Tamaqua rolls past Schuylkill Haven
SCHUYLKILL HAVEN — Want a good recipe for victory?
No punts. No penalties.
Tamaqua clicked on every phase of the game and played mistake-free football during a 42-0 rout of Schuylkill Haven on Friday.
Sometimes mistake-free football isn’t good enough to top the Hurricanes and junior tailback Kobe Brish, who scored 42 times last year. But the Raiders added the final ingredient and stepped up to the plate by limiting Brish to only 53 yards on 20 carries.
“I was really pleased with the way we flew to the ball,” said Tamaqua head coach Sam Bonner. “I thought our front guys, Carl Valentine, (Matt) Amodea and Jared Reed had a heck of a game. Bronson Strouse and the rest of those guys did a great job up front. Our secondary also did a great job did a great job of moving up and making some plays. I thought overall it was a great defensive effort.”
The Raiders wasted no time setting the tone.
After forcing a quick Canes’ three-and-out on the opening drive of the contest, Nate Bole ripped off a 48-yard touchdown to put Tamaqua ahead.
On the first play of the second quarter, Boyle made arguably the catch of the year for the Raiders, hauling in a tipped pass for a 38-yard reception. Nick Breiner scored three plays later on a 24-yard scamper to put the Raiders ahead by two scores.
“One big play and I thought Nate Boyle, who made a heck of a play on a catch he took away from two Schuylkill Haven defenders,” Bonner described accurately. “I thought that was one that kind of helped put them (Haven) away.”
After a 21-0 halftime lead, Breiner took the opening kickoff of the second half all the way to the Hurricanes’ 28-yardline. A few plays later, Brayden Knoblauch perfectly executed a sweet pump-and-go down the sideline to Matt Kistler, who ran a double-move. The result was a 24-yard score and a four-touchdown lead.
“We executed well on both sides of the ball and the line really blocked well,” Kistler said. “The linebackers got it done on defense … We expect to execute and do well throughout the whole season.”
The Tamaqua defense is for real, and the gang-tackling and quarterback pressure were both in the spotlight tonight. Jake Barron took a pick-six 47 yards to the house at the 7:21 mark of the third quarter to slam the door on Haven. Jared Reed laid a big hit and the ball was tipped into his hands.
“Strouse and Amodea batted the ball down and it ended up in my hands and I took off. I was excited about it,” Barron said about the big play. “We worked as a unit and practiced all week to make sure we fill our gaps. We just played an all-out game. It was amazing. We wanted to come out here and prove a point that we can play against the better teams, and I think we did that tonight.”
Breiner added Tamaqua’s final score in the fourth quarter. He finished with 119 yards on 13 carries.
STUFFED … Schuylkill Haven had only five first downs in the contest.
BACK-TO-BACK-TO-BACK … Tamaqua has shut out its opponent for the third straight week to open the season.
NEW NICKNAME? … Strouse referred to his squad as the “Blue Flock” after the game. He was a big part of the advantage in the trenches for Tamaqua.
DOES IT ALL ... Knoblauch flashed the ability to pass under any condition. He rolled out, used the pump-fake, the play-fake, and three step drop, en route to another efficient game.