MONTROSE — Led by a strong rushing attack and opportunistic defense, Montrose defeated Lackawanna Trail, 26-14, in a Lackawanna Football Conference non-league game on Friday, Sept. 18. The Meteors won two consecutive games for the first time since the 2008 season.
“It’s big,” senior lineman/kicker Matt Saravitz said of the accomplishment. “It’s my senior year and I’m so glad to be here. I love this team.”
Senior running back Derek Nunez, who accounted for 137 yards on 15 carries, gave Montrose an early lead when he scored on a 38-yard run with 8:04 remaining in the first quarter.
Saravitz converted a 31-yard field goal, 10 plays after he recovered a fumble from Trail’s Tyler Baltrusaitis, to give the Meteors a 10-0 advantage with 6:39 left in the second quarter.
Montrose limited Lackawanna Trail to 212 yards of offense and 11 first downs in the game.
“This is the best effort we’ve had (defensively) in the 13 games that I’ve been the head coach,” Montrose’s Lou Cella said. “We have a lot of guys who run through the football.”
Lackawanna Trail running back Anthony Berrios, who led the team in rushing with 74 yards on 12 carries, scored on a 9-yard run with 3:26 remaining in the first half, but Nathan Rolka missed the extra point try.
A fumble by Berrios set up Montrose (2-1) at the Lions’ 19-yard line late in the first half, but the Meteors were unable to capitalize when a bad snap prevented Saravitz from attempting a 28-yard field goal.
Nunez struck for a 58-yard touchdown on the Meteors’ second drive of the third quarter but was stopped short on a two-point conversion attempt.
Lackawanna Trail advanced to the Montrose 14-yard line on the ensuing drive, but Rolka was intercepted by Meteors’ defensive back Zoey Casselbury to end the scoring threat.
The Lions finished the game with three fumbles and three interceptions.
“Offensively, we just had too many mistakes,” Lackawanna Trail head coach Steve Jervis said. “You’re not going to win games (playing) like that. We are young and inexperienced at some positions, but protecting the football has to be a priority. There is never an excuse for turning the ball over six times in a game.
“We need to get more rhythm on offense and we need to be able to run the football.”
Saravitz made his second field goal of the night, a 25-yarder, with 9:15 left in the fourth quarter after the Meteors’ drive stalled at the Lions’ 8-yard line.
Lackawanna Trail cut the deficit to five points with 3:51 left in the game when Rolka connected with Steven Scioscia for a 7-yard touchdown and Baltrusaitis added the two-point conversion on a run.
Montrose quarterback Cayden Myers sealed the win with a 31-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the contest.
Lackawanna Trail (0-3) will host Meyers (3-0) at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25 in a crossover game at Lions Pride Stadium in Factoryville.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.