FACTORYVILLE — Meyers coach Corry Hanson had the perfect reaction to his team’s loss at Lackawanna Trail on Friday night.
“This one hurts,” the coach said somberly.
He couldn’t have been more right.
His Mohawks held a 14-point lead at halftime, allowed two fourth-quarter touchdowns to the Lions — one on a fourth-and-12 — and fell less than a yard short of gaining a first down deep in Trail territory with under 2 minutes left in a 26-21 loss to Lackawanna Trail.
Clinging to a 21-20 lead with 10:46 left in the game, Meyers was in need of putting together a long drive like it had a few times earlier in the game. But quarterback Matt DeMarco was intercepted and Trail’s Jake Adcroft returned it to the Meyers 26.
“We were driving the ball and I take full responsibility. I tried to take a shot at the end zone and DeMarco’s hand got tipped and that was a big interception,” Hanson said. “It turned the ball game right around there.”
The next three plays from scrimmage were dominated by Meyers, forcing the Lions into a fourth-and-12 situation on the Mohawks’ 28. But that turned into a 28-yard TD strike from Vic Mallory to Cooper Rosiak. Mallory’s third TD pass of the night gave Trail a 26-21 lead with 7:07 left.
The Mohawks weren’t done though. DeMarco picked up the ball on the kickoff from the 2-yard line and ran 48 yards before finally getting brought down in Lions territory.
The quarterback, who rushed for a game-high 132 yards, orchestrated a 10-play drive, but Meyers could only manage 33 yards on the possession as DeMarco’s rush on fourth-and-5 rush fell about a half-yard short of the sticks at the 15 with about 1:35 left on the clock.
Trail took over on downs and took three kneeldowns to end the contest.
“Definitely (getting nervous),” Lions coach Steve Jervis said about Meyers’ last drive. “They do a good job in their system because it’s hard to pressure it a real lot. We were really hustling on the last drive and I think that might have been the difference.”
Jumping out to a 14-0 lead at the 9:33 mark in the second quarter on a 62-yard scamper by DeMarco, the Mohawks were dominating the Lions.
Even after the Lions (3-0) got within one score on a 63-yard TD pass from Mallory to Jonathon Zedar, the Mohawks (1-2) answered with a touchdown on the final drive of the first half. DeMarco capped a 12-play, 75-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge up the middle, putting his team in front 21-7 at the break.
Meyers outgained the Lions 216-116 in the first 24 minutes limiting the potent Trail offense — which has piled up the rushing yards in its first two games this season — to just 11 yards on the ground.
“I preached all week about being aggressive. I just wanted to go back to the forefront and just be aggressive and we were,” Hanson said. “Our linebackers played great. We have to make some adjustments in the secondary.”
Then something changed as the second half was a whole different story.
Trail came out of the break and put up a quick score to get back within seven at 21-14. In the final 24 minutes, Trail outscored Meyers 19-0 and held the Mohawks to just 71 yards.
Lackawanna Trail 26, Meyers 21
MEY — Jacob Brominski 5 pass from Matt DeMarco (kick failed), 2:38
MEY — DeMarco 62 run (Nate Mahalak run), 9:33
LT — Jonathon Zedar 63 pass from Vic Mallory (Mike Kearney kick), 6:05
MEY —DeMarco 1 run (Cal Lisman kick), 0:04
LT — Zedar 31 run (Kearney kick) 8:48
LT — Matt Harris 14 pass from Mallory (pass failed), 11:00
LT —Cooper Rosiak 28 pass from Mallory (pass failed), 7:07
RUSHING — MEY, Matt DeMarco 17-132, Nate Mahalak 16-56, Mark Robinson 11-44, Zahir Dunell 4-17. LT, Vic Mallory 6-(minus-26), Jared Phillips 6-33, Jonathon Zedar 8-59, Cooper Rosiak 4-13, TEAM 3-(minus-3).
PASSING — MEY, DeMarco 3-4-1-37. LT, Mallory 8-15-0-169.
RECEIVING — MEY, Jacob Brominski 1-5, Tyon Thomas 1-25, Robinson 1-1. LT, Matt Harris 1-14, Liam Dougherty 2-28, Zedar 1-63, Rosiak 2-47, Phillips 2-17.
INTERCEPTIONS — LT, Jake Adcroft
MISSED FGs — None