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JIM THORPE- With their backs against the wall and knowing any chance to possibly claim a share of a Schuylkill League I Title hanging in the balance, the Jim Thorpe defense rose to the occasion by forcing Tamaqua into three straight incomplete passes in the waining seconds from inside the Olympians ten yard line to hold onto a 21-14 win before a packed house on Senior night at Jim Thorpe Area Stadium.

Tamaqua, Jim Thorpe and North Schuylkill all have just one loss in League play, so if all three teams win out they will share the title as co- champions.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Olympians broke through for the first points of the night as C.J Selby scored on a one yard run with 7:08 left in the half, that capped off a 10 play 54 yard drive. to make the score 7-0 after the PAT. That was the only score in the half as teams hit intermission.

The Raiders came out fired up on defense at the start of the third quarter as they forced a Jim Thorpe fumble deep inside Olympian territory, Johnny Franko, was johnny-on-the-spot by scooping up the loose ball and scampered in from twelve yards out knotting the score at 7.

Unable to move the ball through the air, Jim Thorpe relied heavily on their ground attack, carrying the ball 63 times in the contest. The second half belonged mostly to their bigger offensive line and the inside running of quarterback Roberto Santiago and outside speed of wideout Derrick Beckham, to gain yardage on the edges. Santiago ran it 22 times for 81 tough yards, while Beckham, who did not see the ball in the first half ran it 9 times for 66 yards mostly on jet sweeps. Santiago also tallied two scores.

The Olympians grabbed the lead back with 1:14 left in the third as Santiago scored from seven yards out. The key play was a 13 yard dash by Beckham to setup the scoring play. Chris Condley connected on the PAT after a 15 yard penalty pushed the attempt back to the 25 yard line.

The Santiago-Beckham combination worked again mid-way through the fourth quarter as Santiago scored from 4 yards out with 7:11 left in the contest. Again, set-up by a 23 yard Beckham sweep.

Tamaqua, needing to go to their air attack scored quickly on a 4 play drive culminating in a 13 yard pass from quarterback Brayden Knobloch to Matt Kistler with just 2:29 left cutting the deficeit to 21-14.

Once again, the Raiders forced a Jim Thorpe punt and took posession at midfield, where after three completions put the ball at the Olympian eight with under thirty seconds left. But a fourth down attempt to the left side corner of the end zone went awry preserving the win for the Olympians.

“I thought our defense did a tremendous job tonight. To allow that team just one touchdown on offense was outstanding.” Jim Thorpe coach Mark Rosenberger stated.

Heading into the final week of the regular season Jim Thorpe(8-1) will travel down route 209 to face Lehighton next Friday night. Tamaqua also 8-1 will be on the road at Marian Catholic. Meanwhile the other 8-1 team North Schuylkill will be at Pottsville

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