Rolka, Defense Lead Lackawanna Trail
CLINTON TWP. — In a defensive struggle, Lackawanna Trail needed a play against Lake-Lehman on Friday night.
The Lions faced a fourth and 3 on their 39 with the game tied in the third quarter, and lined up in punt formation.
Instead, the snap went to quarterback Nate Rolka, who fought through a few tackles to get the first down.
Eight plays later, the drive ended in a touchdown, which proved to be the game-winner as Lackawanna Trail edged Lake-Lehman, 17-7, at Lions Pride Stadium.
“You practice that stuff all year and you don’t want to take that stuff to the grave so to speak,” Lackawanna Trail coach Steve Jervis said. “When the time is right, you kind of have to use it and I thought getting the ball in Nate’s hands, he made a good play for us there.”
Rolka also converted on third down during the third-quarter touchdown drive, which Jeffrey Resto capped with an 11-yard run, that gave the Lions (8-1) a 14-7 lead.
“We wanted this for senior night and to get the home field advantage for the district final game,” Rolka said. “We talk about it in practice all the time. It’s just about everybody giving 100 percent and knowing where to get to and getting to the down marker.”
After forcing a Lake-Lehman (6-3) punt on the ensuing possession, Lackawanna Trail killed the fourth-quarter clock with a 10-play drive.
Rolka capped the drive with a 30-yard field goal to secure the win for the Lions.
“The line did a great job projecting,” Rolka said of the field-goal attempt. “There really wasn’t a rush on that or anything. The overall team effort was phenomenal.”
Lackawanna Trail scored first in the second quarter on Cody Moyle’s 3-yard touchdown run to give the Lions a 7-0 lead.
Lake-Lehman answered with quarterback Ethan Adams’ 3-yard touchdown run before the end of the half. He set himself up with a bruising, 68-yard run down the sideline three play earlier.
Other than the long run, the Black Knights struggled to get anything going against the Lackawanna Trail defense.
“Lackawanna Trail does what Lackawanna Trail does,” Lake-Lehman coach Gerald Gilsky said. “I don’t care what kind of team you have out there. Their kids follow along with their system and really do believe in it. They just ate the clock up and we couldn’t get the ball.”
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