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Jim Thorpe Surprises Notre Dame Green Pond to Advance to District XI 3A Championship. @JT Olympians @NDGP_FOOTBALL

Written by: on Sunday, November 7th, 2021

 

Jim Thorpe Gains A Spot in District XI 3A Championship Game Next Week Against North Schuylkill.

EASTON- They say you can throw the records out and previous meetings against a common foe when playoff time rolls around in PIAA District XI. The Olympians certainly took heed to that process. In 2020 Notre Dame Green Pond throttled Jim Thorpe 64-28 in a District XI 3A semifinal. Earlier this year on a Monday night, quarterback back Collin Quintano riddled the Olympians secondary for a school-record 501 yards and six touchdowns in a 49-21 win. But Saturday night all of that had gone by the wayside as the third seeded Olympians found a way to survive and advance in the playoffs with a gutsy 26-18 win on the road and will now face the nuber one seed North Schuylkill Spartans for a district championship at Lehighton High School next Saturday at 6pm.

Notre Dame would get the first points of the contest on a four yard score by Logan Castellano with 8:12 left in the opening quarter. The try for two failed after the ball was moved half the distance on an offside call on the Olympians, leaving the score 6-0.

On their next possession Jim Thorpe had a rssponse as running back Camron Tinajero capped off a well-executed drive in a 1 yd score of his own making it 7-6 with 4:48 left in the opening twelve minutes.

With less than minute to go before both teams would head to the locker room at intermission Tinajero would find pay dirt again this time from nine yards out and a 14-6 lead for Olympians at the break.

Quintano went to work from his own 42 yard line on the ensuing drive and connected with Castellano along the sidelines to get the ball inside the five as time wound down in the half. Castellno would would score from two yards out with eight seconds left till half a two-point conversion pass failed leaving the score at 14-12 Olympians lead.

A 22 yard field goal by place-kicker Keiran Mele extended the Olympians lead to 17-12. Then the Crusaders took their first and only lead of the contest on a five yard pass from Quinatno to Nadir Sanders with 4:51 left in the third quarter making it a 18-17 score.

Another Mele field goal from 22 yards would give the lead back to Jim Thorpe to close out the third quarter 20-18.

With about fou minutes left in the contest and the Olympians on their 42 yard line a flea-flicker pass from quarterback Brett Balliet to Drew Wimmer picked up 30 yards and set the Olympians up in Crusaders territory at the eighteen.

Then on a fourth-and-nine from the nineteen, Balliet connected with Wimmer on a wheel route behind the Crusader defense for what would be the game-winning score with 4:32 left and a 26-18 lead. Mele missed the PAT.

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Josh Ludlow had a nice kickoff return for Notre Dame to set the offense up at the Crusader 43. A Quintano to Castellano pass would put the ball at the Olympian fifteen. AS they moved the ball to the six facing a fourth and goal with 1:21 remaining to possibly tie the game with a touchdown and a two-point conversion came up empty as Quintano’s pass intended for Ryan Frinzi fell harmlessly in the back of the end zone preserving the unpredictable win for the visitors.

Jim Thorpe’s head football coach Mark Rosenberger had this to say after his teams’ win:

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