DINGMANS FERRY - Lehighton had a long bus ride up to East Stroudsburg North on Friday night.
Unfortunately for the Indians, the game seemed to take even longer.
East Stroudsburg North piled up 295 yards on the ground on its way to a 32-6 beat down of its Mountain Valley Conference opponent. Things didn't start out great for Lehighton, as it fumbled the opening kickoff and couldn't do anything as the Timberwolves scored five players later. It was all downhill from there.
"We couldn't stop them," said Lehighton head coach George Ebbert. "We couldn't stop the fullback (Denzal Bunn-McKenzie). We had three guys keying on the fullback and we just couldn't stop him.
"I get frustrated, but I forget that I have nine sophomores and one freshman out on the field. I just forget because I get frustrated. You want to win right away, but I have to keep things in perspective."
Bunn-McKenzie led the Timberwolves rushing attack with 152 yards and a 43-yard touchdown on 22 carries. Fellow tailback Issac Reid turned a number of tosses into 66 yards, while Omar Richardson added 51 yards on five touches.
Although his Indians are inexperienced and got out-muscled up front, Ebbert said that is no excuse.
"We are not making excuses," said Ebbert. "They out-played us. We looked like we had a two-hour bus ride and it looked like we never got off the bus. There are no excuses. Not youth. We coach our kids to win and we are just not getting it done. We made too many mistakes as always."
Following a Lehighton turnover on the opening kick, East Stroudsburg North punched it in five players later to take an early lead. The Indians would manage to pick up one first down on their next drive before having to punt. However, the punt went a mere eight yards and set up the T'Wolves with nice field position. Two plays later Bunn-McKenzie took the handoff and ran 43 yards to the house.
The Indians answered on their next possession, as they put together a seven-play, 80-yard scoring drive. Lehighton ran the ball six straight times for 42 yards prior to Kyle Hunter hitting JT Keer on a quick screen to the right. Keer out-ran the defenders on his way to the 38-yard score.
Lehighton would pick up just four first downs the rest of the way. Fullback Tim Suzler was injured in the first quarter and may not be able to play next Friday against Jim Thorpe. Hunter, who missed time earlier in the season with injuries, also rolled his ankle but was still able to finish the game.
Running back Matt Rebovich led the Indians with 56 offensive yards. He did so on six carries.
Regardless of the tough loss, Ebbert expects his team to be ready to go next week for the final game of the season. The Indians will host Jim Thorpe in one of the school's biggest rivalry games."We will be able to get up for next game," Ebbert said. "It will be no problem. It is a big rivalry between us and Jim Thorpe. Out kids are looking forward to that game and hopefully our seniors will be healthy.