Mangiantini Helps Redbank Valley Give Gold Victory in First Game as Head Coach
NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (D9Sports) – Sophomore Gunner Mangiantini turned in a solid debut as Redbank Valley’s starting quarterback throwing a touchdown and running for another score to give Bulldogs’ first-year head coach Blane Gold a 29-8 win over Keystone in his coaching debut.
(Photo: Gunner Mangiantini of Redbank Valley was the Hager Paving Player of the Game for the Bulldogs)
Relisten to the game:
“It’s neat, it’s good,” Gold said. “For me, I am more excited about starting 1-0 on our journey. Everything I do, teach, coach, is for the kids. So, I am happy to see the enjoyment in their faces, the excitement and especially for these seniors that they started their season 1-0.”
Redbank Valley was able to use a couple of first-half Keystone turnovers – the Panthers turned the ball over four times in all to just one for the Bulldogs – to take a 15-8 halftime lead.
“It was big,” Gold said of taking the ball away. “One thing we have really stressed this year is every day we start practice with a turnover circuit. It’s neat to see some of those things we are practicing translate on the field.
“Especially early, they were moving the ball on us. To get those turnovers, to get that sudden change, to get the ball back, that was big. If we don’t do that, they may score on one or two of those drives.”
Perhaps the biggest takeaway for Redbank Valley came in the latter half of the first half after Keystone’s defense had forced a turnover on downs inside the Panthers 30-yard line.
But just a couple of plays after getting the ball back, Keystone put it on the ground with Redbank Valley recovering.
That led to a 20-yard Mangiantini to Ethan Hetrick touchdown pass with 5:02 left in the half that coupled with the same duo hooking up on the two-point conversion gave Redbank Valley a 15-8 halftime lead.
“It (scoring late in the half after the turnover) was big for us,” Mangiantini, who was named the Hager Paving Player of the Game after going 17 of 21 for 166 yards and the touchdown while also rushing five times for 41 yards and a score (37 yards) on five carries, said. “That is a different Keystone team than we had seen in the past. They are a lot better than they were in the past.”
According to Gold, even with the lead at halftime, his team wasn’t feeling all that confident about itself against what he described as a tough Keystone squad.
“Hats off to Keystone,” Gold said. “This is not the same Keystone team we have played the last three or four years. I really battled that mindset (with my players) all week. This (Keystone) team is a good football team with a lot of returners. I think (our guys) were a little down at halftime just being up 15-8 because of what has happened in the past. But I was preaching to them we are winning the ball game.”
Watch all of Gold’s postgame thoughts.
The 15-8 lead for Redbank Valley stood until late in the third quarter when Kobe Bonanno, all 260 pounds of him, rumbled into the end zone from 26 yards out to make it 22-8 with 11 seconds left in the quarter.
Mangiantini then added his 37-yard touchdown run late to set the final score.
One of the things Redbank Valley did well was use a balanced offense rushing for 157 yards and throwing for 189.
“We are a dual-threat team,” Mangiantini said. We can pass, we can run. Setting up the passing game opened up the running game for us and vice-versa.”
Watch all of Mangiantini postgame thoughts.
Redbank Valley struck first in the contest scoring on a 1-yard Ray Shreckengost run to take a 7-0 lead. Shreckengost ran seven times for 31 yards.
Keystone answered back two minutes into the second quarter when Jayden Blazosky, who was named the Panthers’ Hager Paving Player of the Game, made a nice adjustment on a pass from Isaak Jones pulling down an acrobatic touchdown catch that coupled with a Jones to Nick Weaver two-point conversion pass gave the Panthers an 8-8 lead.
Jones was 9 of 16 passing for 112 yards, the touchdown and an interception and ran 15 times for 10 yards. Blazosky had five catches for 71 yards and the touchdown while Taylar Altman led Keystone on the ground with seven carries for 44 yards.
Bonanno paced Redbank Valley’s rushing attack with nine carries for 64 yards and the score, while Javin Brentzel had eight catches for 64 yards and Hetrick two for 50.
Hetrick dominated the game defensively for Redbank Valley with four sacks and two forced fumbles, while Chase Bish had the interception for Redbank Valley.
Redbank Valley is back in action Friday, Aug. 30, at Otto-Eldred, while Keystone opens its home campaign the same day against Port Allegany.
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