Central Cambria Red Devils

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Central Cambria running back Stephen Davis is brought down by a host of Penn Cambria defenders during the Red Devils’ 16-13 Laurel Highlands victory over the Panthers on Friday night.

Red Devils nip Panthers on late FG

By: Mike Mastovich

CRESSON — Central Cambria’s Colby Crimmins didn’t sulk or pout after his extra-point attempt clanged off the left upright with just over 4 minutes left in a tie game at Penn Cambria on Friday night.
“You just shake it off. Clear my head. Get ready for the next one,” Crimmins said.
The next one happened to be a big one.
The 5-foot-7 junior calmly booted a 37-yard field goal with :05 on the clock.
Crimmins’ kick provided the winning margin as Central Cambria edged Penn Cambria, 16-13, to claim its first Goal Post Trophy since 2007 in this county rivalry.
“When he missed the extra point, we told him, ‘We need you because you’re going to kick the game-winning field goal,’” first-year Central Cambria coach Bill Corrente said after his team improved to 2-1 in the LHAC. “When he came off, he was still smiling.”
Red Devils quarterback Will Seymour played a major role in the victory. The versatile junior carried 18 times for 112 yards and a score, and he completed 12 of 20 passes for 142 yards, one touchdown and an interception.
“We worked all summer on finishing – finishing sprints, finishing drills, finishing everything,” Seymour said. “Tonight we finished in a big way. That’s a great win for us.”
Penn Cambria played much better than an 0-3 team. The Panthers had a 13-play, 59-yard drive that used 6:37 in game clock in the third quarter. Mark Mardula’s 1-yard touchdown tied the game at 7-all.
The Panthers needed only one spectacular defensive play to take the lead.
Junior defensive back Jake Hurley stripped the ball from Seymour and raced 74 yards for a touchdown and 13-7 advantage a minute into the final quarter.
“That’s just a great effort by Jake Hurley,” said Penn Cambria coach Jason Grassi, also in his first season. “He went in and just pulled the ball out and took it. It was a great football play by him.”
Seymour’s 5-yard dash through traffic in the middle of the field pulled the Devils into a 13-all tie at 4:20.
“My guys were making plays for me in the passing game, big-time plays,” said Seymour, who hit senior receiver Tanner Ambrisco eight times for 124 yards. “The line was blocking phenomenally. Huge holes up front.”
Ambrisco caught a screen and slipped by defenders for a key 13-yard gain to convert a fourth-and-8 at the Penn Cambria 32 with 1:53 left in the game. That catch and run set up the field goal.
Penn Cambria called time to ice Crimmins with 12 seconds showing.
“To be honest, my eyes were closed when he kicked it,” Seymour said. “I was praying, ‘He better make this.’ That’s a great moment for Colby.”
Crimmins credited his older brother Austin, formerly the Devils’ standout kicker.
“I learned everything from him,” Crimmins said. “Everything I did here tonight came from him.”
 Central Cambria used a timing fade pattern to score the only touchdown of the opening half.
Seymour lofted a high pass along the right sideline, and Ambrisco ran down the ball, catching it in stride en route to the end zone at 7:05 of the first quarter.
The Devils’ defense limited Penn Cambria to a net 18 total yards of first-half offense, including 11 rushing yards on 14 attempts.
The Panthers offense regrouped in the third quarter as Penn Cambria ran on 13 consecutive plays on its first scoring drive keyed by Tyler Strasser, who finished with 18 carries and 67 yards.
“We were just pounding and pounding and pounding the ball,” Grassi said. “We talked to them at halftime, and we made the decision that we were going to come out and get after these guys.”
Penn Cambria holds a 12-9 advantage in the Goal Post Trophy competition since 1993.
The players gathered near midfield for a photo, with the big guys lifting Crimmins, holding the trophy, on their shoulders.
“A slugfest. A great football game,” Grassi said. “It’s tough to come out on the losing end. They made a couple more plays than we did. Hats off to those guys. They played hard and they earned it.”

Mike Mastovich is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/masty81.