FACTORYVILLE — Lake-Lehman entered the first football game of the season with a plan. Run the ball, and run it often, behind their powerful offensive line anchored by Penn State recruit Connor McGovern.
Eleven Black Knights combined to rush for 377 yards led by senior Joey Vigil, who gained 282 yards on 13 carries and scored three touchdowns during Lake-Lehman’s 31-7 win over Lackawanna Trail on Friday night.
“Joey had a phenomenal game, Nick (Eury) had a great game and I thought we did all right up front, but there is a lot of room for improvement,” Lake-Lehman head coach Jerry Gilsky said.
Eury carried the ball 11 times for 49 yards and also returned a punt 59 yards for a touchdown.
The Black Knights struck first when Vigil burst through the left side of the Lions’ defense for a 63-yard touchdown run on the third play of the game.
“It all starts with the line, and our line is huge,” Vigil said. “They are quick and physical. I was out (of action) a lot last year so I just tried to make a comeback.”
Lake-Lehman (1-0) limited Lackawanna Trail to just 12 combined yards on the first two possessions and Vigil scored his second touchdown of the game on a 40-yard run. The score capped an eight-play, 98-yard drive with 7:39 left in the second quarter after Trail punter Thomas Huffsmith had pinned the Black Knights at their own 2-yard line.
Lackawanna Trail (0-1) advanced to the Lake-Lehman 34-yard line on the ensuing drive but turned the ball over on a fumble. Nine plays later, Lehman kicker Ian Dawsey converted a 22-yard field goal to give the Black Knights a 17-0 lead heading into halftime.
“Offensively, we just couldn’t get into a rhythm,” Lackawanna Trail head coach Steve Jervis said. “We’d have a penalty or a dropped pass. They’re things that are fixable, we just want to get back and do a little better next Friday.”
Eury’s punt return gave the Black Knights 24-0 advantage with 7:12 remaining in the third quarter.
On the next possession, Lackawanna Trail had another sustained drive, advancing the ball to the Lake-Lehman 24-yard line. But a 14-yard loss on a third-down sack forced a punt.
Huffsmith knocked his second punt of the game inside the 4-yard line, but Vigil raced up the sidelines for 92-yard touchdown to give the Black Knights a 31-0 lead with 10:23 left in the game.
Rocco Pacini put the Lions on the scoreboard with a 10-yard touchdown run to end a three-play, 40-yard drive with 3:03 left in the game after Lake-Lehman’s punter had trouble with a snap.
Lake-Lehman 31, Lackawanna Trail 7
LL — Joey Vigil 63 run (Ian Dawsey kick), 10:25
LL — Vigil 40 run (Dawsey kick), 7:39
LL — Dawsey 22 field goal, 21.9
LL — Nick Eury 59 punt return (Dawsey kick), 7:12
LL — Vigil 92 run (Dawsey kick), 10:23
LT — Rocco Pacini 10 run (Tyler Baltrusaitis kick), 3:03
RUSHING — LL, Vigil 13-282, Eury 11-49, Jesse Tomolonis 2-14, Trey Borger 2-13, Matt Benn 3-7, Kyler Space 2-6, Tyler Wojciechowski 1-4, Jake Tomolonis 1-3, Charlie Kuschke 2-1. LT, Thomas Huffsmith 9-71, Tyler Baltrusaitis 9-42, Anthony Berrios 4-30, James Gillespie 8-17, Rocco Pacini 1-10, Nathan Rolka 2-(minus-28)
PASSING — LL, Vince Ferrari 2-5-1-23. LT, Baltrusaitis 2-3-0-16, Nathan Rolka 2-6-0-25.
RECEIVING — LL, Eury 2-25, Borger 1-8. LT, Gillespie 2-29, Huffsmith 1-12, Matt Bergey 1-0.
INTERCEPTIONS — LT, Berrios 1-5
MISSED FGs — None.
Reach Rob Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.