Chucks fall in soggy finale at Redbank Valley

Staff Writer

NEW BETHLEHEM โ€” The Redbank Valley Bulldogs and Punxsutawney Chucks football teams poured on the offense early in their game on Friday night in New Bethlehem, with each team scoring on its first two drives and the Bulldogs doing so on their third as well. In fact, the two teams scored a total of 68 points in the first half โ€” with the home team taking a 41-27 lead to the big break. In the second half, Mother Nature took over with the "pouring it on," as the skies opened up from a drizzle into a downright downpour, and the numbers changing on the scoreboard slowed, with the Bulldogs defense pitching a second-half shutout en route to a 54-27 victory.

"I told the guys after the game, as was the case with all 10 games this season, that I was proud of their effort. They played through and fought to the end, and I thought we did a nice job of grinding away," Punxsy head coach Brad Wright said after the game. "I give them credit; they were an explosive team, and they were able to exploit us in ways and break off a few big plays. I thought maybe we could hang with them, but obviously, we trailed off offensively in the second half and didn't put any points on the board. Nonetheless, the 14 seniors did a great job of leading us this year. We're proud of their effort, and I think they did a nice job showing the younger guys how to prepare and how to carry themselves."

Max London had a stellar game โ€” scoring one touchdown in each facet of the game for the Chucks. London returned a kickoff for a touchdown from deep in Punxsy territory, caught a 41-yard TD pass over the top from QB Dylan Ishman and ran one in from six yards out for the Chucks. He finished with 87 receiving yards on four receptions.

Ishman ended up with 10 completions for 169 yards and two touchdowns, while also throwing two picks. Carter Newcome caught four of those passes for 51 yards and one touchdown, and Alex Gianvito snagged two receptions for 31 yards. Gianvito was the Chucks' top rusher, breaking the century mark with 106 yards on 16 carries, with many of those carries coming as the handler out of the wildcat formation. Conner Giavedoni also gained 20 yards on the ground on six carries and had a tackle for loss on the defensive side of the ball.

When the final horn sounded, it marked the end of Punxsy's season, as the Chucks are not eligible for the playoffs, which begin next week. The Chucks finished the 2018 season with a 2-8 record.