Site updated 09/17/13 09:13 AM Upper Dauphin Sentinel ©2006
It didnít take long for Line Mountain to prove they were the early favorite, marching right down the field behind Hunter Hojnacki and Cory Warford. The Tribe had no answer, as Warford was well on his way to making history on the ground.
The Indians made several stops behind Connor Keim and Mark Simpkins but Rodney Knockís offense continued to chip away. Brad Hatterís squad held strong as the Indians did not give up a point nearly the entire first quarter.
With just a little over a minute remaining in the first, Hojnacki pushed his way through the end zone to give the Eagles the first score of the evening. The extra point was missed but the Eagles had a 6-0 lead.
More times than not, when a team goes down early, itís easy to pack it in and call it a night, especially when youíre such an underdog, but the Indians would not go down without a fight.
Behind quarterback Ethan Troutman, the Indians were determined to give the Eagles every ounce of effort they had and thatís exactly what they did, mixing up the ground attack as Troutman and Keim carried the majority of the load.
Hatter kept the Eagle defense honest, as Alex Frederick, Austin Lehman and Tylor Erdman received carries. Just two and a half minutes into the second quarter, Tyler Erdman pushed his way through the end line from 15 yards out.
The Eagle defense seemed surprised that the Tribe was able to respond so quickly and efficiently. Christian Wingard came on to kick the extra point and before you knew it, there was a game brewing with Millersburg leading 7-6.
It didnít take long. On the very next position the Eagles coughed the ball up and the Indians had the pigskin back in their hands. This time, the Indians chose to attack through the air as the Line Mountain defense was beginning to stop the ground game.
Completing his only pass of the evening, Troutman dropped back in the pocket and connected with Wingard, who scored from 22 yards out. The defense was shocked, as this second touchdown came less than a minute after the first. The Indians connected on the extra point behind Wingard and held a 14-6 lead midway through the second quarter.
Like any good team, the Eagles didnít take long to respond. Knock chose to attack through the ground again behind Ryan Reed, Warford and Hojnacki. An occasional pass completion moved the chains for the Eagles but the game plan was designated for the ground more than ever. Warford pushed through Indian defenders, giving Line Mountain much needed first downs.
With four minutes remaining before the half, the Eagles were able to get on the board between Hojnackiís second touchdown of the evening. This time, from six yards out, Hojnacki bullied his way through Indian defenders. Knock elected to go for the two-point conversion and successfully connected on a Warford run, making the score 14-14.
Before the Indians knew it, the ball game was back to being tied. However, less than 20 seconds later, the Indians took the lead once more and never looked back. After the opening kickoff back to the 30 yard line, the Indians didnít utilize Troutman or even Keim. This time, Hatter put the ball in Lehmanís hands and he zipped through the front, second and third line of the Eagleís defense en route to a 70-yard touchdown that blew the roof off Friday nightís contest.
With the extra point, the Indians led 21-14 at the half. Millersburg didnít get to run one offensive play in their first drive of the second half, but they didnít need to. On the very first kickoff of the third quarter, Alex Frederick bolted an 80-yard return that gave the Tribe a two-score lead.
The Indians now led 28-14 after another Wingard extra point. All they had to do was hold on and they would shock the area in impressive fashion. For the most part, the Tribeís defense held strong all the way through the third quarter. With seven seconds remaining before the fourth, Warford whipped off a 56-yard touchdown. Once again the extra point was no good, as the Indians held on by the skin of their teeth to a 28-20 lead.
The Indians could not find their rhythm on the next possession and the Eagles appeared to be determined to get the ball back in their hands as time was ticking fast. The Eagle defense held and gave their offense another chance to even the score in the TVL showdown of the year.
With just under four minutes remaining in the game, Reed pushed his way through Indian defenders from one yard out, putting the Eagles right back in the thick of things, 28-26. The Eagles elected to go for the two-point conversion to tie the game and eventually force overtime.
The Indians shut down the conversion and never looked back, able to hold off the Eagles and capture what could be their biggest win of the entire season.
Troutman totaled 55 yards and a score through the air. Lehman and Erdman combined for 91 yards and two scores.
In a losing effort, Reed and Warford combined for 352 yards and two scores.
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