Fake punt call fuels Lackawanna Trail’s comeback over Meyers


By Robert Tomkavage - rtomkavage@timesleader.com



Lackawanna Trail’s Tyler Baltrusaitis scores a 38-yard touchdown during the second quarter of the Lions 24-20 win over Meyers in a non-league football game on Friday, Sept. 25 in Factoryville.


Alice Stuffle | For Abington Journal

Lions fullback Thomas Huffsmith breaks through the Meyers defense during Lackawanna Trail’s 24-20 win on Friday, Sept. 25.


Alice Stuffle | For Abington Journal

FACTORYVILLE — Lackawanna Trail was faced with a fourth-and-7 play from the Meyers’ 45-yard line with less than five minutes left in the first half while trailing by 14 points.

Instead of trying to pin the Mohawks deep, Lions coach Steve Jervis called a fake punt and Anthony Berrios rushed seven yards for a first down.

On the next play, Trail’s Tyler Baltrusaitis rushed 38 yards for a touchdown. The Lions scored the next 12 points of the game to defeat Meyers, 24-20, in a non-league game Friday night at Lions Pride Stadium.

“This win means everything to me because we played as a team with one heart,” Baltrusaitis said. “Everything we did out there wasn’t because of one player; it was because of everybody on the field.”

Meyers struck first when Jason Marston, who accounted for 179 yards on 15 carries, ran 68 yards for a touchdown with 10:48 left in the first quarter.

Lackawanna Trail responded with a nine-play, 54-yard drive capped by a 3-yard touchdown run from James Gillespie.

“This is the first game where we really had some true leadership,” Jervis said. “Our defense really turned it around in the second half to pitch a shutout against a very good football team.”

Marston quickly put the Mohawks back in the lead when he used a spin move to break free for a 47-yard touchdown run with five minutes remaining in the first quarter.

On the Mohawks’ next possession, Fahbian Biggs capped a 12-play, 93-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to give Meyers a 20-6 lead with 8:26 left in the second quarter.

Lackawanna Trail (1-3) cut the deficit to two points on its second possession of the second half when Rocco Pacini scored on a 2-yard run. Lions freshman quarterback Nathan Rolka completed three passes for 61 yards on the drive.

“Offensively, we were able to control the clock and get a lot of guys involved,” Jervis said.

After defensive lineman Shawn Jones recovered a fumble in the Mohawks backfield, the Lions cashed in on the turnover when Berrios scored on a 4-yard run to give Lackawanna Trail a 24-20 lead with 5:30 remaining in the game.

Meyers (3-1) advanced the ball to the Trail 6-yard line after an 18-yard pass from Willie Wallace to Raheem Twyman, but a fumble by Biggs at the 1-yard line on the next play ended the Mohawks’ comeback attempt.

“It says a lot about our kids not to give up, especially at that time,” Jervis said. “I’m just very proud of their effort. We’ve been giving up some big plays in every game and (today) we were more disciplined and got that timely turnover when we needed it.”

Lackawanna Trail will host Lakeland in a Lackawanna Football Conference game at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2.

Lackawanna Trail’s Tyler Baltrusaitis scores a 38-yard touchdown during the second quarter of the Lions 24-20 win over Meyers in a non-league football game on Friday, Sept. 25 in Factoryville.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_ABJ-LT-Football-Baltrusaitis.jpgLackawanna Trail’s Tyler Baltrusaitis scores a 38-yard touchdown during the second quarter of the Lions 24-20 win over Meyers in a non-league football game on Friday, Sept. 25 in Factoryville. Alice Stuffle | For Abington Journal

Lions fullback Thomas Huffsmith breaks through the Meyers defense during Lackawanna Trail’s 24-20 win on Friday, Sept. 25.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_ABJ-LT-Football-Huffsmith.jpgLions fullback Thomas Huffsmith breaks through the Meyers defense during Lackawanna Trail’s 24-20 win on Friday, Sept. 25. Alice Stuffle | For Abington Journal

By Robert Tomkavage

rtomkavage@timesleader.com

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

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