South Williamsport holds off Eagles
South Williamsport (9-1) jumped out to an early 14 point lead over Line Mountain (6-4) and then held off a late comeback attempt to win its regular season finale 41-33.
The Mountaineers received the opening kick and bolted from the gate scoring just four plays into the opening quarter on an 18 yard run by sophomore quarterback A.J. Flick. After the eagles went three and out on their first possession, South Williamsport was able to strike again. This time, in more methodical fashion, as seldom used running back Jacob Yoas punched it in for the Mounties from one yard out capping off a 10 play drive that consumed a large portion of the first quarter.
Line Mountain’s offense then began to show signs of life. The Eagles embarked on a 14 play scoring drive which covered 60 yards. The Eagles possession began late in the first quarter and ended with 8:37 left in the second when quarterback Kenny Boyer plunged into the end zone from three yards out.
Just as the visitors had seemingly seized the momentum, the Mounties were eager to take it right back. South Williamsport, fueled by a 47 yard rumble by Ashton Martin, would quickly answer the Eagles. Martin’s run was the second play of a six play drive ending with A.J. Flick once again using his legs to put six on the board. Flick’s score would be the last of the half for either side. South Williamsport led by 14 as both teams headed to the locker room.
Line Mountain emerged from the halftime break firing on all cylinders, scoring on their first two possessions of the second half, and, also picking off Flick deep in Eagles territory.
Brent Osman, running straight into the teeth of the Mounties defense, broke loose for a 65 yard touchdown on just the second play of the second half to pull the eagles to within eight.
Osman would score the first of his team’s 27 second half points, including 19 in the third quarter.
Brenden Cregger then made the Eagles first big defensive play of the game, intercepting a deep Flick pass at the Line Mountain 24 yard line just three plays later. Boyer, Cregger, and company capitalized on the turnover less than a minute later as Cregger streaked down the field to haul in a 72 yard touchdown pass from Boyer. Cregger’s explosive play would pull his team to within two points.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, a key play on special teams would quickly shift the momentum back to the home team. The Mounties blocked an Eagles punt and took over at the Line Mountain 15 yard line. Gideon Green rushed 16 yards into the end zone on the next play.
“We’ve struggled somewhat in the punt phase of the football game all year,” commented Line Mountain coach Brandon Carson.
Green totaled 156 rushing yards on 27 carries for South Williamsport.
To its credit, Line Mountain continued to battle, once again cutting the deficit to two by virtue of a 54 yard scoring strike from Boyer to sophomore receiver Breven Derk.
“We have not quit all year. I love this team and the way we fight,” said Carson.
South Williamsport then took control of the see-sawing contest for good as they scored on their next two possessions to set the margin at 41-25 late in the fourth quarter. Flick hit Martin with a ten yard pass and Green once again plowed over the goal line for his second score of the day, coming with 2:11 left to play.
Ashton Martin also summed 72 rushing yards for South Williamsport.
Boyer was able guide his team past the Mountaineers defense once again, finally reaching the end zone via a 28 yard pass to Brenden Cregger with just 36 seconds in regulation. Boyer was then able to pick up the two point conversion to make it a one score game. South Williamsport then recovered the following on-side kick and subsequently run out the remaining time on the clock.
Eagles coach Brandon Carson praised the quality of his opponent tonight saying “They have some really good players, and you have to give them that. They played extremely hard and they were physical and that’s exactly what we thought they were going to be. We just had some mental breakdowns again and obviously you cannot have mental breakdowns and a lack of focus when you’re playing this type of team.”
Line Mountain quarterback Kenny Boyer arguably had his best passing performance of the season tonight, throwing for nearly 250 yards and three touchdowns. Boyer also contributed 67 yards on the ground.
Brent Osman’s 78 rushing yards led the Eagles.
Despite tonight’s result, both Line Mountain and South Williamsport will turn their focus to the District IV playoffs next Friday night as both teams will look to build what have been very positive seasons for the two programs.
“I think it was a good learning experience,” Carson said of tonight’s game. “We told them now it’s time. Basically we’re going to be 0-0. Everybody is 0-0. Moving forward it’s a new season and we need to come out prepared next time.”
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