LEHMAN TWP. – Pete Borum remembers the feeling of losing to Wyoming Area in last year’s district 2A semifinals.
It was the kind of hurt that resonated throughout the season. He wanted one last shot, one final chance in his senior year to hold that district trophy.
The Lake-Lehman senior lineman will get his chance to go for it.
The Black Knights forced five Susquehanna turnovers, while Dustin Jones and Joey Vigil both ran for 125 yards as Lehman steadily pulled away from the Sabers, 35-0, in the District 2 Class 2A semifinals.
Lehman (10-1) will host the district final next week, taking on No. 3 seed Lakeland. The Chiefs upset one-loss Carbondale, 13-9, in the other semifinal.
“I remember how upset I was after we lost to Wyoming Area,” Borum said. “I said to myself that I was going to work even harder to get back here and go for gold.”
It was your typical showing from the ground-and-pound Lehman front line.
The Golden Knights ran for 355 yards, while Jones finished with three scores.
“Our line loves to stay low and hit hard,” Borum said. “Run play after run play, you could tell that we were wearing them down. If you keep going after them every play, they are going to break down and you get that amazing play.”
While the offense steals the headlines, it was the defense that won Lehman the game.
Susquehanna managed only 33 yards of offense in the first half, while the Black Knights picked off Saber quarterback Austin White three times.
Combine those three with two forced fumbles, and it was an uphill battle for the undersized Sabers, who were already missing several linemen. The Lackawanna League school didn’t threaten to score all game, failing to reach the red zone on any of its possessions.
“They wore us down a little bit, but we had too many missed assignments,” Susquehanna head coach Kyle Cook said. “We had three turnovers at halftime, and were only down 13-0. You take those three turnovers away, and you never know. I was proud of the kids because they played tough. We stopped them a few times inside the 20, but I think they just wore us down some in the second half.”
Lehman, on the other hand, did what it is has done all year. Its first drive was a perfect snapshot.
The Golden Knights methodically punished the Susquehanna front line. In all, a 16-play drive that chewed almost nine minutes off the clock. It was 15 straight run plays, capped off by an Antonio Ferrari 19-yard pass to Kody Pachamovich for the 7-0 lead after one quarter.
That’s when Jones took over.
The big, bruising fullback constantly pounded the middle of the line – scoring three times, twice in the third quarter, to give Lehman a 28-0 lead.
A Bobby Wright 13-yard touchdown sent the game into the mercy rule early in the fourth quarter.
“I was a little nervous with only a 13-0 lead at halftime because with the offense Susquehanna runs, they hit one seam and they are off for a touchdown,” Lehman head coach Jerry Gilsky said. “We made some good adjustments at halftime, and we ran it perfectly in the second half. We used a little bit of a different scheme defensively because of that triple-option. And the kids really paid attention in practice because they wanted to get this monkey off their backs. The past three times we made districts, twice we lost in the first round.”
Susquehanna (5-6), a team that relies heavily on the run, was forced into the pass after gaining little or no rushing yardage. Against Lehman’s first-team defense, the Sabers managed just 61 yards on the ground.
It wasn’t much easier through the air, either. While White found six different receivers, the Sabers only had 63 yards passing and 188 total yards for the game.
Lake-Lehman 35, Susquehanna 0
L — Kody Pachamovich 19 pass from Antonio Ferrari (Mike Symon kick), 0:48
L — Dustin Jones 10 run (pass failed), 10:52
L — Jones 5 run (Jones run), 9:32
L — Jones 7 run (Symon kick), 0:18
L — Bobby Wright 13 run (Symon kick), 9:23
RUSHING — S, Brett Hepler 7-57, Austin White 13-48, Austin Felter 6-20. L, Dustin Jones 20-125, Joey Vigil 7-125, Brady Butler 12-62, Bobby Wright 5-33, Antonio Ferrari 2-8, Hunter Nlce 2-1, Jimmy Stuart 1-1.
PASSING —S, Austin White 6-19-3-63. L, Antonio Ferrari 1-5-0-19.
RECEIVING —S, Austin Darrow 1-23, Craig Stanley 1-14, Craig Monks 1-9, Adam Collins 1-9, Stephen Jesse 1-4. Brett Hepler 1-4. L, Kody Pachamovich 1-19.
INTERCEPTIONS – L, Antonio Ferrari, Joey Vigil, Alex Major
MISSED FIELD GOALS – L, Mike Symon (29 yards).