Throughout the championship Lake-Lehman regular season, Pete Borum made a constant impact with his role as a two-way lineman on a team that produced a pair of 1,000-yard rushers.
The job of a lineman, even one who is 6-foot-7 and 315 pounds, often goes unnoticed, particularly on offense where Borum’s personal success relies on precision work of a unit including the other tackle, two guards, a center and even the one or two tight ends the Black Knights use, depending on formation.
It was impossible to miss Borum’s presence on defense, however, when the playoffs opened Nov. 8 at Edward Edwards Stadium.
Borum pronounced himself ready for the postseason by making tackles on the first three plays of the game as Lake-Lehman overpowered Susquehanna up front, 35-0, in the semifinals to reach the District 2 Class AA championship game for the first time in 16 years. The Black Knights played for that title Friday night, putting a 10-game winning streak on the line as they tried to land a spot in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association tournament.
“It’s a playoff game; everybody’s pumped up,” Borum said. “Everybody’s ready to go.
“I was real excited.”
It showed in Borum’s play in what he acknowledged might have been his best defensive game of the season.
By the time Susquehanna had run seven offensive plays, Borum already had five tackles, including one for loss and one for no gain. He took away much of the inside running threat in the Sabers’ volatile veer option game.
“I was just trying to read what their running backs were doing,” said Borum, who teams with Dustin Jones as defensive tackles. “I was holding my guy, sitting in the hole and seeing what was happening.
“Dustin and I were responsible for the running back behind the quarterback.”
Borum had eight tackles in the first half. On a night when Susquehanna ran just 34 plays against the starting Lake-Lehman defense, Borum finished with a team-high nine tackles, assisted on two others, batted down one pass and rushed the quarterback into an incompletion on another.
Lake-Lehman coach Jerry Gilsky has been able to count on the play of Borum, and the teammates with which he works most often, throughout the season. He credits Borum, Jones and Brady Butler for taking away the inside from opposing offense and Borum, Luke Hummel, Cory Hoyt, Phil Hetters, Conner McGovern, Zach Brucher and Kody Pachamovitch for providing the blocking that has allowed Lake-Lehman to remain almost exclusively on the ground while averaging more than 42 points per game.
“We’re very athletic and very physical up front,” Gilsky said.
Borum shows his athleticism year-round at Lake-Lehman where he is also a standout as a center on the basketball team and a pitcher in baseball season.
The Black Knights had other players excel in the playoff opener.
Jones carried 20 times for 125 yards, three touchdowns and a two-point conversion. Joey Vigil carried seven times for 124 yards, including a pair of 51-yard runs to set up scores, and also returned an interception 44 yards. Antonio Ferrari threw a touchdown pass and made an interception. Pachamovitch caught the touchdown pass and Wright ran for the other score.