Valley Sports Report
WESTFIELD, Pa. — Sophomore QB Brayden Horton threw three TD passes and ran for one, and senior tailback Isaiah Firestine ran for three more to lead Sayre in a 55-28 shellacking of Cowanesque Valley in NTL Small School football action.
Sayre coach Kevin Gorman was pleased to see his team’s performance after a disappointing loss at Canton last week.
“I feel good about the way we bounced back,” he said.
“We talked all week about how that wasn’t us last week,” added Gorman. “We know we’re a much better team than that.”
With the win, the Redskins improve to 6-2 overall, and remain unbeaten in divisional play. They travel to Muncy, also unbeaten in divisional play, Friday with the Small School title on the line.
The Indians opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 1-yard TD pass from Seth Huyler to Kole Hurler to take a 7-0 lead.
After that it was almost all Redskins until the halftime intermission. They forced three turnovers and turned all three into scores.
“We did a nice job defensively to create turnovers, which was huge for us, and we did a good job turning them into points,” said Gorman.
Brayden Horton connected with Corbin Brown on a 44-yard TD pass to tie the game at 7-7 on Sayre’s first possession.
CV’s ensuing possession ended when Sayre senior Zach Watkins stepped in front of a Huyler pass. A few plays later, Firestine plunged in from 1 yard out to give the Redskins a 14-7 lead.
After the Redskins forced a three-and-out, Brown returned the punt 30 yards to the CV 22. It took just one play for Firestine to find paydirt with a 22-yard scamper to make it 21-7.
Huyler kicked things into gear for CV on its next possession, and had the Indians closing in on the red zone, but Brown came up with an interception in the end zone to extinguish the threat.
“(CV) drove down the field on us, and Corbin (Brown) had a big pick in the end zone,” said Gorman. “It was a big momentum shift.”
On the next play, Brayden Horton connected with his cousin Lucas Horton a 72-yard catch-and-run to the CV 8. Brayden Horton finished the lightning-quick drive on the next snap with an 8-yard TD run to make it 28-7.
Three plays after the ensuing kickoff, CV’s Elliott Good broke loose on a 54-yard scoring run to trim the lead to 28-14.
Sayre’s next possession was another quick scoring drive with the Hortons hooking up on a 45-yard TD pass to extend the lead to 35-14 at the end of the first quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Redskins created another turnover.
“Logan Chapman had a nice hit on the kick return to cause a fumble, and we recovered it at midfield,” said Gorman.
Six plays later, Firestine scored on a 14-yard TD run to make it 42-14 after sophomore Nic Bentley split the up rights with his sixth PAT kick of the first half.
The Redskins tacked on another score in the closing minute of the first half on a 1-yard TD pass from Brayden Horton to senior Ethan Miller. The PAT was blocked and Sayre led 48-14 at the half.
Gorman said his offense was firing on all cylinders in the first half.
“Brayden (Horton) hit on some nice throws, and Luke (Horton), Corbin (Brown), and Zach (Watkins) caught and ran the ball very well.
“And, our offensive line kept everyone pretty clean,” said Gorman.
The Redskins also showed good balance on offense with Brayden Horton completing 9 of 13 passes for 225 yards, and the ground game accounting for 221 yards on 38 carries — led by Firestine, who had 106 yards on 18 carries.
“We knew we were going to lean on Isaiah (Firestine) a little bit more, and he responded … he ran hard,” said Gorman.
The Indians scored two TDs in the third quarter — a 29-yard run by Good, and a 23-yard pass from Huyler to Tanyan Brown — to cut the deficit to 48-28.
Sophomore Jake Bennett added Sayre’s second-half TD with a 3-yard run. He set up the short scoring run with a 51-yard scamper just moments before.
“We came out a little flat in the second half, but it’s tough to pump the kids back up when you’re up 48-14 at the half,” said Gorman.
Lucas Horton led Sayre’s receivers with three receptions for 140 yards, and one TD.
Good rushed for 202 yards and two TDs on 22 carries to lead CV.
IN PHOTO: Sayre senior Isaiah Firestine. … PHOTO BY TIM BIRNEY.
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