Marian's Stan Dakosty called it "the scariest" moment of his 38-year coaching career.
Dakosty was referring to a serious injury suffered by Colt tight end/defensive end Zach Miller during Friday's game with Mahanoy Area.
Miller had a helmet-to-helmet collision on a second quarter kickoff. The Marian senior went to the ground and layed motionless on the field as training and medical staffs from Marian and Mahanoy Area attended to him. A Life Flight medical helicopter was called and personel attended to Miller for another 15-20 minutes after it arrived before he was transported to Lehigh Valley Hospital in Salisbury Township.
"Nothing in all my years as a head coach or as an assistant coach came close to it," said Dakosty about the seriousness of the situation."
Reports coming into the TIMES NEWS Sports Department from the field on Friday night were grave. "Brian injury," "paralysis," and "fighting for his life" were among the terms used.
Miller's mother Barbara, who rushed from the field to the hospital with her husband Jay, told the TIMES NEWS on Monday that Zach was unconscious for two hours. But as Friday night turned to Saturday morning Zach eventually regained conscinous. Later Saturday the family received good news about the brain and spine test that were taken.
Just 48 hours after getting the scare of his life, Miller was released from the hospital and sent hom.
"I think looking back on the what happened, the attention that Zach got from our medical staff, the Mahanoy Area people, and the emergency personel at the game was just unbelievable," said Dakosty. "It was truely NFL-caliber treatment he received."
Dakosty said the uncertainty of Miller's condition was tough on the players and coaches.
"We all knelt down and said a prayer while the medical people were working on Zach and then we prayed again for him in the locker room," said Dakosty. "I didn't give the players any report on Zach's condidtion because I really wasn't sure myself."
That changed immediately after the game.
"I was told Zach's injury was very serious," said Dakosty. "I rushed down to the hospital with Mary (his wife) as soon as the game ended."
Dakosty didn't have to wait long after arriving to get some good news.
"I was so relieved and surprised to hear that Zach was awake and was showing some improvement," said Dakosty. "It seemed like such a long trip to the hospital. Worrying, wondering ...
"I can't tell you how ecstatic I am with the way the situation eventually turned out."
OVERTIME WEEK THREE .... After three weeks of play, there is just one unbeaten team remaining in the TIMES NEWS coverage area. With Jim Thorpe and Northwestern losing last week, Northern Lehigh is the lone area team at 3-0.
While only four of the nine local teams picked up victories last week, a lot of area athletes posted noteworthy performances. Following are some of the efforts that caught the eye of OVERTIME.
STREAKING … Marian's loss to Mahanoy Area on Friday ended the longest winning streak by an area team against a current opponent. The Colts had defeated Mahanoy Area 14 straight times prior to that setback.
Coming into this season, three other winning streaks were at double figures:
· Northern Lehigh had defeated Notre Dame 13 consecutive times. That mark is now at 14 following a win in the opening week of the season.
· Marian has beaten Minersville 12 straight times.
· Jim Thorpe has defeated Mahanoy Area 10 straight times.
Only one area team owns a double figure losing streak against a current opponent. Palmerton entered the season having lost 12 straight times to Palisades.
SCORING FRENZY … Cody Remaley certainly knows how to find the end zone.
The Northern Lehigh senior scored four touchdowns last week against Saucon Valley. That followed on the heels on a four TD performance one week earlier against Wilson.
The back-to-back four touchdowns performances are the first by an area player since Northwestern's Brett Snyder did it in 1995.
It was also the third time in his career that Remaley scored at least four TDs in a game.
Since 1995, only three other TIMES NEWS area players have had three or more games with at least that many TDs in a game.
Northern Lehigh's Ryan Hluschak accomplished the feat four times while Snyder and Panther Valley's Brian DeGiosio had three games in their career with four or more scores.
RACKING UP THE YARDS … Palmerton erupted for 472 yards of total offense in its 36-0 victory over Salisbury on Friday night.
The last time a Blue Bomber team put up that many yards in a game was Sept. 15, 2006 when they rolled up 481 yards against Notre Dame.
Northern Lehigh also had a big day moving the ball, piling up 512 yards.
The last time the Bulldogs gained that many yards was Nov. 1 , 2002 when they had 554 vs. Palmerton.
40-SOMETHING … No one has found a way to slow down Northern Lehigh's high powered offense during the early part of the season.
The Bulldogs have put up at least 40 points (42 against Notre Dame, 52 against Wilson, and 48 against Saucon Valley) in each of their first three games.
The last time a Northern Lehigh team accomplished that was in 2003 when the Bulldogs scored 45 against Catasauqua, 68 against Palmerton and 42 against Springfield Montco in consecutive weeks.
EARLY AND OFTEN … Playing a rare Thursday night game last week certainly didn't throw off the Lehighton offense.
The Indians erupted for 33 first half points on their way to a 33-12 victory over Panther Valley.
The last time a Lehighton team scored that many points in the first half was Sept. 7, 2007 when it had 34 points against Tamaqua.
BLUE RAIDER BOMB … Tamaqua's Garth Lakitsky caught a 78-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Palsgrove in Friday night's loss to Shenandoah.
The last time the Blue Raiders had a longer TD pass play was Oct. 31, 2003 when Matt Wagner caught a 95-yard bomb from Aaron Smith against Marian.