SHENANDOAH Just when the Jim Thorpe faithful thought last week's loss to Panther Valley was behind them.
Things got even worse last night in Shenandoah Valley.
While the Panthers spread the wealth around a bit against the Olympians, it was the Blue Devils' Eric Whalen, who single handedly punished the Olympians' defense.
The sophomore outgained the Olympians' offense by himself to spark the Blue Devil to a 43-21 Anthracite Football League victory last night.
The 5-foot, 8-inch running back recorded a whopping 371-yards rushing on 26 carries, in which he crossed the goal line for four touchdowns.
"Let's call it what it is our defense is terrible right now," said Jim Thorpe head coach Mark Rosenberger, whose defense has allowed 886 yards in the last two games. "We haven't stopped anybody the last few weeks. We got to figure out a solution because we don't have one right now."
"They have a guy (Whalen) go untouched one or two times for more than 40-some yards against us."
Whalen ran for huge yardage on three of his four touchdowns (45-yards, 78-yards and 80-yards).
It only took the Olympians a matter of 15-seconds into the game to match last week's scoring total as PJ Johnson took the opening kickoff for 83 yards for a quick six points. The extra point failed and the Olympians took an early 6-0 lead.
After two Whalen touchdowns and a Shenandoah Valley safety, senior quarterback Corey Cincola pulled the Olympians within a touchdown with a one-yard keeper.
After Whalen took the second play after halftime for another score, Cinicola, who finished with 163 totals yards of offense (77 rushing, 86 passing), powered through the Blue Devils' defensive line for another one-yard plunge. That was after Cinicola hooked up with Johnson for a 30-yard completion, which highlighted a 11 play, 74-yard drive midway through the third quarter that pulled Thorpe to within 27-21.
That was as close as the Olympians got as the Blue Devils tacked on two more scores to close out their victory.
"I thought we played much better offensively today," Rosenberger said. "Yeah, we were a play or two away from making a big play and then maybe that will spark us defensively. It's hard playing from behind all the time. You just can't do it.
"It comes down to making plays. Even defensively, you have got to make the plays. We're just not making the plays defensively."