Sabers take first ‘Bluestone Battle’

The Bluestone trophy awaits its eventual winner during a Susquehanna County gridiron battle at Montrose Area High School between the Meteors at Susquehanna's Sabers on Friday night. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN WOODRUFF

BY TOM ARENS

Times-Shamrock Writer

In a game filled with momentum swings and turnovers, it was Susquehanna’s defense that came through with a clutch defensive play to avoid an upset in an 18-14 victory over Montrose on Friday night.

The game featured 10 turnovers, five by each

Montrose's Will Ely rushes the ball while being pursued by Susquehanna's Brett Hepler (35) and Lewis Esposito (15) at Montrose on Friday night. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN WOODRUFF

team, but the biggest one came when Austin White intercepted a Dylan Heeman pass in the end zone on the final play of the game, preserving the victory. It was White’s second interception of the game.

Following a fumble recovery on Montrose’s game-opening possession, the Sabers took a 6-0 lead less than two minutes into the game when

Susquehanna's Cole Mallery breaks through a tackle from Montrose's Evan Castrogiovanni during the first half. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN WOODRUFF

Susquehanna’s Cole Mallery scored the first of his three touchdowns on a 6-yard run.

After Mallery’s second touchdown, a 40-yard run, gave Susquehanna a 12-0 lead, Montrose responded quickly by taking to the air.

Heeman threw two touchdown passes in the final two minutes of the half to give Montrose a 14-12 halftime lead.

Montrose's Dale Harder catches a pass in the end zone over the head of Susquehanna's Cole Mallery during the second quarter on Friday night. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN WOODRUFF

The first went to Will Ely and covered 44 yards with 1:55 to play.

Montrose took the lead after turning the Sabers over on downs.

Heeman threw 24 yards to Dale Harder for the score.

Mallery gave the Sabers the lead with his final score of the night on a 1-yard run and an 18-14 lead in the third quarter.

Susquehanna's Brett Hepler (35) takes a handoff from quarterback Austin White at Montrose on Friday night. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN WOODRUFF

“The kids fought through the mistakes and the adversity tonight” Susquehanna coach John Salinkas said. “We were able to overcome it all and win the game. I’m proud of them.”

Montrose’s fourth fumble recovery of the night set the Meteors up for one last drive. With 2:20 left in the game, Montrose drove the ball

Montrose quarterback Dylan Heeman rockets a pass during the first half while teammate Jack Fruehan (80) provides some blocking. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN WOODRUFF

down to the Sabers’ 6-yard line before White’s game-saving interception.

Susquehanna   6    6   6  0  – 18

Montrose     0   14  0  0 – 14

SUS        MON

First Downs 11             15

Rushes-yards           34-140    30-88

Montrose fullback John Lawson receives the handoff from quarterback Dylan Heeman (1) at Montrose on Friday night. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN WOODRUFF

Comp-Att-Int           4-12-1   10-29-3

Passing           68          177

Total yards    208         265

Fumbles-Lost             4-4         6-2

Penalties-Yds            8-60      12-95

Rushing: SUS – A. White 12-53; C. Mallery 16-49, 3 TDs; B. Hepler 4-33; A. Felter 2-5. MON – T. Tompkins 15-44; W. Ely 2-19; D. Heeman 2-18; J. Lawson 10-7; E. Castrogiovanni 1-0.

Passing:  SUS – A. White 4-12-1, 68. MON – D. Heeman 10-28-3, 177, 2 TDs; W. Ely 0-1-0, 0.

Receiving: SUS – C. Mallery 2-16; Z. Vaughn 1-42; C. Monks 1-10. MON – W. Ely 6-127, 1 TD; J. Lawson 2-10.