ALTOONA — Bedford quarterback Mercury Swaim looked like he was about to go the distance on the Bisons first play from scrimmage.
However, an official blew the play dead inadvertently, and from there, Central Valley made things difficult in a hurry.
The Warriors outran the Bisons by a whopping 270-58 on the ground and scored five touchdowns on the ground in the first half as they went on to pound Bedford, 49-20, in the PIAA Class 3A Semifinal Friday night at Mansion Park.
“They’re just a really good football team,” Bedford coach Kevin Steele said. “They run the ball well, they really handled us in the trenches tonight, so it was tough for us to get a stop defensively, so that just put more pressure on our offense to try to be able to keep up with them and we weren’t able to do that.”
Central Valley on their second possession started getting control of the game as Myles Walker sprinted to the end zone from 82 yards out to make it 14-0 just over halfway into the opening quarter.
Bedford, though, didn’t let them get away too quickly on the ensuing possession as Swaim scored on the quarterback keeper from 8-yards out to make it 14-6.
The Warriors ultimately ran away with the game in the second as Jayvin Thompson scored from three yards out and Landon Alexander added scores from eight and two yards out, respectively, to make it 35-6 at the half.
“We never want to be one dimensional,” Central Valley coach Mark Lyons said. “When people talk about balance, we don’t talk about run-pass ratio. Anybody on the field can be effective and touch the ball. If you’re on the field, you got to be to touch the ball and do something with it. That’s what our balance is.”
Alexander finished the game racking up 159 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns.
Bedford, though, didn’t go down quietly as Swaim launched a 57-yard dart to Spencer Ebersole and connected with Steven Ressler following an onside kick to cut the deficit down to 42-20.
Ressler racked up 10 catches for 115 yards with the score.
“I’m proud of our kids for battling and persevering,” Steele said. “It would have been easy to come out in the second half and not fight the way our kids did. That speaks about the kind of kids we have in our program. They’re so proud of how they play football and how they handle themselves.”
Steele — whose Bisons will finish the season at 10-1 — is proud of what his team accomplished this season.
“They have a lot of things to be proud of,” he said. “They had an unbelievable season. Dealing with all of the stuff they’ve dealt with the last nine months; they should be patted on the back because they did an absolutely amazing job and I’m proud to be their coach.”
PIAA Class AAA Semifinal (7-1) CENTRAL VALLEY 49, (5-1) BEDFORD 20
Central Valley 14 21 7 7 — 49
Bedford 6 0 14 0 — 20
CV — Dudley 3-yard run (Walmsley kick), 8:01 in the 1st.
CV — Walker 82-yard run (DeSantis kick), 5:23 in the 1st.
B — Swaim 8-yard run (kick failed), 0:06 in the 1st.
CV — Ja. Thompson 3-yard run (Walmsley kick), 10:19 in the 2nd.
CV — Alexander 8-yard run (DeSantis kick), 6:10 in the 2nd.
CV — Alexander 2-yard run (Walmsley kick), 4:02 in the 2nd.
CV — Alexander 25-yard run (DeSantis kick), 5:46 in the 3rd.
B — Ebersole 57-yard pass from Swaim (pass failed), 1:48 in the 3rd.
B — Ressler 19-yard pass from Swaim (Miller pass from Swaim), 0:23 in the 3rd.
CV — Ja. Thompson 5-yard run (DeSantis kick), 8:44 in the 4th.
TEAM STATISTICS CV B
First downs 18 16
Yards Rushing 270 58
Yards Passing 187 260
Pass Record 9-11; 18-35
Intercepted By 1 0
Punts-Avg. 0-0 2-31
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 0-0
Penalties-Yards 10-110 5-33
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING
CV — Alexander 17-159, Dudley 5-6, Saunders 1-1, Ja. Thompson 3-26, Walker 2-85.
B — Mercury Swaim 17-2, Steven Ressler 7-16, Spencer Ebersole 3-9, Elijah Cook 7-23, Ethan Weber 2-8.
CV — Dudley 9-11-0-187.
B — Swaim 17-34-252-1, Ressler 1-1-8-0.
CV — Ja. Thompson 1-28, Walker 3-21, Ju. Thompson 3-21, Graham 2-30, Merritt 1-48.
B — Greg Edwards 3-30, Ressler 10-115, Ebersole 4-94, Cook 1-21.