MINERSVILLE Big runs…big numbers…big drama…sounds like every coach's dream on a Friday night in scholastic football action.
However, if you were to ask Jim Thorpe head coach Mark Rosenberger if he loved the last quarter of the Minersville-JT football match-up, he may claim otherwise, as his team needed some huge plays on the defensive side of the ball to preserve a tight scholastic win, 21-14.
"We were just very inconsistent offensively in the second half tonight," Rosenberger said after the thriller concluded. "We have to find a way to get more consistent with the ball."
His squad's defense came up big down the stretch, as Khaaliq Lynch swatted away a potential Miner reception, and Tyler Mangold followed with a line-busting QB sack to shut down the hosts' last remaining chance to tie things up.
"Khaaliq rolled out, found him and forced it," Rosenberger said. "I'm just so proud of these kids and their effort tonight to win this football game."
A scoreless first frame gave way to an Olympian offensive outpouring in the second quarter. The Olympians scored all 21 of their points in the period as senior tailback Shane Edwards recorded three TDs.
Edwards relentlessly persisted through the adversity of the game, pounding up the middle and racing outside for hard-earned yardage, leading his team to the much-needed win.
"My line does an amazing job for me," Edwards said. "I actually thought we should have scored a few more times tonight than what we actually ended up doing. But this win is one more step towards our goal of getting to the playoffs."
The Olympians played playoff-caliber ball in the second quarter as they finished off a six-play, 65-yard drive with Edwards' five-yard score.
The Miners' next possession saw Sean Green's interception give way to another Edwards score. This one came off two runs totaling 26 yards.
Minersville made things interesting with a little over a minute remaining in the first half, as they put together a nice drive, capped off with a pass from Cole Weachock to Zach Dixon, that set up a Weachock one-yard keeper for a score.
However, JT, determined to dominate the quarter, returned to work and tacked on seven more. Six plays and 62 yards later, Edwards ran in from the two and the score was 21-6 with 23 seconds remaining in the half.
The Miners initial drive of the second saw the fifth and final score of the night, producing the final score, as Weachock connected again – this time with Dave King on a 36-yard scoring reception.
"We were very fortunate to get away with a win here tonight," Rosenberger exhaled. "They're a very good 0-5 team and their first win of the season easily could have come tonight, but it's going to come for them soon."