NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (D9SPORTS) – On the back of a four touchdown performance from quarterback Gunner Mangiantini, the Redbank Valley Bulldogs cruised to a 44-0 win over the Curwensville Golden Tide.
Hudson Martz led the Bulldogs on the ground with 83 rushing yards and a touchdown, while Tate Minich was the top receiver with 39 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Coach Blane Gold’s Bulldogs set the tone early with their running game, rattling off a six-play 55-yard drive where the Bulldogs ran the football exclusively. Martz scored Redbank’s first touchdown of the season on a 23-yard run where he fought his way through the core of the Curwensville defense and broke away with a burst of acceleration.
After a quick three and out for the Golden Tide, the Bulldogs went right back to the running game, slamming their way down the field. Redbank capped the possession off with another touchdown, as Mangiantini connected with a wide-open Kobe Bonanno on the team’s first passing attempt of the game. A made PAT increased Redbank’s lead to 15-0 midway through the first quarter.
A big kickoff return for the Golden Tide quickly put them in Redbank territory, but a stout Bulldogs defense forced Curwensville into a turnover on downs. The defensive stop began a period of standout defense from both sides, as great defensive line work forced an exchange of punts to end the first quarter.
The early second quarter was defined by Redbank’s strong pass rush, as they consistently pressured Curwensville quarterback Dan McGarry. McGarry was able to carve out some yards with his feet, but the stifling Redbank defense kept Curwensville from threatening the Bulldogs’ endzone.
Redbank got back on the board after a passing-focused drive that culminated in a 25-yard touchdown pass from Mangiantini to Minich with 4:19 to go in the half. The Bulldogs scored again three minutes later, as Mangiantini dashed for a 38-yard touchdown. Mangiantini started the play by juking a defender and dashing down the sidelines, where he advanced untouched to the end zone after some stellar downfield blocking by the Redbank receiving corps. The touchdown and 2-PT conversion put the Bulldogs up 31-0.
As the first half came to a close, Redbank defensive end Joe Mansfield forced a fumble that was recovered by the Bulldogs’ defense. On the last play of the half, Mangiantini connected with new target Marquise Gardlock for a 25-yard touchdown. Gardlock rose above two defenders to make a stellar grab for his first touchdown as a Bulldog. The grab gave the Bulldogs a 37-0 lead going into the second half.
The second half started out with the same smashmouth running style from Redbank, as the Bulldogs were pushing back the Curwensville defense on almost every carry. On the first Redbank possession of the second half, Trenton Rupp scored on a quick flip pass from seven yards out. The touchdown gave the Bulldogs a 44-0 advantage. The remainder of the second half was choppy and slow, as penalties and offensive mistakes kept both teams out of the endzone. Late in the fourth quarter, Curwensville put together a solid drive taking the ball deep into Bulldogs’ territory. Facing a first and goal situation from the five yard line, Redbank’s second-team defense made a goal-line stand that featured three incompletions and a sack by senior linebacker Noah Anderson, that preserved the shutout, giving the Bulldogs a 44-0 victory.
Redbank looks to keep things rolling next week, as they face Brockway (0-1) at Redbank Valley on Friday, September 18 at 7:00. Curwensville hopes to bounce back during their first home game of the year against Sheffield on Friday, September 18 at 7:00.