Lions roar past the Trojans, 40-13
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Jared Samuel | September 8, 2023
From a tough week of very hot weather followed by some severe thunderstorms, both Lackawanna Trail and Nanticoke Area faced challenges leading up to this game. On Friday morning, there was doubt that this game would happen due to power outages in Nanticoke that disrupted school.
Unfortunately for the Trojans, there was no outage when it came to the Lions high-powered offense.
Lackawanna Trail had 2 quick scoring drives in the 1st quarter and never looked back as they dominated Nanticoke Area 40-13 and moved to 3-0 on the season.
Nanticoke took the opening kickoff to their own 25 and started off sloppy in their first series, with a run for no gain followed by 2 false start penalties. Their drive then quickly ended when Trail DB/WR Max Kimmel made a great read and intercepted a pass at the Nanticoke 23 yard line. 4 plays later, Trail capitalized when QB Stephen Jervis dove into the end zone for a 1 yard score. The 2-point conversion was no good, and with 8:15 to go in the 1st quarter the Lions had a 6-0 lead.
— Jared Samuel (@jaredsamuelpfn) September 8, 2023
Nanticoke had a much better start to their 2nd possession. On a 3rd and 7 from their own 28, QB Seth Raymer hit WR Nemico Sosa for a nice 20-yard pickup. Then it was RB Zack Fox who carried the Trojans downfield with 3 runs totaling 18 yards and a nice 20 yard reception. Nanticoke got down to the Trail 12 yard line before they turned it over on downs.
The Lions would come right back, as RB Lukas Gumble had a huge 49-yard run down to the Trojan 35-yard line. RB Issac Ryon then struck 2 plays later with a 31-yard sprint touchdown, and Trail increased their lead to 13-0 with 53 seconds to go in the 1st quarter.
As the 2nd quarter got underway, Nanticoke again had some momentum going as Fox had a nice 14-yard run on a 3rd-and-13 deep in their own territory. The Trojans continued to move the ball into Trail territory, but the drive ended when Fox took a direct snap and threw an interception to Gumble at the Trail 27 yard line.
The Lions responded very quickly and only need 2 plays to score again. After a nice 17-yard run by Gumble it was Jervis hitting a wide-open Kimmel for a 44-yard TD reception. With 7:36 to go before the half it was Trail with a 19-0 lead. Nanticoke responded even faster though, as the ensuing kickoff was taken by Fox at his own 12-yard line and run back 88 yards for the score. It was now 19-7 in favor of the Lions with 7:24 before the half, and it appeared that we might have a game on our hands.
Trail could not get anything going on their next drive, and neither could Nanticoke. Fox had a nice punt that pinned Trail back at their own 16 yard line, but the Lions made the most of it. Gumble had 2 runs for 22 yards, and after Jervis gained 7 yards on the ground as well he decided to air it out again to Kimmel for a 55-yard TD catch-and-run that made it 26-7 Trail with 1:56 to go in the half.
Nanticoke would have a quick 3-and-out and gave it right back to Trail, but then Nanticoke recovered a fumble at the Trail 19. The Lion defense stood tall however, pressuring Raymer for 2 incompletions and a sack as the half came to an end.
In the 3rd quarter, Trail took possession and only needed 3 plays to hit paydirt again, as Ryon broke a tackle and ran 57 yards for another touchdown. With 10:35 to go in the 3rd, Trail had increased their lead to 33-7.
Disaster then struck for the Trojans, as RB Sam Petrini fumbled and the Lions recovered at the Nanticoke 39-yard line. After Nanticoke hurried and then sacked Jervis for a loss, it was Gumble’s turn as he broke a 43-yard TD run of his own to make it 40-7 for Trail with 7:57 left in the 3rd.
With the game mainly out of hand, Trail played conservatively and when the 4th quarter began it was Nanticoke on a long drive that ended as RB Treston Allen ran it in from 12 yards out. With only 2:13 to go in the game, Trail then took possession and ran out the clock to seal the win. The final was 40-13 in favor of the Lions.
After the game, I spoke to Lion RB’s Lukas Gumble and Issac Ryon. Gumble said of the preparation on a week with difficult weather: “Nothing really gets to us, we try not to let anything get into our heads.” Ryon spoke about playing with Gumble: “When he gets tired I go in and handle it” to which Gumble said “They don’t know how to handle it when they see him go in.”
— Jared Samuel (@jaredsamuelpfn) September 9, 2023
Lackawanna Trail now heads back home to face the Honesdale Hornets, while Nanticoke goes on the road against the Wyoming Area Warriors.
Be sure to check out the photo gallery from the game, courtesy of Sherryl Samuel: https://pafootballnews.com/pfn/lackawanna-trail-at-nanticoke-area-photo-gallery/
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