Green Dragons topped Bloomsburg 31-10
SELINSGROVE – It was one of the oddest, most unusual games that either team or coaching staff has ever been a part of.
Bloomsburg and Lewisburg battled through two weather delays – one before kickoff and one near the end of the first quarter – totaling over two hours, but managed to get the game played. In the end, which didn’t come until 11:30 p.m., some big plays on offense, defense and special teams by Lewisburg ended up being the difference as the Green Dragons topped Bloomsburg 31-10.
“I don’t have any words for it other than weird, odd, and crazy that I’ve ever been a part of in all my years around football” said Lewisburg coach Marc Persing.
“It was crazy with all the lightning and everything but the game had to be played and we unfortunately weren’t able to play like I know we know how to play,” said Bloomsburg coach Kevin Seabrook.
Although the Green Dragons made some impressive plays throughout, they all did so without perhaps their biggest playmaker, running back Max Moyers, who was injured on Lewisburg’s first possession after catching a screen pass and being tackled. He did not return.
“We don’t have anything official yet, but it’s not looking good,” said Persing. “Our kids could have tucked their tails between their legs and packed it in for the night, but it’s the culture and it’s the buying in of these kids that literally has the next man up coming through. We’re blessed to have another running back of that ability in Ethan Dominick. We’re going to rely on our quarterback more and he played another phenomenal game tonight.”
Nick Shedleski completed 14-of-19 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a score for the Green Dragons as he stepped up with Lewisburg down its top back. Dominick ran for 51 yards and a touchdown as he became the feature back in Moyers’ absence. He also had a long kickoff return to start the second half that set up Lewisburg in the red zone and helped them extend their halftime lead.
“There were a lot of players tonight who got a lot of reps who haven’t in the past so we just have to keep grinding,” said Shedleski. “A lot of kids stepped up and that’s a credit to them watching film and studying the playbook even when they’re not in every Friday night. They are preparing well and they did a lot of work tonight.”
After a 95-minute lightning delay and an 8:35 pm kickoff, the teams battled to a 0-0 tie in the first quarter, which included a second delay – this one for about 30 minutes – which came with just :19 left in the quarter. After play resumed, Lewisburg ran out the clock in the quarter before running their play, which ended up being an incomplete pass.
Bloomsburg took over at its own 30 and put together an eight-play, 51-yard drive that ended with a 36-yard field goal by Torsten Hartmann. A 26-yard reception by Brody Hock from Jack Howell was the big gainer on that drive. That combination was a key in Bloomsburg remaining in the game until Lewisburg pulled away late, as Howell finished with 191 passing yards on 15-of-34 passing, while Hock caught eight of those passes for 113 yards.
Later in the quarter, Lewisburg took possession at the Bloomsburg 40 following a Panther punt and took four plays to find the end zone on a four-yard run by Dominick, who had 27 yards on three touches on the drive.
That set up a furious finish to the half. With about :30 left, Lewisburg had a 4th-and-2 from their own 38 and appeared to be trying to draw Bloomsburg offside. But the ball was snapped instead, and Shedleski was dropped for an 11-yard loss. He was hit out of bounds, which drew a 15-yard dead ball penalty, and Bloomsburg took over at the Lewisburg 42.
On the second play for Bloomsburg, Howell’s pass was picked off by Gavin Sheriff, who returned to 41 yards to the Bloomsburg 35. From that point, Shedleski completed two straight short passes to Ethan Spaulding, who got out of bounds both times and left a second to spare for a field goal attempt, which was nailed from 27 yards by Ben Liscum to give the Green Dragons a 10-3 halftime lead.
Lewisburg kept that momentum and extended it as it received the opening kickoff of the second half and got a big 49-yard return by Dominick, plus a 15-yard facemask penalty to take possession at the Bloomsburg 17. The Green Dragons then went four plays to find the end zone on Shedleski’s five-yard run.
On the ensuing Bloomsburg possession, the Panthers elected to go for it on fourth-and-1 from their own 39, and Howell found Daniel Guzevich for a 45-yard reception on a post route to set up the Panthers at the Lewisburg 16. Howell would later sneak it in from one yard out to make it a one score game again, 17-10, with 6:02 left in the quarter.
But the Green Dragons answered back almost immediately. On the second play of their next drive, Shedleski found Spaulding, who eluded a few Bloomsburg defenders and ran a tight rope down the left sideline for a 78-yard touchdown reception to make it 24-10.
“We had some missed assignments and we didn’t execute the way we know how to execute,” said Seabrook. “There were a lot of mistakes on our end but give credit to Lewisburg as well, but I know we can play better than we played tonight.”
Bloomsburg turned it over on downs on its next drive and then Howell was picked off by Evan Gemberling on the drive after that. Gemberlings pick set up Lewisburg on the Bloomsburg 28, and the Green Dragons would take advantage as Shedleski found Jack Landis in the end zone on a fourth-and-5 play for a 23-yard touchdown to push the score to 31-10.
“The kids here are great,” said Persing. “We could have started this game at midnight and they would have wanted to stay here and finish this game. This is a great group of kids and they want to win.”
Lewisburg 31, Bloomsburg 10
Bloomsburg (2-4) 0 3 7 0 – 10
Lewisburg (4-2) 0 10 14 7 – 31
8:33 – (B) Torsten Hartmann 36-yard field goal, 8-51, 3:23
2:33 – (L) Ethan Dominick 4-yard run (Ben Liscum kick), 4-40, 1:06
:00 – (L) Ben Liscum 27-yard field goal, 3-24, :07
10:04 – (L) Nick Shedleski 5-yard run (Liscum kick), 4-17, 1:56
6:02 – (B) Jack Howell 1-yard run (Hartmann kick), 10-80, 4:02
5:00 – (L) Ethan Spaulding 78-yard pass from Nick Shedleski (Liscum kick), 2-80, 1:02
9:08 – (L) Jack Landis 23-yard pass from Nick Shedleski (Liscum kick), 4-28, 1:32
First downs 18 14
Rushes-net yards 34-150 26-67
Passing yardage 191 181
Passing 15-34-0-2 14-19-2-0
Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 13-123 1-5
RUSHING: Bloomsburg: Cade Klinger (12-52), Jack Howell (9-14-1), Brody Hock (6-40), Xzayivher Russell-King (4-31), Nasir Heard (3-13) ; Lewisburg: Ethan Dominick (14-51-1), Nick Shedleski (5-(-2)-1), Gavin Sheriff (3-1), Logan Callison (1-21), Ethan Spaulding (1-3), Cam Michaels (1-(-4)), Max Moyers (1-(-3))
PASSING: Bloomsburg: Jack Howell (15-34-191-0-2); Lewisburg: Nick Shedleski (14-19-181-2-0)
RECEIVING: Bloomsburg: Brody Hock (8-113), Daniel Guzevich (4-82), Cade Klinger (2-(-2)), Nasir Heard (1-(-2)); Lewisburg: Ethan Spaulding (5-116-1), Ethan Dominick (3-13), Simeon Beiler (2-6), Jack Landis (1-23-1), Logan Callison (1-10), Dante Sims (1-7), Max Moyers (1-6)
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