FOUNTAIN SPRINGS - Jim Thorpe knew heading into its match-up with North Schuylkill that it would have its hands full. The highly-touted hosts came in with an unblemished record and hadn't given up a point in their first two games.
A 54-0 shutout of the Olympians Friday night made it three opponents in a row that haven't seen the end zone and they continued to dominate their schedule.
"North Schuylkill has a really special group of kids this year and if there is a better AA team in the state, I'd like to see them," Jim Thorpe head coach Mark Rosenberger admitted following the contest. "Their line is extra physical and they showed us their strength tonight."
It didn't take long for the Spartans to put points up as their first two possessions yielded touchdowns. In fact, just a little over three minutes went off the clock when the hosts had taken a 14-0 lead on scores from two outstanding running backs in seniors Scott Houser and Ed Pavalko. Pavalko scored first on a 75-yard breakaway and House trotted into the end zone from 40 yards out.
The rout was on, especially after a Jim Thorpe punt gave way to a Kody Flail six-yard touchdown run to put North Schuylkill up 21-0 with four minutes remaining in the first.
"We are a good team, but I don't think we did a good job of showing it tonight," Rosenberger mentioned. "The turnovers and penalties definitely had something to do with our demise, but I think what had more to do with our demise was the North Schuylkill team we played."
By halftime, the lead had ballooned to 41-0 on three more Spartan scores. Flail opened up a 43-yard run, followed by a Jim Thorpe fumble that was picked up and taken 56 yards by Tyler Laudeman for a score, and North Schuylkill quarterback Ryan Henning found Ethan Motsney for a 15-yard scoring reception to produce the output.
After the break, things continued to go the hosts' way, as Houser found paydirt again. This time, the 37-yard run made the score 48-0 with 8:25 remaining in the third. Mike McGrath scored on a six-yard trot to finish out the scoring.
"Our offense played great tonight," North Schuylkill head coach Rick Geist mentioned afterwards. "Our offensive line came to play tonight and that showed. I think our defense gave some things up tonight and we'll work hard on fixing that but we're going to prepare for next week the same way we always prepare."
Jim Thorpe actually did find the end zone early on in the game, but a holding call nullified the play.