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.
That despite the fact that he knew such a deficit would be tough to erase considering the Eagles' style of offense.
But, he said, "The kids came out and played hard and didn't give up. We did (give up) in the Williams Valley game, but I didn't think we did that (at Pine Grove)."
The Eagles lost 39-2 to the Vikings after scoring an early safety for a 2-0 lead.
n EXTRA CHANCES: Milton coach George Goodwin knew that against a talented team like Montoursville, you can't afford to give them extra chances at scoring.
Unfortunately, the Black Panthers did give extra chances.
Montoursville's tough defense forced three interceptions by Milton quarterback Brady Chappell -- including two inside the 10-yard line -- to not just prevent a Milton score, but increase Montoursville's lead as well.
n NOT IN THEIR HOUSE: Against Montoursville, Milton did have some success creating drives, as the Black Panthers had at least a seven play drive four times.
However, despite crossing into Montoursville territory on five of its seven drives, the Montoursville defense held strong against Milton, refusing to give the Black Panthers much.
Milton had three red zone trips, but only once managed to punch a touchdown in.
n BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: As a standout forward for the undefeated boys soccer team, Lewisburg kicker Max Reed doesn't get a chance to attend football practice for the Green Dragons very much during the season.
However this past week with the regular season winding down, Reed got at least one Lewisburg practice.
That allowed the football coaches to put in a special play in on special teams.
After Lewisburg scored a touchdown early in the third quarter Friday night to take a 21-0 lead over Central Columbia, Reed popped a short kickoff over the front line of the Central Columbia special teams.
Drew Newcomb got to the ball at the same time one of the Blue Jays did and won the battle, giving the Green Dragons the ball back.
"We worked on that play this week in practice," Lewisburg coach Jeremy Winn said. "Max made it to one of our practices this week with his busy schedule. It's something we worked on."
n MAKING THE MOST OF AN OPPORTUNITY: In the third quarter of Friday night's game with Central Columbia, Lewisburg cornerback Ben Frankel was forced from the field after clutching at his back after a play.
Rather than take a timeout so Frankel to come back in, Winn sent Noah Inch into replace Frankel for one play.
Central Columbia looked to take advantage of Inch, sending a receiver deep down the left side line to challenge him.
Inch made the most of his opportunity, picking off the pass.
Lewisburg has 14 interceptions this season.
n TWICE AS NICE: Danville senior cornerback Caleb Jones had two third-quarter interceptions Friday.
He picked off a Garrett Kemberling pass intended for John Schaeffer just 18 seconds into the second half. His long return across midfield led to the Ironmen's fifth touchdown.
A second interception with 4:47 left in the third quarter led to the final score in a 45-7 game.
n A LONG BOOT: Ironmen kicker Shayne Riley booted a 31-yard field goal, which was three yards off his season-long. He is 5-of-6 on field goals this season.
He also boomed his third touchback of the year.