East Stroudsburg capitalized on LHU mistakes for 10-point win
Written by: William Albright on Sunday, November 5th, 2017.
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By BILL ALBRIGHT
LOCK HAVEN — When East Stroudsburg invaded Hubert Jack Stadium Saturday for its annual meeting with Lock Haven, it took the usual 60 minutes to complete the football game, but only 20 seconds to establish the tempo that resulted in a 37-27 win for the Warriors.
Receiving the opening kickoff, the Warriors took over on the LHU 43-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, ESU running back Jaymar Anderson, aided by numerous missed tackles, shredded the LHU defense for the 43-yard jaunt to the end zone. Jordan Walter kicked the PAT, and with the clock reading 14:40, the Warriors held the 7-0 lead.
For the game, Anderson led all rushers with 200 net yards and three scores.
Although the Bald Eagles fell short of a win by ten points, they held sizeable margins in several statistical categories such as net yards rushing (307-215), net passing yards (264-114), total offense (571-329), first downs (35-18) and time of possession (33:45-26:15).
However, on the down side, LHU was flagged 11 times for 91 yards including one player disqualification in addition to losing four of five fumbles.
“You just can’t make mistakes against any football team like we did today and expect to win,” said LHU head coach Dave Taynor. “We turned the ball over four times on fumbles, one of which went for a touchdown. With the way we were able to move the ball in those four drives, if you take one score off their side of the board you could probably add at least two on our side. We had a kick that was returned for a touchdown that was called back so it is plain and simple. You can’t make those mistakes and win football games.”
For the next ten minutes, the Warriors remained on the warpath as the LHU mistakes continued to mount. With 5:34 left on the clock, ESU went up 14-0 on a TD pass before they made the LHU deficit 21 points when they recovered a LHU fumble in the Bald Eagle end zone.
With the ball loose and several LHU players having an opportunity to at least down the ball for a safety, they failed to pick it up and ESU’s Sekou Jones recovered for the TD.
LHU got on the board on the final play of the opening period when quarterback Kyle Knight went in from seven yards out before Ralph Hyland cut the ESU lead to 21-14 when he bulled in from one yard out for the score.
For the game, Hyland led the LHU ground game with 165 yards on 27 totes and the one score.
“In the end, it doesn’t really matter to me what I did on the field because we took an ‘L’,” said Hyland. “I would take a ‘W’ over two yards on ten carries any day. I don’t think there was any type of hangover effect (after the emotional win over Bloomsburg last week). Today, neither team has a good season going and maybe we just took them a little lightly at the beginning. They got on us quick, but by the time we responded, it wasn’t quick enough.”
One area of the game that has caused the Bald Eagles a lot of problems at times is the inability to get off the field when the defense has held the opponent short of the sticks for a third-down situation.
“Third down defense is something we have to get addressed,” said Taynor. “It has hurt us long enough and it needs to get addressed.”
After seeing their lead whittled down to seven points, the Warriors took advantage of that LHU Achilles heel (third-down defense) by converting four-of-four third down attempts on their next possession that led to a score on the front end of 16 unanswered points and a 37-14 ESU lead.
Making the most of a successful onside kick, the Bald Eagles scored a pair of late touchdowns to make the final more respectable on a 24-yard run by John Ford and a 29-yard TD reception by Marcus Williams from Knight.
Although he has yet to reach the end zone, former Williamsport Millionaire tight end Jalen Jackson had another good day for LHU as the true freshman caught seven balls for 116 yards.
“At the end of the day, I am happy with my performance, but in the end, I would always trade what I did individually for a win,” said. “Jackson. “Every time I go out I try to compete hard and do whatever I can for my team regardless of what I have at the end. Whatever I am doing, I just want to help my team win.”
As a true freshman, Jackson feels like the connection between himself and LHU quarterback Kyle Knight is getting stronger.
“Right now, I feel that Kyle and I have a good connection,” said Jackson. “I have the feeling that if I run my routes hard to get open, he has the ability to get the ball to me. I don’t think that opponents game plan for me as a receiver, but during the game, I have noticed that teams will make adjustments to try and take certain things away from me. Today they (ESU) had a guy out in front of me who tried to jam me in my routes, but when that didn’t work, they went back pretty much to their basic approach.”
In addition to Jackson, other area receivers continue to dot the LHU receiving chart. In the loss to ESU, Bryan Greene (Bald Eagle Area) caught three passes for 37 yards, Marcus Williams (Loyalsock) had two catches for 38 yards and a touchdown, Cole Renninger (Central Mountain) was successfully targeted once for 11 yards and Jackson’s high school teammate, Elliott Walker, despite suffering from an illness, had two receptions for 20 yards.
Now 2-8, the Bald Eagles will conclude the season Saturday when they host Mercyhurst. Kickoff for the fray with the Lakers is set for High Noon.
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