STROUDSBURG - To say that Stroudsburg and Lehighton's football teams are "evenly-matched" doesn't quite paint the total picture.
More often than not, when teams are this deadlocked, the outcome will come down to a big play.
Last night's MVC match-up proved to hold true to that tradition, as the Mounties' Andrew Brome and Frankie Gonzalez took down a desperate rushing attempt by Lehighton's Josh Agosto in his own end zone for the game-winning safety and a 23-21 win.
"Those are the kind of plays that prove to be the big plays and what gives a team momentum," Stroudsburg head coach Fred Ross admitted after his team pulled out its second win of the season.
Ross' squad could be called lucky for garnering the win, as it committed four turnovers in the game. However, the Stroudsburg offense stepped up and compensated enough for the victory.
In the first quarter, the Mountaineers took a 14-7 lead as junior quarterback Robert Bennie rushed for a 10-yard score and completed a 55-yard pass for another.
Lehighton's defense was big, as it forced one of those fumbles and junior linebacker Mitchell Moyer picked it up and raced 67 yards to keep his team in it.
"Our kids played hard and they're great that way," Lehighton head coach George Ebbert mentioned. "Our defense definitely stepped up tonight and our offense also got us some points, too."
In the second quarter, both teams scored once, as Agosto completed a pass to Anthony Farole for a 65-yard TD, to pull the Indians within one at 14-13 with 5:52 remaining in the first.
Brome had a 21-yard run and Bennie followed with a 38-yard scoring scamper to provide the cushion, going into the break.
"At halftime, we talked about having to win the third quarter and because of turnovers, we didn't," Ross related.
The Indians had a different idea, as they recovered a fumble and capitalized, with Agosto completing a perfect toss to Jon Strauss down the right sideline for a score. Agosto then ran in the two-point conversion to tie things up.
In the fourth quarter, things got intense, with both teams committing errors and great plays. The safety came with 4:18 left in the game.
After Lehighton's Billy Angst tipped the ball loose forcing a Stroudsburg fumble, Ben Kloepping came up with an interception, preserving the win and allowing the Mountaineer offense to run out the clock.
"I thought our guys definitely rose to the occasion tonight," Ross stated. "Especially our secondary on those last four downs, because I don't think they gave them (Lehighton) anyone to throw to."