Line Mountain rolls over JT
bob ford/times news Khaaliq Lynch of Jim Thorpe (19) escapes from a Line Mountain defender and heads upfield for a 64-yard kickoff return in the first quarter.
In a game that featured nearly 100 points and 1,000 yards of offense, it seems absurd that a defensive stop made the difference.
But talk to Mark Rosenberger and Mike Carson after Line Mountain's 62-32 win over Jim Thorpe Saturday, and they would be the first to admit that wouldn't sound crazy at all.
After a first half that had both teams going up and down the field, both coaches knew whichever team could keep the other out of the end zone first would have the upper hand.
Unfortunately for the Olympians, it wasn't them.
Trailing by just a 34-26 margin at the break, Thorpe took the second-half kickoff and reached Line Mountain's 35-yard line looking for the tying score. But a sack by Kenny Rothermel helped stall an Olympian drive and give the ball back to the Eagles.
The visitors, as they did all night, marched right down the field. Austin Snyder powered his way in for a 12-yard touchdown and Carson's club extended their advantage to 42-26.
"It was a track meet in the first half," said Jim Thorpe head coach Rosenberger. "The stop they had in the third quarter I thought was big for them and a momentum-swinger.
"We drove there and had a big run. We could have tied the score but things didn't work out for us."
According to Carson, Line Mountain's mentor, changes at halftime had a role in that stop and also contributed to the Olympians reaching the end zone just once over the final two frames.
"We just made a couple little adjustments about where we were going to line up and ... that seemed to help," said Carson. "We talked mostly about end play and linebacker play. We were just trying to get them in a better alingment.
"We needed to have a stop somewhere in the second half. I felt we could score every time we had the ball. We're up eight and if we can stop them once and score, then we get that two touchdown margin and that's important."
Actually, the Eagles built more than a two-touchdown margin after that.
Quarterback Marty Beninsky threw a 25-yard scoring pass to Codi Morris on his team's next series and followed that up with a 45-yard TD run to push the margin to 55-26 with 10:44 left to play.
"They're a great offensive team, there's no doubt about it but we're obviously having problems defensively," said Rosenberger, whose club gave up 604 yards. "We have to get better at tackling, number one. When we are in position to make tackles we're not getting it done."
Both sides had trouble getting it done on defense in the first half.
Line Mountain opened a 14-0 advantage on runs by Beninsky and Kyle Troutman (14 carries, 220 yards).
But, led by Thorpe's Pat Duvigneaud, the Olympians battled back.
The junior quarterback threw three first-half touchdowns passes, two to PJ Johnson and one to Ben Moore, and also scampered for a 33-yard scoring run. The only problem was every time time JT tallied, the Eagles would answer right back.
"Pat played a great game for us," said Rosenberger. "He's getting better and that's a good sign. Overall he did a great job leading our offense. The kids did an outstanding job executing offensively."
Duvigneaud finished with four TD tosses and 106 yards rushing.
"They have obvious places where they're inexperienced but they're scrappy and they're really, really athletic," said Carson. "They have the speed and quickness that we can't match up with."