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North Schuylkill Captures District Gold In High Scoring Contest.

Written by: on Thursday, November 26th, 2020

 

NEW TRIPOLI- The last time North Schuylkill and Notre Dame met on the football field a District XI championship was on the line in 2018. In that game facing stiff 30mph winds at Lehighton, the Spartans did not attempt a pass and rushed 63 times for 306 yards in a 36-0 demolition of the Crusaders.

On Wednesday night, in much calmer conditions North Schuylkill went to the ground attack racking up 414 yards on 72 tallies in taking a hard-fought 49-35 shootout win at Northwestern Lehigh’s Tiger Stadium to claim the District XI 3A Championship over the Crusaders.

Led by running back Josh Chowansky, who carried the load with 41 rushes and gaining 267 yards and three touchdowns in the win. He scored on runs of 2, 56 and 9 yards to secure the Spartans unbeaten season at 8-0 and their second 3A district title in three years.

The game was a back and forth affair for much of the night as the teams combined for nearly a thousand yards of total offense and took almost three hours to complete as the Spartan offense seemed to wear down the Notre Dame defense in the second half and was able to manage a two score game in the third quarter.

North Schuylkill opened the scoring on their first possession in just six plays and going 74 yards as quarterback Jake Hall connected with Tanner Walacavage, who made a diving catch, for a 33 yard touchdown pass with barely two minutes gone to make the score 7-0. Hall completed 7 of 11 passes for 105 yards and also had 111 yards rushing on 19 carries on the evening.

Notre Dame responded a couple of drives later as Collin Quintano hooked up with Robby Spirk for a 20 yard score to tie the game. Notre Dame never led in the game as they kept matching scores making the score 21-21 at intermission.

Hall and Chowansky found the end zone on short runs of their own before the end of the half.

The second half started with the North Schuylkill defense forcing a Crusader punt and on the firts play from scrimmage Chowansky ripped off a 56 yard score to make it 28-21. But again Notre Dame would answer with a two yard score from Matt Frauen who gained 221 yards on 25 touches.

Another long sustained drive by the Spartans covering 73 yards and 11 plays seem to take it’s toll on the Crusader defense as Hall kept the ball around the end for an 11 yard score making it 35-28 with 6:12 left in the third quarter.

Notre Dame was unable to answer this score however, and was forced to punt on the ensuing Spartan drive, which was ten plays and 75 yards this time as Hall connected with Walacavage for 33 yards giving their squad some breathing room with a 42-28 lead late in the quarter.

With Notre Dame driving to get back into the game, the Spartan defense stepped up as Terry Thomas picked off a Quintano pass near the North Schuylkill five yard line and returned to the 35 midway through the fourth quarter.

The Crusaders did manage to cut the lead to 42-35 on a Matt Frauen 55 yard run with about 4 minutes to play in the game, but a long Chowansky run set the Spartans up inside the Crusader ten yard line and from there Chowansky sealed the deal with a nine yard run for the final score on the night with just 2:39 left.

“They gave us the ability to run the ball.” North Schuylkill coach Wally Hall stated. “We made some pass plays when we needed to but Josh and Drake did an outstanding job tonight.” He concluded.

“We kept pounding the ball tonight, I didn’t even know I had 40 carries.” Josh Chowansky said. “Our coaches must have saw something against their defense.” he concluded.

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