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High School Football - Line Mountain 28, Halifax 6

Eagles win 1st of season

Line Mountain’s Brent Osman finds daylight against a stiff Halifax defense. (Sentinel photo by Lon Zeiders)

HALIFAX • Line Mountain and Halifax entered their Oct. 9 contest winless and in desperate need to get their season back on track at the midway point.

When all was said and done, it was the Eagles who would walk away with their first ‘W’ of the year, defeating the host Wildcats 28-6.

The Eagles elected to receive the opening kickoff as quarterback Kurt Mace took center. Head Coach Rodney Knock’s offense would rely heavily on its team’s leading rusher, Brent Osman, from the get-go.

The Eagle offensive line helped move the chains for back-to-back first downs on the opening drive. The offensive line’s ability to create space allowed Osman to run free and connect on another first down into Halifax territory.

The Wildcat defense had no answer for the fast-paced Line Mountain offense. The Eagles continued to gain steam as they moved all the way down inside the Wildcat five-yard line. Just three minutes into the first quarter, Osman bulldozed across the end zone to give the Eagles their first score of the night. Osman also connected on the extra point to give Line Mountain a 7-0 lead.

Halifax quarterback Mason Erdman sought to answer the Eagles on their next possession. The Wildcats looked to their own key runner, Eric Johnston, to move the chains. Despite little running room, Johnston continued to lower his shoulder and move forward.

While the Cats were able to gain some momentum, their drive came to a screeching halt following stops from David Quinn and Jonathan Lenker, forcing  them to punt.

The two teams would play flip-flop over the next several minutes as the Eagles fumbled the ball back into the hands of Erdman and his offense.

But, on the very next play from scrimmage, Tyler Boyer stepped in front of Erdman’s pass and hauled in his first interception of the night. It was a significant turning point in an extremely competitive game as the Eagles would eventually put on another scoring drive following the turnover.

The Eagles moved inside the Halifax 15. From just 13 yards out, Mace took a three-step drop and found Brendan Renn for the team’s second score of the evening. Osman connected on the point after and gave Knock’s ball club a commanding 14-0 lead at the half.

The Wildcats would adjust at the half as their defensive line worked to close the gaps and stop Osman’s high-powered rushing attack. As a result, the Cats forced the Eagles to punt.

The Halifax offense would find its first taste of success on their first drive of the third quarter. After an Erdman rushing first down, the quarterback found Johnston, who made two defenders miss him as he zipped past Eagle defenders and crossed the pile line to give his offense a much-needed touchdown.

While the Eagles blocked the extra point attempt, the Wildcats now trailed by just one score, 14-6.

The Halifax defense would once again hold the Eagles from moving the chains, as Johnston and Jay Zerby connected on consecutive tackles.

Erdman would return to the field with his offense with hopes of evening the tides. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the momentum was about to shift their opponent’s way. Erdman dropped back to pass and was intercepted by Quinn. The Eagle defensive leader would fly down the sideline 51 yards for a touchdown. The Halifax sideline was silent as the Eagles extended their lead to 20-6.

Despite a missed extra point, Line Mountain not only held the lead, but the momentum as well. The Wildcat offense continued to struggle as the Eagle defensive line was in the backfield and causing havoc. Lenker was all over the backfield for the Eagles and caused frustration to the Halifax offensive line. After a 3-and-out, the Wildcats punted back to the Eagle offense.

Now in the fourth quarter, the Line Mountain offense used the clock and continued to ride Osman and time off the clock. Controlling most of the period, the Eagles moved the chains down inside the red zone. The Wildcat defense continued to battle, but it was Mace and Quinn who would have the final say. From 13 yards out, Mace dropped back to pass and found Quinn, who crossed the end line for another Line Mountain score.

The Eagles elected to go for the two-point conversion, and Mace found Renn as the Eagles took over 28-6 with just three minutes remaining in the game.

The Wildcats did all they could to fight back, but the deficit was simply too much, as the Eagles convincingly captured their first win of the year.

Despite only 33 yards in the air, Mace threw two touchdowns and ran for another 24 yards. Osman led all rushers with 145 yards on 29 attempts and a touchdown of his own. Quinn and Renn each hauled in a score from Mace.

In a losing effort, Johnston cashed in 53 yards on 14 attempts. Johnston also hauled in four passes for 87 yards and a score.

The Eagles will aim at continuing their success and adding to their winning streak when they host Upper Dauphin Area Friday, Oct. 16. The Wildcats will try to bounce back when they travel to Tri-Valley to take on the Bulldogs, also Oct. 16. Both games begin at 7 p.m.



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