Schuylkill Haven Defeats Tamaqua in Battle of Unbeatens
The matchup Friday night at Rotary Field between Schuylkill Haven and Tamaqua resembled previous games that featured the two schools, as the game was physical and highly competitive. The defenses came to play in this one, with Schuylkill Haven prevailing as the Hurricanes came away with a 24-7 victory.
Both teams got off to a slow start, as there was no scoring in the first quarter of play. The Hurricanes struck the board first in the second quarter however on an 89-yard punt return by senior Preston Gehring that gave the Hurricanes a 7-0 lead going into halftime.
Schuylkill Haven got the ball to start the second half and used a big run by Gehring on the first play from scrimmage to set up a 23-yard field goal for kicker Dawson Evitts. The Evitts’ field goal gave the Hurricanes a 10-0 lead early in the third quarter.
The Blue Raiders responded shortly after, with a touchdown of their own to cut the lead to 10-7. A play in which quarterback Thad Zuber connected with wide receiver Zeke Wassel to cut the lead to three, midway through the third quarter.
It was all Haven from that point on as they punched in two more scores and didn’t allow the Blue Raiders to score again.
Up three points with 10 minutes remaining in the game, Schuylkill Haven used a seven-minute, 13-play drive to all but end the hopes of a Tamaqua victory. The long drive was capped off by a 13-yard touchdown run by Mike Kalyan.
The Hurricanes defense forced the Blue Raiders into a three and out on their next possession. When the Hurricanes got the ball back, they scored on a 42-yard touchdown run by freshman Kobe Brish with just over one minute remaining in the game.
Schuylkill Haven (3-0) travels to North Schuylkill next week to face the Spartans.
Tamaqua (2-1) hosts Panther Valley.
Notes: Schuylkill Haven’s Mike Kalyan rushed for 92 yards on 14 carries and one touchdown. Preston Gehring rushed for 78 yards on 10 carries with a punt return touchdown, while Kobe Brish rushed for 50 yards on five carries and a touchdown.
Tamaqua’s quarterback Thad Zuber went 9-21 for 138 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Zeke Wassell caught three balls for 90 yards and a score, while running back Nick Breiner rushed for 42 yards on 16 carries.
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