Connect with us


SURVIVE AND ADVANCE: Brockway Overcomes Six Turnovers, Has Late Defensive Stand to Down Union/A-C Valley, 27-20

BROCKWAY, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Four possessions. Four turnovers.

It was a nightmare start for the Brockway football team.

Those four turnovers — a fumble on the first play of the game and three interceptions — resulted in “only” 14 points for Union/A-C Valley. That would come back to haunt the Falcon Knights.

The Rovers were able to overcome six of them overall and used a defensive stand late to move on in the District 9 Class A playoffs with a 27-20 home win over Union/A-C Valley on Friday night.

(Pictured above, Brockway senior Blake Pisarcik threw a touchdown pass, caught a TD pass and also rushed for a score and was named the Hager Paving Incorporated Player of the Game)

“We just won a ballgame with six turnovers, giving them fantastic field position a number of times,” said Brockway coach Jake Heigel. “Credit to our defense for being able to dig us out of that.”

It looked like it was going to be another long night for Brockway against Union/A-C Valley, an opponent that stunned the Rovers back in September, 12-7.

Heeter Lumber Logo 2 (1)
Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

The early turnovers gave the Falcons Knights a golden opportunity and they seized it.

Sort of.

Union/A-C Valley (5-6) wasn’t able to turn a first-play fumble by Brockway into points, but an interception by Easton Wingard set it up at the Rover 29.

It took 10 plays from there, but the Falcon Knights eventually punched it in on a 1-yard run by Logan Skibinski. A 2-point conversion pass from Brody Dittman to Trey Fleming made it 8-0 with 4:49 left in the first.

After another Brockway turnover on an interception by Owen Bish, Union/A-C Valley wasn’t able to turn it into points.

That wasn’t the case on the next miscue.

Bish caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Dittman for a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

Despite the forgettable start, Brockway didn’t panic.

“We knew we were down and we knew we had to do something,” said Rover senior Blake Pisarcik. “We kind of just collectively got together and just did what we needed to do. We just worked our tails off. Props to everybody for digging deep tonight.”

Pisarcik had a big hand in the comeback and the win.

Brockway was able to take advantage of a Union/A-C Valley turnover in just one play as Pisarcik took a backward swing pass and fired a perfect strike to wide open freshman Caleb Daugherty in the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 14-7.

It was a big momentum swing in a game Union/A-C Valley seemed to control.

An even bigger one was to come on the final play of the half.

Brockway scored again on a 5-yard reception by Pisarcik from Brayden Fox to tie the game at 14-14 with 1:29 remaining.

The Rover defense forced a quick three-and-out and suddenly had an opportunity to add more points.

Daugherty let a touchdown grab slip through his fingers with a few seconds on the clock. He lay prone on the turf, lamenting the drop.

But Heigel and Fox went right back to him on the next play. This time he caught it for a 31-yard touchdown with no time remaining and a 20-14 lead at the half.

“The discussion that we had was we had to go back to him right away,” Heigel said. “You go back to him. He was running by people all night. We have so many people focus on Blake all the time, that to have somebody with that speed down there — he truly adds another component to our offense. That was just special.”

Union/A-C Valley chose to bring pressure on the play. It just didn’t get there in time.

It could have been a back-breaking score, but the Falcon Knights responded with a touchdown drive on their first possession of the second half, culminated by a 10-yard touchdown pass from Dittman to Fleming to knot the game at 20-20.

Pisarcik scored what turned into the winning touchdown with one second on the clock in the third quarter with a 3-yard run.

It finished a rare hat trick for Pisarcik, who threw a touchdown pass, caught a touchdown pass and also rushed for one. He had seven catches for 81 yards; one completion for 35 yards; and two runs for three yards.

“The trifecta,” Heigel said, smiling and patting Pisarcik on his shoulder pad. “Heck yeah, buddy. He’s a special player. Everybody in the district knows that. That’s why you see two people on him all the time. Sometimes we have to do fancy stuff like that because so much attention is paid to him.”

Brockway (8-3) didn’t score again, but ran the ball effectively to kill clock.

Jendy Cuello, who was held to 13 yards on nine carries in the first half, was able to find some room in the final two quarters, finishing with 83 yards on 17 attempts.

“We made some adjustments,” Heigel said, grinning. “We blocked better.”

Union/A-C Valley had a chance at the end, driving to the Brockway 7 with less than two minutes left in the game.

But a false start penalty — the 10th of the night for the Falcon Knights — moved them back to the 12.

A loss of three on a run and three incomplete passes ended the drive and secured a win for Brockway.

“We shot ourselves in the foot all night long,” said Union/A-C Valley coach Dan Reed. “Every time we looked up, it was first-and-15 or first-and-20. It’s hard to run an offense like that. That has killed us. It’s killed us in different games throughout the year. That’s on me as the coach.”

Union/A-C Valley had 175 yards worth of penalties in the game.

Most of the false starts were as a result of shifts before the snap.

It was a double-edged sword all game. The shifts opened up running lanes and got receivers free. But it also resulted in lots of flags.

“The whole thing when you motion and move like that, it does put stress on a defense,” Reed said. “But sometimes, as you saw tonight, that action caused us to get some penalties. It cost us.”

Dittman finished 12-of-35 for 172 yards. He also had two interceptions on defense for Union/A-C Valley.

Fleming caught three passes for 58 yards.

Max Gallagher led the rushing attack with 41 yards on 12 carries.

Fox wasn’t as sharp as he usually is for Brockway, throwing four interceptions. He did finish 14-of-33 for 203 yards and made some big throws when he needed to make them.

“Survive and move on,” Heigel said.

The win sets up a rematch with Port Allegheny next week in the Class A semifinals.

The Gators beat Brockway in the D9 final last year and beat the Rovers again during the regular season this year, 29-7.

“It’s gonna be a dogfight,” Pisarcik said. “We have to be prepared and focused this week. I didn’t get to play against them last year (in the district final) so it’s gonna be fun.”

Heeter Lumber Logo 2 (1)
Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.