LEHMAN TWP. – Vic Mallory read the papers. He saw the predictions.
OK, maybe he didn’t read all the scores, but he got the gist.
“Most people were picking Lehman in a close one,” the Lackawanna Trail quarterback said. “We just wanted to come in, keep the hammer down and don’t let up all game.”
Well, the senior did just that.
Mallory threw for two scores in the first half, and added his third touchdown on a short run in the third as Lackawanna Trail opened the season with a 28-13 victory over Lake-Lehman Friday night.
It was the first loss for the Black Knights on their home black turf as Lehman dropped its season opener once again. Last season, it was Old Forge that handed the defending District 2 Class 2A champs the loss.
“Everyone did their job,” Mallory said. “We knew it was going to be a war in the trenches with the linemen, and we were on them all week. We talked all week about being physical, and there were some arguments. But it paid off and everyone worked hard. The line was amazing today. Give them all the credit.”
The score says it was close. The statistics show otherwise.
Lehman was dominated up front, allowing almost 430 yards of total offense – 252 of them on the ground.
Mallory did most of his damage through the air.
The senior quarterback connected with teammate Liam Dougherty for a wide-open 67-yard strike in the first quarter, and the two later hooked up on a short 8-yard hitch route at the pylon.
Just like that, Trail took a 21-0 lead early in the first half after the Class A school opened the game on a 12-play, 64-yard drive that resulted in a short TD run.
“I feel that our secondary coverage is one of our strengths, but we made so many mistakes,” Lehman head coach Jerry Gilsky said. “Our outside backers didn’t read it well. It’s something that we will correct. Trust me on that. I just can’t get that monkey off our back. It’s five years now that I’ve lost the first game. We will go back to the drawing board and look at some things.”
The Black Knights just couldn’t find its offensive footing.
Playing without junior tailback Joey Vigil, Gilsky’s only real threat was bruising fullback Kody Pachamovitch, who accounted for 90 of Lehman’s 159 yards and both of the team’s scores.
His short 3-yard run cut the lead to 21-7 with six minutes left in the first half, and the senior crossed on the goal line on a 20-yard dash through the heart of the defense right before halftime.
Quickly, a 21-0 lead was cut to just eight at the break.
“Any time you play a team like Lake-Lehman, you are never too comfortable,” Trail head coach Steve Jervis said. “We knew that it would be a tough game. We just wanted to sustain some drives. I give a lot of credit to our offensive and defensive lines. I thought they did a great job against a talented, tough front of Lake-Lehman. We have some good athletes, and they did a good job.”
Lehman, though, couldn’t capitalize in the third quarter – turning the ball over on its first two possessions. It was the second one that hurt the most as Steven Scioscia’s interception of Antonio Ferrari set up a real short field. Trail took advantage, going just 22 yards in three plays, capped off by Mallory’s first rushing touchdown of the season.
A 13-point deficit was just too much for Lehman to overcome.
“We just didn’t perform today,” Gilsky said. “I think people are going to look at us a little differently. It’s going to be a battle because a lot of people expect us to repeat this year. And it’s my job to make sure that we are ready every game.”
Lackawanna Trail 28, Lake-Lehman 13
LT `13`8`7`0 – 28
LL `0`13`0`0 – 13
LT: Cooper Rosiak 2 run (Jared Phillips kick), 6:00
LT: Vic Mallory 67 pass to Liam Dougherty (kick missed), 3:36
LT: Mallory 8 pass to Dougherty (Rosiak run), 9:29
LL: Kody Pachamovitch 3 run (Mike Symeon kick), 6:15
LL: Pachamovitch 20 run (kick blocked), 1:52
LT: Mallory 1 run (Phillips kick), 6:32
Team Statistics `LT`LL
First Downs `20`7
Rushes-Yards `40-252 `34-126
Passing Yards `174`33
Total Yards `426`159
Sacks-Yards Lost `1-5`0-0
RUSHING: LT, Jared Phillips 17-108, Ross Fauquier 5-77, Cooper Rosiak 12-59, Rocco Pacini 1-5, Vic Mallory 3-4, Team 1-(-1). LL, Kody Pachamovitch 18-90, Nick Eury 3-12, Luke Hummel 5-9, Trey Borger 2-7, Jimmy Stuart 2-6, Antonio Ferrari 3-3, Team 1-(-1).
PASSING: LT, Vic Mallory 11-18-1, 174 yards. LL, Antonio Ferrari 2-11-2, 33 yards.
RECEIVING: LT, Liam Doughtery 6-128, Cooper Rosiak 3-18, Steven Scioscia 1-17, Ross Fauquier 1-11. LL, Josh Sayre 2-33.
INTERCEPTIONS: LT, Steven Scioscia, Tyler Baltrusaitis. LL: Antonio Ferrari.
Records: LT 1-0, LL 0-1.