COAL TOWNSHIP — Back when Jimmy Brown was dominating the NFL, one of his coaches, Blanton Collier, often had to defend himself for running Brown so much.
“When you have a big gun, shoot it,” was Collier’s defense.
Southern Columbia football coach Jim Roth has a lot of guns, but one of them is 18-inch battleship artillery, disguised as fullback Henry Hynoski. It didn’t take Roth long to get that barrel smokin’ Sunday.
Hynoski carried five times for 31 yards and a three-yard touchdown on the Tigers’ first possession against Shamokin Area at packed Kemp Memorial Stadium, and by the time the game was over, the University of Pittsburgh-bound senior had carried the ball 29 times for 214 yards and four touchdowns in the Tigers’ 48-21 win over the feisty, but outmanned, Indians.
Besides the ball, Hynoski also carried linemen, linebackers, defensive ends and defensive backs.
“That’s a Division I football player,” Shamokin head coach Carmen DeFrancesco said. “In high school football, Division I players stand out, and that’s what he did tonight.”
Hynoski went past the 5,000-yard rushing mark for his career, with an unofficial total of 5,103 yards, but that wasn’t on his mind afterward. Getting the season off to a good start against one of the teams which beat the Tigers last season was.
“Coach (Roth) told me before the game that I was going to get the ball a lot,” said Hynoski. “We knew they were going to try to take away all the gaps and holes on us and we were going to have to go right at them.”
Believe it, Roth does have other weapons. Nine other Tiger backs combined for 224 more yards. But when the big fella is running well behind his line, Roth doesn’t get too playful.
“If I had it my way, I’d shove it down their throats all the time,” Roth said, chuckling. “Henry is just so tough to deal with over four quarters. The impressive thing about him is that he runs as hard on the last series as he does on the first.”

Making Hynoski all the more rugged to deal with is that he’s running behind a line anchored by another Division I player, Josh Marks. And that line is, according to Roth — who knows a thing or two about offensive lines — already dominating.
“That’s as far along as we’ve ever been at this point of a season,” said Roth. “I feel real good about that.”
He should, because the Tigers pushed around what is quite likely going to be a pretty good football team.
“That’s a good win against a quality team,” Roth told his players.
Hynoski echoed that sentiment.
“That is a tough football team,” Hynoski said. “Probably as tough as we’ll play all season.”
Indeed, the Indians never backed down. Trailing 14-0 late in the first half after Hynoski’s 16-yard touchdown capped an 11-play, 73-yard drive in the second quarter, the Indians answered just 26 seconds later when Christian Eby bounced off Austin Lonoconus on a slant pass from Marc Persing and went 51 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 14-7.
But the Tigers didn’t flinch.
“We were beating them up pretty good just running the ball, and that’s what we wanted to keep doing,” said Hynoski.
Which is precisely what they did.
The Tigers marched 78 yards in 11 plays on their first second-half drive, with Hynoski carrying six times for 44 yards and a 13-yard touchdown.
An interception by Zeke Conrad set the Tigers up on Shamokin’s 29 on the next series, and quarterback Ted Heitzman threw a 26-yard pass, his only completion, to Colby Snyder to the three, from where Dave Adams scored.
But the Indians didn’t fold.
A 63-yard screen pass from Persing to Eby set up an 11-yard touchdown pass from Persing to David Shaw, and the game was close again.
“What happened to us I knew could happen,” said Roth. “They made some big pass plays. I think our defense will be fine, though. I know we’ll be fine up front.”
Southern shot the gun again, with Hynoski carrying four times for 47 yards and a 13-yard touchdown on the next drive.
But Shamokin got another big play, a 56-yard fumble return by Zach Phillips with 7:09 left in the game, cutting the lead to 35-21. But Hynoski’s last three runs, totaling 25 yards, set Southern up at the Shamokin 34, from where Austin Carpenter broke through for a touchdown to put the game away.
Southern backup Steve Roth scored on a 31-yard run as the clock wound down.