T-D HS Football

Tussey Mountain thumps Berlin Brothersvalley

By: Shawn Curtis

BEDFORD — The Tussey Mountain Titans tallied six unanswered touchdowns and stymied Berlin Brothersvalley’s potent running game as well en route to a 42-14 victory in Friday’s District 5 Class A championship at Bedford Area High School.
The Mountaineers started with a bang – scoring on their first play in Braden Fochtman’s 67-yard run through the heart of the Tussey Mountain defense. Luke Sprowls’ point-after kick put the Mountaineers ahead 7-0 just 16 seconds into the game.
From there, the Titans seized control and eventual district gold.
“We’ve been playing better defense,” Tussey Mountain coach Josh Smith said. “We got a little punch in the face on that first drive and first play, but that’s OK. We responded. A lot of credit to our offensive and defensive lines for stepping up and getting it done.”
Berlin Brothersvalley was poised to add to its lead twice, but turned the ball over on downs at the Titans’ 13 and then the 28 on consecutive possessions.
After the second stop, Tussey Mountain knotted the score at 7 with 9:44 left in the first half on Daniel Taylor’s 18-yard run. A Mountaineers three-and-out put the Titans in motion again at the Berlin Brothersvalley 40. A six-play drive capped by Kyle Kline’s 5-yard burst put the No. 3 seed up 14-7.
A fumbled option pitch on Berlin Brothersvalley’s next possession fed the Titans’ momentum into full bloom. A play after Quinn Barnett recovered the loose football, he found Wyatt Brumbaugh from 25 yards away to run the Tussey Mountain lead to 21-7 just 4 minutes after the Titans’ first touchdown.
“We had it going, then we got the ball back,” Mountaineers coach Doug Paul said. “We drove it to their (13). We thought we had the first down, they measured it and probably about a half-inch short. Just seemed like the momentum shifted and they seemed to take the momentum.”
Taylor added a 2-yard scoring run  in the third quarter to finish a three-play drive that opened at the Mountaineers’ 30 following a 24-yard punt.
Another short punt - this one a 16-yarder to midfield - set up the Titans’ next scoring drive, an 11-play drive punctuated by Darren Sipes’ 3-yard sprint around the outside.
Sipes removed all doubt of a Mountaineers comeback on the ensuing drive when he picked off E.J. Custer’s pass and returned it 64 yards for a score.
With a running clock, Berlin Brothersvalley’s Bryce Fochtman plowed in from the 8 to set the final.
Tussey Mountain advances to face the District 7 champion next week at a site and time to be determined.
“We have a big challenge next week, but we’re going to enjoy this one first and move on from there,” Smith said.
Braden Fochtman, who eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark for the season, rushed for 134 yards on 17 rushes to take his total to 2,055.
Tussey Mountain’s tandem of Sipes and Taylor tallied 160 combined yards with Sipes collecting 92 on 12 carries.