It is a rare phenomenon when a team beats their opponent on paper in most categories and yet still loses the game in points on the scoreboard.
However, last night's match-up between Pocono Mountain West and host Jim Thorpe was just that scenario.
The Olympians bested the Panthers in statistical areas, but dropped this non-league affair, 8-6.
On the night, JT held advantages in total yardage (222-137), rushing yards (108-64), passing yards (114-37), and first downs (11-6). The difference, however, was two interceptions made by junior defensive back Nick Tomol.
The dagger was a late-in-the-game "cookie jar-theft" that halted the Olympians' inevitable last comeback chance.
The weather conditions for play weren't ideal by any means. However, the efforts on both sides of the ball spoke volumes with PMW's senior quarterback/tailback Rich Adams maneuvering in from the 16 for the game-tying TD.
In the two point conversion attempt, it was Adams doing the 'dirty' work again, as he provided the game-winner.
"You have to give them credit because they definitely made more plays than we did in the second half," JT head coach Mark Rosenberger said.
"We just didn't make some plays that we needed to down the stretch."
Following a Panther punt on the first possession of the game, Jim Thorpe struck first.
A seven-play scoring drive began on the locals' 34-yard line with 8:47 on the clock. A Corey Cinicola 12-yard run started the Olympian offense out well; but on the seventh snap, the senior QB connected with junior Terry Moll over the middle.
Moll rolled out and found daylight, on his way to pay-'mud.' The ensuing PAT fell wide and short, though, and the early lead was established.
"Jim Thorpe really moved the ball well tonight for a majority of the game," Pocono Mountain West head coach Jim McCarroll said. "But our defense came up big."
For the remainder of the first half, no severe threats were made to the teams' opponents' red zones until JT received the ball on the fifty with 9:36 left in the second.
The Olympians showed good clock-management, earning four first downs on a 16-play drive that pushed PMW back to their own ten.
Facing third-and-four with under a minute remaining, two consecutive Cinicola passes didn't find catchers and the lead held into the locker room.
Thorpe opened up its second half offensive showing with nice ball movement, before Tomol's first interception of the night.
The big defense turned into the Adams score. "It just goes to show that when we play four hard quarters of a football game, we can definitely win some games," Adams stated. "Hard work pays off."
"Against Schuylkill Haven next week, we are going to need to bounce back," Rosenberger said. "We're just going to need to put our best effort in as coaches and as players and hope to get better."