H.S. Football: Milton defeats Shamokin Area
MILTON - Some losses are about getting beat up for 48 minutes.
Others are about precise moments.
Shamokin's 49-13 loss to Milton Saturday may seem lopsided and fruitless, but the Indians really can point to one stop when they lost the battle in the trenches.
With the ball on the Black Panthers' eight yard line, Shamokin had two cracks to convert a first down from just inches away. Each time, the Indians were stopped. To add injury to insult, Indians' fullback Draven Miller, who left
last week's loss to Lewisburg with an injury, seemed to get dinged again on one of the stops.
Milton then turned around and with a 20-7 lead at that point already, drove 92 yards on seven plays for a touchdown.
In the span of 2 minutes and 30 seconds exactly, Shamokin went from closing to within one score to scrambling to get back into the game.
"That was hard," Shamokin Area head coach Yaacov Yisrael said. "Those are the times where each team digs deep and those are the moments we need to overcome. That's the difference right now - those third-and-ones, fourth-and-ones. The other team might get them, but we're trying to get them. And that's where we're at, we're trying to figure out how to put it together."
The Black Panthers started the game with a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game by Josh Brown.
After a quick three and out under Indians' starting quarterback Sean McLaughlin, the Black Panthers needed just five more plays to score. This time, Milton quarterback Brady Chappell bought time with his feet while Corey Kriner got open in the back of the end zone. The result was a 34-yard touchdown toss to put Milton up 12-0.
But Shamokin found an identity offensively on its next drive. McLaughlin seemed at ease running the option attack, while completing a screen pass to John Demsko for 11 yards on third-and-seven. The Indians drove 65 yards and the drive was capped by a four-yard run by McLaughlin.
"Offensively, I think we're looking much better. I feel like we moved the ball. It was just some mental focus-type things we're trying to get over the hump with," Yisrael said.
The Indians' defense had no answer for Milton, though, and the Black Panthers scored again on their next possession.
The next eight minutes of the game were all Shamokin. The Indians picked up small amounts of yardage consistently and converted two fourth downs before the fourth down stop by Milton at the eight.
But the bad news for Shamokin didn't stop there.
With under a minute left in the first half, McLaughlin threw his first interception of the night. Milton turned that into a quick score when Chappell scrambled again and connected with Clayton Messinger on a 33-yard strike with 20 seconds left on the clock.
Then the Indians fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Chappell wasted no time getting the ball to Greg Shultz, who made a nice play to come back for an underthrown ball and snuck by Indians' defenders for a 39-yard touchdown with still two seconds remaining in the half.
When all was said and done, Milton went into the locker room with a 42-7 lead to put the game into mercy rule to start the third quarter.
"Defensively, we had letdowns," Yisrael said. "The first play they came out and scored. We were trying to figure out the offense, and I think we got that figured out. Now, we're trying to figure it out defensively."
Shamokin 7 0 0 6 - 13
Milton 12 30 0 7 - 49