The 2010 Mahanoy Area football squad did something Friday night at the Men of Marian Stadium in Hometown that few Golden Bear teams have done against the Colts - it won.
While the 35-12 victory was only Mahanoy's fifth in a 37-year series, it certainly came in convincing fashion by way of a first class trouncing of the Colts.
Wally Hall's upstart Bears racked up nearly 400 yards (398) of offense; scored on five of seven possessions; and held Marian to a mere 73 yards on the ground, 40 of which came in the fourth quarter after Hall pulled his starters.
"Our offense is starting to work, people are taking care of their responsibilities, and we're moving the ball," understated Hall, whose squad moved to 2-0 with the victory.
And it all began with junior QB Michael Gaval, who directed the option attack to near perfection. He rushed 15 times for 172 yards and two TDs and passed twice to receivers in the endzone. "It's a quarterbak's offense," Hall said of the Bear offensive game plan, adding, "He outruns the defense."
Gaval gave Marian's defense fits early and often, including the first possession of the game when the Bears hit the scoreboard from 64 yards out on six plays. The QB's 16-yard TD run and Justin Hair's placement with 8:53 on the board gave the visitors a 7-0 lead that was never any closer.
The two TD passes followed on the Bears' third and fourth possessions of the game. Gaval first threw 28 yards to Jordan Mroczka for a six-point tally with 10:04 left in the half, and capped a six-play drive with a four-yard toss to Paul Kimmel with 6:19 on the board, making it a 21-0 game.
"Mahanoy did a great job," said losing coach Stan Dakosty. "We were never in the ball game. They controlled both sides of the line of scrimmage and we had no answer."
The Colts tried to get back into the tilt, scoring on back into the tilt, scoring on
a seven-yard Corey Quick to J.T. Keer pass play with 2:05 left before intermission, but that was as close as the game would be.
"They executed very well. That's a nice team with 19 returning starters," added Dakosty.
The Colts dug themselves holes twice in the second half by fumbling the pigskin on both the initial kickoff and after Mahanoy scored its fourth tally. Although not giving up the ball on the fumbles, the Colts were hampered by poor field position.
That led to a 41-yard drive by the Bears that made it 28-6, the tally coming on a five-yard run by Gaval.Then, despite a 37-yard punt and a MA penalty that moved the ball to the Marian 39, the Bears scored in lightning fashion when Gaval broke through the line of scrimmage and scampered 61 yards to round out the MA scoring with 2:21 left in the third quarter.
Marian's other score came on a 27-yard run by John Julian with 1:36 left in the game.
"This was an important win for us, but every week is important, especially where this program has been," Hall said.
"The kids are starting to play with confidence. They practice hard and play hard."
The win ended a 14-game Marian winning streak in the series that dates back to 1973. Mahanoy last won in 1995 by a 34-21 score, that win then making it two in a row after the Bears won 17-15 in '94. The only other Mahanoy wins in the series were in the opener way back in 1973, 21-0, and 10 years later by a 21-8 tally.
Colt Zachary Miller sustained a critical injury in the game and was taken off the field by ambulance, later being airlifted to the Lehigh Valley Hospital via a helicopter that landed in the Colts' nearby baseball field. His condition was unknown as of press time.