The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Game Night Online

October 27, 2012

Bloomsburg holds off Danville in rivalry game

BLOOMSBURG — It took more than half of Friday night’s game, but Danville finally figured out how to stop the lethal Bloomsburg passing combination of cousins Ricky and John Klingerman.

The Ironmen had no such luck with Cole Frye.

The junior outside linebacker made two game-changing interceptions in the second half, both diving grabs of disrupted passes. One occurred in the shadow of the Panthers’ goalpost and the other killed Danville’s potential game-winning drive in the final minute.

“It feels great,” said Frye. “I was just glad to be in the right place at the right time.”

Needing a win over just such an opponent to bolster its playoff hopes, Bloomsburg banked two first-half touchdowns and held on for a 14-12 win in the latest thrilling installment of a rivalry that awards the Judy Price Trophy.

Ricky Klingerman, a first-year starter, became the most recent District 4 quarterback to eclipse 2,000 passing yards in the regular season. The junior completed 12 of 16 first-half passes for 166 yards as the Panthers led 14-3 at intermission. He finished with 207 yards passing, 131 to senior standout John Klingerman.

“What more can you ask for given what he’s done this year?” Bloomsburg coach Larry Sones said of Ricky Klingerman. “He’s done a remarkable job.”

Danville’s success against the pass began with Bret Berg’s interception near midfield with 4:33 to play in the third quarter. The Ironmen senior pulled the ball away from tight end Tyler Vincent as the pair hit the turf. Ricky Klingerman was 4-of-8 for 23 yards from that point.

“We were forcing him to throw a little bit (faster), make him make a quicker decision. That helped us,” said Danville coach Jim Keiser. “We started being more successful there and getting the ball back.”

The Ironmen spread the field following Berg’s pick and put together their best drive. After gaining just seven first downs in the previous 31 1/2 minutes of game time, they picked up four while moving the ball to the Bloomsburg 5.

On a first-down play, Weston Baylor rolled to his left and spied Zack Kozick open in the back of the end zone. He threw a strike that Sam Miller flashed to deflect and Frye picked at the line of scrimmage.

“We had a touchdown,” said Keiser. “(Weston) pumps it and gets (the defender) in the air ... as soon as I saw it I said, ‘That’s a touchdown.’ The kid tips it and they make a hell of a play. Great job by them.”

The Ironmen (7-2) got two points when Bloomsburg (7-2) sailed a punt snap out of the end zone, and then Danville scored its first touchdown on the series following the safety. Baylor gunned a 9-yard pass to Berg at the right pylon to make it 14-12 with 9:51 left.

“They executed the pass well,” said Sones. “I know that’s not their forte ... but we lost a game here two years ago when they went to a spread formation and went to the pass. We were nervous about that.”

Danville’s defense bent to the red zone on a three-minute Panthers’ drive that ended when Ball was stuffed on a fourth-and-2 run at the 17. The teams then traded punts, but the Ironmen caught a break when Ricky Klingerman threw three incompletions during a three-and-out series that lasted just 32 seconds.

Starting from their 14 with 4:41 to play, the Ironmen drove just beyond midfield on eight plays, including a fourth-down conversion. Baylor looked to pick up third-and-1 from the Panthers 46 when Evan Ball blitzed him from his front side. The collision forced the ball to come out high and Frye snared it with a dive.

“I was just excited and wanted to make sure I caught the ball,” he said.

Bloomsburg (7-2) attempted to kneel the final 1:06 away, but Danville burned its timeouts to take possession on a punt with 10 seconds left. Baylor, who passed for 146 yards, had a desperation heave intercepted by Zach Ashford to end it.

“That last-minute drive, I thought, Man, all we gotta do is get down to the 27-yard line and we’ll try (a 40-plus-yard field goal). We’ve got a hell of a kicker,” said Keiser, referring to sophomore Shayne Riley, who banged through a 27-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.

“Give Bloomsburg credit. We just couldn’t make that one play we needed to make.”

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