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Red Rovers hold off Blue Eagles

Written by: on Saturday, October 29th, 2016. Follow David Mika on Twitter.


davidweek92016NAZARETH – Last night, the Red Rovers used an aerial attack led by senior quarterback Ben Nimeh. He threw for 279 yards and four touchdowns as Easton held on to a 42-39 win over Nazareth Friday night at Andrew S. Leh Stadium.

1st QUARTER: Nazareth won the toss and on their first play from scrimmage Damion Smith of Easton picked off a Travis Stefanik pass. The Red Rovers offense was on the march, but fumbled the ball and Nazareth recovered it on their one.

Easton, which is known for their running attack, started to open up the playbook as Nimeh completed passes of five, 27 and a 36-yard strike to Jakob Herres for a touchdown. Diego Santiago’s kick put the Red Rovers up 7-0 with 1:48 left in the quarter.

2nd QUARTER: Nazareth would answer the drive with the combined running attack of Stefanik and Ryan Sherman. Stefanik capped off the drive with an one-yard touchdown run. The kick was blocked and Easton still led 7-6.

Easton took a 21-6 lead on their next two possessions. Nimeh went in from one-yard out and then intercepted a Stefanik pass that led to an Israel Selassie nine-yard touchdown run.

With all the momentum for Easton, the Blue Eagles fought back. Stefanik’s screen pass to Julian Liaci, who made moves like he was on Dancing with the Stars, went in from 14 yards out for the score.

Nazareth’s defense forced a three-and-out on Easton’s next possession. They say, If it isn’t broke don’t fix it. A Stefanik to Liaci screen pass went 58 yards for the score with 37.9 seconds left in the half. The Blue Eagles pulled within two, 21-19.

Nimeh worked the clock brilliantly and in just three plays the Red Rovers scored again. Nimeh hit Trey Bailey for the 30-yard touchdown pass with 10.9 seconds left in the half. They went into halftime with an 28-19 lead.

3rd QUARTER: Both teams traded scores in the quarter. Stefanik added a one-yard run and Easton answered that drive with an Nimeh to Herres 70-yard touchdown pass. The Red Rovers led 35-26 after three quarters.

4th QUARTERS: The way the game was going you knew Nazareth would find a way to get back into this game. The Blue Eagles drove 65 yards as Stefanik hit a diving Zac Keifer in the end zone for a 22-yard touchdown pass.

If at any point in the game the Blue Eagles defense needed a stop, it was now and that is exactly what they did. After the punt, Nazareth marched right down the field. Keifer capped off the drive with an amazing run when he looked like he was stopped but broke free down the sidelines for 24-yard touchdown run. This gave the Blue Eagles their first lead of the night 39-35 with 3:34 left in the game.

But again Easton would answer the call. Guess who? Nimeh threw his fourth touchdown of the night to Michael Dunlap for an 17-yard touchdown pass with 1:07 left in the game.

Back came the Blue Eagles. They marched right down and Stefanik threw what looked like the go-ahead touchdown pass. But the receiver stepped out of bounds and the touchdown was called back. With 5.8 seconds left in the game, Nazareth tried a fake field goal and the pass sailed out of bounds as the Red Rovers held on for the win.

NOTE: Easton’s Ben Nimeh passed for a career high 279 yards on 12 of 16 passing and four touchdowns. He rushed for 60 yards and one score. His favorite target was Jakob Herres who had four catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns.

Nazareth Travis Stefanik threw for 220 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Julian LIaci caught four passes for 86 yards and two scores.

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