LEHMAN TWP. — Right after Lake-Lehman running back Dustin Jones scored his third touchdown Friday night, the stadium announcer decided to add a nickname — The Bulldozer.
The Bulldozer. The Freight Train. The Runaway Dump Truck. Any would have fit. Even Albino Rhino.
Yeah, Albino Rhino. That has a nice ring to it.
“It used to be Albino Rhino because I’m really, really white,” said the blond-haired, 250-pound senior. “Whatever is good.”
All that was missing from Jones’ performance was a horn on his helmet as he pounded Northwest for a career-high 374 yards and three touchdowns in the Black Knights’ 38-27 victory in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2A-A game.
The victory put Lehman (6-1) in control of the division with three games remaining. Northwest fell to 5-2.
“It’s a luxury having him. I’ve always said that,” Lehman coach Jerry Gilsky said. “But you can’t give Dustin all the credit. You have to look at that front line. Up front, the battle was won by the line.”
Jones didn’t forget those big guys — senior Pete Borum, juniors Phil Hettes, Cory Hoyt and Alex Major and sophomore Connor McGovern. They created some big holes at times and at others Jones snapped through tacklers.
Jones started his night with a 65-yard run to the Northwest 2-yard line. He lost a fumble on the next play, but knew the stage was set for some more big runs.
“The line blocked perfectly,” said Jones, whose effort gave him a second consecutive 1,000-yard season. “The cutbacks are there, you just have to keep it up all night and it’s going to be a good night.”
Lehman led 20-7 at halftime despite some sloppy play. The Black Knights fumbled five times in the first two quarters, losing two. But they were able to establish their running game and got a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown by defensive back Josh Winters. It was Winters’ second interception return for a touchdown this year and Lehman’s fourth overall.
Meanwhile, Northwest running back Austin Mazonkey, who went over 1,000 yards last week, was held in check. He had just 41 yards on 16 carries in the first half. He finished with 37 yards on 18 rushes.
Still, the Rangers pulled within 20-13 midway through the third quarter as quarterback Logan Womelsdorf plunged into the end zone from a yard out to cap an eight-play, 67-yard drive. Lehman, though, scored on its next three possessions, one touchdown coming on an 11-yard run by Bobby Wright and the others on TD runs of 28 and 16 yards by Jones.
“Dustin Jones is a beast, he ran the ball very well, and hats off to Lake-Lehman,” Northwest coach Carl Majer said. “But hey, we were right there. Anytime we could have changed the momentum if we could have stopped them on one drive. We were within striking distance.”
Womelsdorf tried to rally the Rangers through the air with a pair of second-half touchdown passes. He finished 14-of-21 for 156 yards and three touchdown passes. It was the second consecutive game he has thrown three TD passes.
Northwest 38, Northwest 27
LL — Josh Winters 35 interception return (kick blocked), 7:48
NWT — Dakota Bowman 3 pass from Logan Womelsdorf (Jeremy Walsh kick), 10:27
LL — Dustin Jones 54 run (Jones run), 5:12
LL — Joey Vigil 13 run (kick failed), 1:03
NWT — Womelsdorf 1 run (kick blocked), 6:55
LL — Bobby Wright 11 run (run failed), 3:28
LL — Jones 28 run (run failed), 1:16
NWT — Eric Gurzynski 26 pass from Womelsdorf (kick blocked), 6:55
LL — Jones 16 run (run failed), 4:28
NWT — Nick Long 31 pass from Womelsdorf (Zach Fernandez from Womelsdorf), 2:39
RUSHING — Northwest, Austin Mazonkey 18-37, Womelsdorf 6-11, Tyler Burger 2-21. Lehman, Jones 29-374, Vigil 9-36, Brady Butler 7-37, Wright 5-38, Josh Sayre 1-(minus-4), team 1-(minus-1).
PASSING — Northwest, Womelsdorf 14-21-1-156, Mazonkey 0-1-0-0. Lehman, Antonio Ferarri 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — Northwest, Bowman 1-3, Long 8-89, Gurzynski 3-51, Mazonkey 2-13.
INTERCEPTIONS — Lehman, Winters 1-35.
MISSED FGs — None.