MANLIUS – Turns out Mother Nature was the only thing that could stop the Bureau Valley Storm on Friday night.
Bureau Valley scored on five of their six first half possessions against the Hall Red Devils before lightning forced the game to be postponed until 6 p.m. on Saturday. The two teams will resume play with the Storm ahead 36-13 at halftime.
Bureau Valley principal Eric Lawson made the announcement over the PA after the weather didn’t clear up following a 40-minute delay.
BV coach Jeff Ohlson and Hall coach Randy Tieman both said it was a first in their football coaching careers to see a game delayed and to be resumed the following day.
Tieman planned to gather his team Saturday morning to look at game film and talk about the things they need to do better in the second half before they load the bus to Manlius again.
“I think it’s to our advantage,” Tieman said. “We’ll get to talk about some things they did that we didn’t expect. Mostly the stuff out of the (shotgun) we weren’t ready for and we should have been.”
Ohlson, who is also the athletic director at Bureau Valley, was going to talk the rest of his coaches about how they would prepare the team tomorrow for one half of play.
“It’s a different experience,” said Ohlson. “I’ve never really been through this as an assistant coach, head coach and now as an athletic director, too.”
Before the lightning strikes, the Storm got off to a fast start in the first half on Friday night. Quarterback Parker Neuhalfen had three scores on the ground, his first coming from nine yards out when he beat the Hall defenders to the edge just 1:55 into the game.
Neuhalfen was also near perfect in the air, completing six of seven passes for 133 yards. His only touchdown pass of the night, a 20-yard strike to Tommy Johnston, put the Storm ahead 16-0 early in the first quarter.
Hall would answer the Storm’s fast start with back-to-back scores of their own on touchdown runs from Chris Hammonds (23 yards) and Jacob Byczynski (4 yards). Byczynski leads all rushers at the half with 71 yards on the ground.
“I think offensively we moved the ball OK,” said Tieman. “Going against that wind took away our passing game. We’ll make a few adjustments and see what we can do in the second half. I think we can score on them and move the ball.”
Neuhalfen ended Hall’s momentum with consecutive five-yard touchdown runs on BV’s next two possessions. His first score came on a critical 4th-and-3 conversion.
Tucker Schoff then ended the first half scoring barrage on a two-yard touchdown dive with 17 seconds left in the half.
“I thought we came out and did some good things right away,”said Ohlson. “The scoreboard is going to say 36-13 when we start the game (Saturday), but it’s a whole new half.
“Hall can turn around and do that to us in the second half. We have to be mentally prepared and ready to go.”
Hall will have possession when the second half begins on Saturday.
* Hall won the sophomore contest 20-16 after the Red Devils’ defense stopped Storm quarterback Jacob Pogliano at their own five-yard line as time expired.