BY JAKE OSWALT
Play like there is tomorrow. Penn Cambria has had that mindset the last two weeks as they needed to win their last two games just to make it into the playoffs.
Penn Cambria (6-4) held off a late Somerset rally to earn a
16-14 victory and the eighth and final seed in the District 6-AA playoffs that start next week. Penn Cambria will travel to top-seeded Richland (10-0) next week, a rematch of a Week 8 game the Rams won 30-12.
“It’s great,” Penn Cambria interim head coach Tony Tomaselli said about his team’s emotional victory. “I’m happy for the kids. We try to tell them adversity is part of life, you have to deal with it. We had our share this year, losing four straight and with the coaching situation a couple weeks ago. They adapted. They played their hearts out.”
Somerset (5-5) scored a touchdown with 8:13 left to play in the game to narrow Penn Cambria’s lead to 16-14. Tanner Stull found Bryce Mostoller in the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown on fourth-and-15. On the conversion run, Stull took the shotgun snap and ran to his left for the conversion run to tie the game. However, Somerset was called for holding. The Golden Eagles had to try the two-point conversion from the 15-yard line. Stull threw the ball into the end zone, where Penn Cambria’s Jake Hurley made a great leaping deflection to keep the two-point lead.
“Penalties are penalties, that’s football,” Somerset head coach Bob Landis said after the tough setback. “That two-point conversion was the ballgame.”
Penn Cambria chewed up 4:34 of clock before Somerset had a chance to take the lead with 3:39 left in the game. Somerset moved to the PC 47 yard line before a high snap went over Stull’s head and lost 22 yards. Two incompletions turned the ball over on downs to the Panthers. Somerset’s defense held and gave the ball to their offense with 22 seconds left, but Hurley picked off Stull to end the game.
Mack Behe and Hurley scored Penn Cambria’s touchdowns, while Jordan Wolkow caught a touchdown pass from Stull, who finished with 198 passing yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Behe had 81 rushing yards before leaving with an injury.
Somerset had five turnovers (three fumbles, two interceptions) and a field goal blocked.
“Tough loss,” Landis said. “We had too many turnovers tonight. Two points short of a home playoff game. We’re a young football team, good lessons being learned.”
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