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North Schuylkill routs Thorpe

It was billed as the Game of the Week.

For Jim Thorpe, it wasn’t much of a game at all.

North Schuylkill (4-0) dominated in every phase of the play in defeating the Olympians, 36-0, Friday night.

The Spartans’ Josh Chowansky and Dylan Dietz both had monster games. Chowansky broke tackles on nearly every run for 185 yards and two touchdowns, while Dietz caught five passes for 135 yards and two TDs. He also added three interceptions and kicked four extra points.

Thorpe (3-1) did force North Schuylkill to punt on its first series of the game, but the Spartans pinned JT deep in its own territory and quickly forced a turnover when Dietz picked off a Davier Calcano’s deep post pass.

With great field position, the Spartans scored on just two plays when quarterback Jake Hall, who was 18-for-32 for 253 yards and three touchdowns, found Chowansky on a pass and run play down the right sideline for a 22-yard score.

With just 13 seconds left in the first quarter, Hall found a streaking Dietz down the sideline for a 60 yard TD.

Jim Thorpe coach, Mark Rosenberger went to the wildcat at the start of the second quarter, but after a few short gains by Daryl Fisher, Brandon Fasolino, and Gavin Fickentscher, Travis Benson punted the ball away.

After the teams exchanged turnovers, North Schuylkill would get the ball back and drive 71 yards on 13 plays with Jaxson Chowansky scoring on a fourth and goal from the one.

The Spartan no huddle offense kept the Olympians on their heels all night long.

“We like to play fast,” said Spartan coach Wally Hall. “We have a lot of skilled players and once we got momentum, we moved the ball downfield pretty well.”

Chris Strika returned the second half kickoff 20 yards, but again, punter, Travis Benson, who averaged 43 yards on six punts, was forced to boot the ball away this time to the Spartan 11 yard line.

Hall then led his team on an 89 yard scoring drive that culminated with a 28-yard pass to Dietz in the back of the end zone.

“They’re a heck of a team,” said Rosenberger. “They beat us in every phase. They were more physical than us and their big plays really made the difference.”

The only real scoring chance for Jim Thorpe happened late in the third quarter after a Fisher interception. On a second-and-10 from midfield, Calcano hit Fisher for 14 yards and then found Strika on a deep sideline pass for a first-and-goal at the six. On the next play, however, Dietz stepped in front of a JT receiver for his third pick of the day.

The Spartans put an exclamation point on their performance when Josh Chowansky broke three tackles on his way to a 39 -yard jaunt to the end zone.

“We have to improve on everything,” said Rosenberger. “We’ve been lucky with getting away with mistakes in the first three games, but you can’t do that against a team like North Schuylkill. We have to get better.

“We have great kids and we’ll get work at practice to get back our confidence.”

NUMBERS DON’T LIE ... The Spartans rolled up 435 yards on Thorpe’s defense with a balanced running and passing attack. Hall put the ball right on the outstretched hands of receivers on several of his 18 completions and he now has thrown 12 TD passes on the season.

TURNOVERS DON’T TELL THE STORY .... Fumbles and interceptions usually dictate who wins and who loses, but not in this game. Thorpe intercepted three passes and recovered a fumble, but could not turn any of North Schuylkill’s miscues into points.

INDIANS ARE NEXT ... The Olympians travel to Lehighton next week to battle the Tribe for the right to hoist the Route 209 trophy.

Jim Thorpe's Darryl Fisher looks to hit a hole between a pair of North Schuylkill defenders. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS