass with 2:50 to go in the first half.
Then, with just seven seconds left in the half, Fennell lofted a Hail Mary pass that Dan Croyle caught in the end zone while lying flat on his back as time expired to give Ligonier Valley a 21-14 lead.
Fennell hit Tobias for a 29-yard touchdown just 1:20 into the second half to stretch Ligonier Valley’s lead to 28-14.
Fennell then scampered 27 yards for a touchdown on Ligonier Valley’s next drive to stretch the Rams’ lead to 34-14.
The Colts didn’t give up, though, and drove 66 yards on 11 plays on their next drive to score a touchdown and cut Ligonier Valley’s lead to 34-21. Center Jay McGary fell on a Joey Frontino fumble in the end zone to cap the drive.
Then, on the first play of Northern Cambria’s next drive, Frontino bolted down the left sideline 80 yards for a touchdown to cut Ligonier Valley’s lead to 34-28.
With the Rams still nursing the lead, Dereck Croyle fumbled on the Colts’ 38 with 4:25 to play.
The Colts then marched 62 yards on nine plays to score the game-tying touchdown. Frontino finished the drive with a 1-yard run with 35 seconds to play.
Baker gave the Colts a 35-34 lead when he nailed the extra point.
Fennell threw incomplete passes on the last two plays of the game to seal the Colts’ win.
Frontino piled up a career-high 217 yards on 26 carries.
See complete coverage in Saturday’s edition.