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Week 1, BEA falls on grid iron to Mo Valley

HOUTZDALE – Not even “Mother Nature” herself could ruin the magic and pageantry of opening night of the local high school football season.
Friday night at Moshannon Valley, the Bald Eagle Area football team traveled to try to pick up win number one.
After a strong battle of will between both teams, In the end it would be the Black Knights that came out victorious, 40-12.
Coming out of the intermission leading 19-12, Moshannon Valley and quarterback Eric Shirkel drove the length of the field, getting it to the Eagles two with 8:08 to go in the third. Running back Levi Frailey cashed it in, putting the Pirates in control 26-12.
As the third quarter minutes started to tick down it looked like the Pirates were on their way to another score, getting as close as the BEA seven.
But the defense stiffened and on a fourth and goal when cornerback Cobey Bainey kept the team off the board with strong coverage.
In the fourth, Jacob Murawski had runs of 36 and one yard to up the score on a very tired Bald Eagle defense, upping the lead to 33-12 with less than 10- minutes remaining.
Leading the way both offensively and defensively was Shirkel. Shirkel had two first quarter touchdowns and a second quarter touchdown pass to give the Knights an early lead.
In the first half alone, Shirkel tallied 119 yards on the ground.
Turnovers also hurt the young Eagle team as it committed four, two fumbles and two interceptions.
“I think it was the first play of the second half and the fumble hit that hurt us. And when they got that score it wasn’t that was out of control but you could just feel it slip away,” Bald Eagle coach Ron Hoover said. “Obviously we are not the big play type of team. They have kids that can go the distance. We don’t have those people right now. We have to rely on moving the ball and doing things. It put us out of our rhythm and the things we wanted to get done.”
Moshannon Valley wasted little time getting on the scoreboard when Shirkel picked off a Tanner Kresovich pass and ran it in for a 40-yard interception.
“I thought the kids responded well after the interception,” Hoover said. “It was a ball game at halftime.”
However, the Eagles battled right back marching up the field on only three plays. Kresovich found a wide open Ryan Guenot for a 67-yard Td pass, tying the game at six.
With 5:05 still left in the opening quarter, Mo Valley struck again.
This time Shirkel would take to the ground and bust out a 60-yard TD run, taking back the lead at 12-6.
However, the 2-point conversion failed, setting the stage for the Eagles to bounce right back.
On its next possession, the Eagles went from their own 37 and marched down the field on a 10-play drive.
Alec Neuman got the call from the 4-yard line and busted his way through to the end zone, tying the score at 12.
After holding each other at bay for much of the second quarter, the Pirates ended the scoring in the half with a hook up of 16-yards from Shirkel to Jacob Murawski. With a completed PAT by Tyler Taylor, Mo Valley took a 19-12 halftime advantage.
Late in the game, Moshannon Valley added one last touchdown when Curtis Ne hit Shirkel for the final Td of the game.
Shirkel ended his night with 171 yards on the ground, 14 yards receiving and 100 yards passing.
Bald Eagle was led in the running game by Alec Nyman’s 60- yard running performance and teammate’s Hunter Hockenberry’s 42 yard effort.

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