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North Schuylkill pulls away from Colts

Published September 08. 2018 01:42AM

FOUNTAIN SPRINGS – A 35-0 loss to heavily favored North Schuylkill did produce some valuable lessons for Marian

None was more important than the fact that even though the water may be deep, the Colts are starting to find a way to swim with their heads above it.

In two previous games to start the 2018 season, the Colts appeared to be going down in the middle of the ocean with no life raft in sign.

To put it plainly, Marian’s football season was in jeopardy of drowning. With several strong opponents still left on the schedule, the Colts needed swim lessons fast.

That outlook is now less gloomy, even though Marian couldn’t find a way to get into the end zone, it managed to hang on through three-plus quarters before finally ceding to the Spartans.

“All we ask for is effort, and we got plenty of that tonight,” said second-year Marian coach Pat Morgans.

“They stuck their heads right in there, they kept battling… I’m so very proud of where we came from to now. This was a good effort.”

The Colts went toe-to-toe with a heavyweight contender through the first quarter never yielding and it took until there was 4:55 to play in the second quarter before North Schuylkill managed to hit the end zone. And had Marian found a way to slam home a touchdown of its own, this battle would have gone from out-of-reach to within shouting distance.

“I don’t know what the outcome would have been, but had we been able to answer in the second quarter, who knows what might have been,” said Morgans.

Instead, North Schuylkill added another TD for a 14-0 halftime lead.

To North Schuylkill’s credit, it eventually took control with two more touchdowns in the third and another one with 7:10 to play in the game to finally kick in the mercy rule.

Where the Spartans excelled was on the defensive side of the ball.

“They’ve got a lot of quality athletes, they really play tough defense, and that makes them so much tougher to try and run an offense against them,” said Morgans.

North Schuylkill allowed Marian a total of just 120 yards in offense.

While the Spartans’ offense sputtered badly for the better part of a half, it finally found the chimes to make it sing.

North Schuylkill hit the scoreboard for the first time when Brandon Rockwell latched onto a 40-yard scoring strike from athletic quarterback Jaden Leiby. Then just before the half ended, Leiby zipped 16 yards to paydirt.

Leiby finished the game with 152 yards on 13 carries. He also scored on a 20-yard run to open a 28-0 lead.

Right before that score, Rockwell took back an interception return for a 32-yard touchdown that pushed the figures to 21-0. And in the final scoring drive of the evening, Leiby found Jesse White free in the middle of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown pass.

TOUGH SLEDDING … Marian’s two top rushers were Matt Doherty and Nick Falls with 32 and 17 yards respectively.

OUCH … Marian lost sophomore two-way lineman Bob Saunder to a knee injury in the second quarter. Saunder, at 6-foot, 228, has the potential to be a standout.

HIGHLIGHTS … Jake Green (6-1, 275) was a load at running back for North Schuylkill and a killer on defense. Kudos to John Patton, the senior interior lineman for the Colts who played a strong game.

JUST A LITTLE TIME … If Marian’s offensive line can find a way to help talented quarterback Mason Miller, it’s the ticket for the Colts to start scoring points.

WHERE TO NEXT … Marian is back in the meat grinder again Friday hosting Lehighton. North Schuylkill hosts Schuylkill Haven.

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