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Incredible comeback, BEA tops PV in battle for the Old Iron Bell


SPRING MILLSThe Old Iron Bell was on the line on Friday night as Bald Eagle Area traveled to take on Penns Valley in a much anticipated Centre County clash between two of the top teams in District 6, Class 2A.

An energetic crowd packed the stands to witness the latest chapter in this heated rivalry. It was better than advertised. What they witnessed was an instant classic.

Facing a daunting 17-point deficit after the first quarter, The Eagles orchestrated a monumental comeback to defeat the Rams 28-23.

With the win, BEA stays unbeaten at 3-0 and will take over the top spot in the district rankings after Forest Hills lost. Penns Valley falls to 2-1 in the young season.

We missed so many opportunities early, but the kids continued to believe, BEA coach Jesse Nagle said.

Penns Valley wasted no time asserting its dominance in the game’s opening minutes. With 10:38 left in the first quarter, Ram quarterback Jackson Romig made a statement with a 37-yard touchdown run, followed by a successful kick by Ty Watson.

Soon after, Watson bulldozed into the end zone on a 3-yard run. The Rams extended their lead to 17-0 as Watson capped the quarter with a 26-yard field goal, sending shockwaves through the Eagle faithful.

While the second quarter was relatively quiet on the scoring front, it set the stage for BEAs resurgence. The Eagles’ defense, led by Kaden Clark and Caleb Lanning, sacked Romig in the end zone for a safety, putting BEA on the scoreboard. This play earned the Eagles their first points and served as a seismic shift in momentum.

The third quarter was a fireworks show for BEA.

Trailing 17-2, the Eagles offense came alive, amassing an astonishing 20 points in just 6 minutes and 47 seconds. Quarterback Carson Nagle connected with Cameron Watkins on a 22-yard touchdown pass, although the subsequent two-point conversion failed. The Eagles werent done yet; Cameron Dubbs rushed for a 13-yard touchdown, followed by another Nagle-to-Watkins 54-yard bomb for a score, giving BEA its first lead.

Watson managed a 1-yard touchdown run to momentarily stem the tide and give the Rams a slim 23-22 advantage with 2:46 left in the third.

In a nail-biting fourth quarter, BEA found themselves on Penns Valleys 3-yard line, primed to retake the lead. But the Ramsdefense rose to the occasion, blocking a 20-yard field goal attempt with just 4:24 remaining on the clock.

BEA got the ball back in good field position and moved deep into Penns Valley territory thanks to a 35-yard pass from Nagle to Wyatt Spackman and an 18-yard scamper by Dubbs.

Dubbs finally put the game out of reach. With a career-high 181yards already under his belt, The Eagle senior punched in a 1-yard touchdown run with 1:13 left, sealing the Eagles victory.

BEA experimented with an additional offensive lineman in some sets, and it paid off in a big way with Dubbs career 182-yardgame.

Dubbs wasnt the only star of the night. Nagle had a strong outing, completing 14 of 29 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns. Watkins also shone brightly, racking up 111 yards and two touchdowns on just five receptions.

As for Penns Valley, Watson, who averaged 199.5 rushing yards per game prior to this game, was held to just 79 yards by a relentless BEA defense. He did score two touchdowns.

This win also meant more than just numbers. It marked the second-largest comeback in BEA history, trailing only a 1985 game where BEA overcame a 26-7 deficit against Lewistown. Additionally, the Eagles claimed the Old Iron Bell for the second consecutive year.

This game had everything, from the Rams’ early rampage to the Eagles’ miraculous resurgence. Whether you were a die-hard fan or a casual spectator, the excitement was palpable, the tension unbearable, and the payoff unforgettable.

BEA 28, Penns Valley 23

Bald Eagle Area 0 2 20 6 28

Penns Valley       17 0 6 0 23


First Quarter

PVRomig 37 run (Watson kick), 10:38

PV-Watson 3 run (Watson kick), 8:04.

PV-Watson 26 FG, :00.

Second Quarter

BEASafety, 6:46.

Third Quarter

BEA-Watkins 22 pass from Nagle (pass failed), 9:08.

BEA-Dubbs 13 run (Kaden Burns kick), 6:24.  

BEA-Watkins 54 pass from Nagle (Kaden Burns kick), 5:48.

PV-Watson 1 run (run failed), 2:46.

Fourth Quarter

BEA-Dubbs 1 run (run failed), 1:13.


RUSHING: BEADubbs 23-182 2 TD, Nagle 3-(-3), Wible 1-(-3), K. Burns 3-14, Watkins 1-8, TEAM 2-(-16). PVWatson 19-79 2 TD, Romig 4-8 TD, Stover 1-(-4), TEAM 1-(-5).

PASSING: BEANagle 14-29-248-2-0. PVRomig 19-28-202-0-1, Stover 1-2-54-0-1.

RECEIVING: BEAK. Burns 4-37, G. Burns 1-15, Watkins 5-111 2 TD, Spackman 4-85. PVMeyer 7-65, Watson 7-73, Kerstetter 4-112, Lieb 1-14, Romig 1-(-8).


First downs           19   14

Rushes-yards            33-18225-78

Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 14-29-0 20-30-2

Yards passing      248       256

Total yards       430     334

Fumbles-lost           32   0-0

Penalties-yards     330     440

Punts-avg.             1-32.0      4-36.5

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