MAHANOY CITY - For football teams who have game after game success, winning never gets old.
For Jim Thorpe last night, winning became something new.
Earning its first victory of the season in dominating fashion, the Olympians defeated Mahanoy Area, 41-12.
Perhaps it was the song, "Don't Stop Believing," played by the Olympian marching band before the game started or it was just about time for Jim Thorpe to put it all together to win a game.
Luck might have helped too. Mahanoy fumbled the opening kick off and following a Jim Thorpe recovery, quarterback, Patrick Duvigneaud steered his offense 32 yards in four plays ending in a three yard TD run by Deonte St. Hill.
Thorpe's lead was short-lived, however, as the Bears quarterback, Dylan Mahmod darted off the left side of the Olympian defense and raced 67 yards for the tying score. At this point, Jim Thorpe coach Mark Rosenberger may have thought, "Here we go again," with the inability of his defense to stop the big play.
It would not be until the fourth quarter that the Bears would score again.
"Our defense showed great discipline tonight," said Rosenberger. "Our ends squared on their tackles and our linebackers sat hard on their QB who we knew is an excellent athlete. Our "D" has been maligned a lot, but tonight, led by our seniors, they really stepped up."
The Bears would fumble twice more in the first half and each time Jim Thorpe capitalized.
First on a five-minute, 14-play drive, Duvigneaud plunged in from the one yard line and then he hit a streaking Mike Harleston with a beautiful pass for a 64 yard touchdown to make the score 20-6.
"It feels great to get a win," said Duvigneaud. When asked at what point did he think the game had been won, he replied, "Not until the end. We have been coached to play all four quarters."
After a Mahanoy drive stalled at the Jim Thorpe 29 yard line in the second quarter, Duvigneaud capped a five play drive with a 51 yard run to the goal line.
To end the first half scoring, Jim Thorpe managed an impressive nine play drive which took four minutes off the clock. Though St. Hill, who carried the ball 19 times in the game, ran for tough inside yardage, it was Duvigneaud again who scored on a 15 yard run.
"Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers," lamented Bear coach, Dave Holman. "They have explosive athletes and we gave them too much field position."
In the second half, the Olympians, standing tall with a big lead were nevertheless, not going to let up. Another long drive resulted in a St. Hill TD to give them a commanding 41-6 lead.
"We stuck to our coaches' game plan and executed all night long," said Duvigneaud.
Late in the game, Mahanoy's Mahmod broke several tackles to tally a 37 yard score, but it took nothing away from the Olympians' excitement as the clock ran out.
"They simply beat us off the ball on both sides," said Holman. "We had some key injuries in the game, but take nothing away from their victory."
Perhaps Thorpe's domination of the game and finally getting a win was best summed up by Duvigneaud.
"We did what we had to do."