Maplewood Cheerleaders

The Maplewood football cheerleaders provided the lone entertainment on Friday night when they performed their dance routine during the delay.

GUYS MILLS — If we have all learned something from 2020 is that we can expect the unexpected and that even the best plans can be disrupted.

Mother Nature made her presence known throughout northwestern Pennsylvania on Friday night, as a handful of football games — postseason and regular season — succumbed to rain, lightning and thunderstorms.

The highly-anticipated Titusville at Maplewood contest was one of the games that was postponed or cancelled due to weather. The two schools were set to meet in Guys Mills for the first time in five years before lightning forced the game to be called at about 8:43 p.m.

Half of the 10 scheduled regular season games were postponed, while the District 10 Class 2A semifinal between Farrell and Northwestern got moved to today at 11 a.m.

It appeared that Friday was going to provide a beautiful evening for football, with temperatures in the low 70s and a calm and steady breeze swirling 30 minutes before kickoff.

However, storms began to roll into the Keystone State from its neighbor to the west, which brought lightning far off in the distance, northeast of Maplewood High School.

Game officials first delayed the start of the contest by 30 minutes, beginning at 6:47. Delays continued with each flash in the sky, although no bolts were seen. There was minimal rain, as occasionally stray sprinkles fell from the sky.

The wait continued as the head official addressed fans over the PA system, saying that they were going to, at most, wait until 8:30 to decide the fate of the game. Both coaches reportedly agreed that the latest start time would be 9, giving the lightning until 8:30 to leave the area, with each flash starting a new 30-minute clock until play could start.

After the announcement, the Maplewood High School football cheerleaders entertained the crowd with their dance routine around 7:30. The interruption of monotonous sitting and waiting was welcomed with cheers from the crowd.

Unfortunately, the flashes didn’t cease, and the game was cancelled at 8:43. Both head coaches confirmed that the game would not be made up, ending Titusville’s season with an 0-6 record. 

“It’s par for the course for this season,” Rocket head coach Bryan Baldwin said of the cancellation. “Both teams were looking forward to this game. It’s a shame how this season ended for these guys. My heart goes out to these guys because they’ve worked so hard. I am very proud of this team and how they handled the season. I also want to thank the coaching staff for all their hard work. This is a great staff.”

While Maplewood and Titusville were in a delay, nearby Cochranton was hosting Eisenhower and Oil City welcomed Conneaut Area. Eisenhower remained undefeated with a 31-8 victory, while Oil City advanced to the District 10 Class 4A Championship Game by shutting out CASH 56-0. 

Maplewood coach Bryan Borkovich expressed frustration after the game over the decision to delay and eventually cancel.

“I’m all for safety but some common sense has to come into play when the lightning is miles away over Lake Erie,” Borkovich said. “These seniors lost their last home game due to a lack of common sense.”

The Tigers (2-4) will have one more chance to take the gridiron next week, when Maplewood travels to Union City on Friday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m.

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