Saturday, September 2, 2023

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Blue Mountain Edges Out North Schuylkill

Blue Mountain edged by North Schuylkill Friday night for their Week 2 Football matchup.

Spartan Stadium was alive with excitement as both Blue Mountain and North Schuylkill high school football teams entered following their triumphant week 1 performances. 

Blue Mountain had tamed Jim Thorpe, while North Schuylkill had vanquished Mount Carmel.

The game kicked off with North Schuylkill winning the toss and opting to receive, setting the stage for an electrifying showdown.

The first quarter saw the Spartan's initial offensive drive falling short, unable to breach Blue Mountain's defense. Blue Mountain, on the other hand, made a statement with a touchdown run by Payton Fasnacht. However, a missed field goal left the score at 6-0 as the clock ticked down to 3:08 in the 1st quarter.

As the dust settled on the opening quarter, Blue Mountain held a slim 6-0 lead.

The 2nd quarter brought some twists and turns to the contest. Blue Mountain coughed up the football with 10:51 remaining, but North Schuylkill seized the opportunity and recovered the ball on the 31-yard line. However, just two plays later, Blue Mountain's defense returned the favor with an interception at the 10:13 mark.

Blue Mountain's quarterback, Tyler Miller darted into the end zone with 5:17 left in the 2nd quarter. Unfortunately, the 2-point conversion was unsuccessful.  Blue Mountain led 12-0

With only 2:14 remaining in the 2nd quarter, Spartan backup quarterback Caden Mengel seized the spotlight, running the ball in putting North Schuylkill on the board. Gavin Mentzer's extra point was good, giving Blue Mountain still holding onto the lead 12-7.

As halftime arrived, the scoreboard displayed Blue Mountain 12, North Schuylkill 7.

The 3rd quarter was a rollercoaster of emotions. North Schuylkill's Rick Halford carried the pigskin into the end zone with 5:40 left, and the extra point was good. North Schuylkill surged ahead 14-12.

A pivotal moment came when Blue Mountain's punt resulted in a North Schuylkill fumble, returning possession to Blue Mountain with 2:24 left in the 3rd quarter.

With just 1:56 remaining in the 3rd quarter, Payton Fasnacht of Blue Mountain powered through for another touchdown. However, the 2-point conversion attempt fell short again, leaving the score at Blue Mountain 18, North Schuylkill 14.

The end of the 3rd quarter signaled a tense battle with Blue Mountain holding a slight 18-14 advantage.

The 4th quarter intensified the drama. Mentzer's clutch 33-yard field goal with 10:25 on the clock brought North Schuylkill within striking distance at 18-17.

North Schuylkill desperately sought to regain momentum but faltered with a costly fumble at 7:53 in the 4th quarter, allowing Blue Mountain to recover.

With just 52 seconds left on the clock, North Schuylkill made one last valiant attempt but fell short, turning the ball over on downs.

In the end, it was Blue Mountain who emerged victorious with an 18-17 triumph, improving their record to 2-0. They now prepare to face Northwestern Lehigh in an exciting Week 3 matchup.

Meanwhile, North Schuylkill, now standing at 1-1, looks ahead to their clash with Pine Grove.

Story and Photos by J. Reed / Skook News