By The Daily Item staff
Friday night's game between unbeaten Pine Grove and visiting Line Mountain featured the Nos. 1 and 2 rushers in the Tri-Valley League.
But the No. 1 had the better of it in this one, a 35-0 Cardinals' victory.
Pine Grove's Ryan Heim increased his lead with a 201-yard, three-touchdown performance (and added an interception return TD) and now has 1,527 for the season. Line Mountain's Cory Warford had 969 coming in, but was held to 21.
Pine Grove coach Jeff Sampson said Warford was the focus of his defense and it paid off.
"We preached to our kids all week what a tough runner Warford was and how we had to get low on him and we had to gang-tackle him, and that's what we did," Sampson said.
n JUST RUN THE BALL: The Eagles were playing the Cardinals tough early, holding them scoreless in the first quarter as the Cardinals were mixing things up with runs by Heim and passes by quarterback Steve Zimmerman.
"I thought we got away from what we do and that's run the ball and that was my fault," Sampson said.
But he also said the Eagles are tough defensively and had a good scheme against the Cardinals.
But when he decided to run the ball with Heim, things turned in the Cardinals' favor.
"Once we established the running game, we got things rolling, but they are a good football team," Sampson said.
n NO QUIT THIS TIME : One thing Line Mountain coach Rodney Knock has wanted from his young team is to play four quarters, no matter the score. He got that against Pine Grove and that's something positive he was able to take from the game.
He said that even down 21-0 at the half his players remained upbeat.