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Football

Monday, November 8, 2010

MINERSVILLE – Last night, Panther Valley simply ran out of time.

After allowing Minersville to take a 20-15 lead with 1:28 remaining in the game, the Panthers season boiled down to one final drive.

Just four weeks prior, Panther Valley secured its only win of the season (a 24-21 victory over Marian) with a come-from-behind victory that culminated on a four-yard touchdown run with just 31 seconds remaining.

Last night, the Panthers' hopes that history would repeat itself came up four yards short as time expired on their season.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

There will be much more on the line than just the '209 Trophy' when Lehighton and Jim Thorpe hook up for their regular season finales Friday night.

While it is the two teams' rivalry game and they will be playing for the right to hoist the 209 Trophy, the Indians and the Olympians will also be fighting for a respective playoff bid. That means the game is no longer about bragging rights. It's about keeping their seasons going.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Palmerton at Northern Lehigh

Friday, 7 p.m.

Records ... Palmerton 3-6 (3-6 Colonial League), Northern Lehigh 9-0 (9-0 Colonial League)

Northern Lehigh's offense has to ... expect the unexpected. The Bombers have played multiple fronts and might dare the Bulldogs to throw the ball and use plenty of blitzing. They also must make sure the linemen are on their blocks every play.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

With just one week remaining in the regular season, as many as five TIMES NEWS area teams could still qualify for postseason play.

Northern Lehigh and Pleasant Valley already have spots in the District 11 playoffs secured.

With a win over Palmerton on Friday night, the Bulldogs will be the No. 1 seed in the four-team Class AA field. Even with a loss, they will be either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed, which means that they are guaranteed a home playoff game next weekend.

Thursday, November 4, 2010
Tamaqua coach Sam Bonner (left) congratulates Blue Raiders senior running back Grif Griffiths for receiving THE TIMES NEWS Player of the Week award. Griffiths rushed 19 times for 161 yards and 3 TDs in the Raiders' 29-7 win over Minersville. JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS

After Tamaqua qualified for the postseason the past two years, expectations were high on Stadium Hill entering this season.

Tamaqua was returning its entire backfield, including leading rusher Grif Griffiths, who gained 1,333 yards on the ground and scored 14 touchdowns last year.

However, the Blue Raiders got off to an 0-3 start and dropped six of their first seven games. Four of those losses came by a TD or less.

The Raiders could haved packed it in and looked towards next season, but Griffiths and company weren't going to give up on this year.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

SWIFTWATER – Not only was the Old Oaken Bucket on the line Friday night, but it was also the 50th career meeting between Pleasant Valley and Pocono Mountain East.

The Bears retained the Bucket for the second straight year under head coach Jim Terwilliger by beating the Cardinals, 35-13 in Mountain Valley Conference play. Known as a passing team throughout this year, Pleasant Valley did it on the ground this weekend and ran for 253 yards and three touchdowns on its way to victory. It is the Bears 27th win over the Cardinals.

Saturday, October 30, 2010
Spartans rip PV

The last thing the rest of the District 11 Class AA football field wants to see is North Schuylkill developing a new weapon.

The Spartans already possess an air-tight defense, a powerful inside running game, and several backs with breakaway speed.

North Schuylkill flexed all of those muscles in a 54-0 mercy-rule victory over Panther Valley on Friday night.

The Spartans also gave their passing attack a few reps and while it might not have looked ripped it certainly had some definition.

Saturday, October 30, 2010
RICH GEORGE/Special to THE TIMES NEWS Palmerton's Alex Vignone breaks loose on one of his two touchdown runs as Pen Argyl's Mike Racciato gives chase.

If the game of football only consisted of two quarters, the Palmerton Blue Bombers would have a winning season right now.

Just as they have the past four weeks, the Bombers played their opponent (Pen Argyl) tough in the first half and actually had a 12-7 lead at intermission.

The Green Knights, however, one of the top four Class 2A teams in District 11, turned the game around with three third quarter TDs and Palmerton found itself on the short end of a 33-12 final score.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The G&G Express has picked up momentum for Tamaqua.

The tandem of senior running backs Grif Griffiths and Garth Lakitsky is plowing its way through opposing defenses, and it has turned the Blue Raiders' fortunes around.

Griffiths carried 19 times for 161 yards and three TDs, and fullback Lakitsky added 13 carries for 84 yards and a TD as Tamaqua pulled away from Minersville for a 29-7 Anthracite League triumph Friday night on Stadium Hill.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

BANGOR – When Bangor hit for a 75-yard touchdown on its first play from scrimmage, it looked like the sign of an upcoming shootout.

As it turned out, that first touchdown, and the two-point conversion that followed, would have been all the Slaters needed to beat Northwestern on Senior Night at Paul Farnan Field at Bangor Memorial Park.

The Slater defense took over from there and led the team to a 22-7 win.

"We were thrown off our rhythm," said Northwestern head coach Tom Linette. "Bangor was the better team on both sides of the ball.