By The Daily Item
FUN SEASON: Line Mountain's senior first-year starter at quarterback, Cole Rickert, got to shine this season as the Eagles opened up the passing game while using both their vaunted dive-option and spread attacks. They went back to the option more in the District 4 Class A semifinal Friday at Southern Columbia, but still aired it out as Rickert threw for 256 yards and a touchdown.
Rickert, who will attend Lycoming College but not play football, added, "I would have preferred to win, but we played a great game. No one gave us a chance, we played to the end. It ended the way I wanted to, other than the loss.
"Tonight they gave us some looks and all the receivers made plays and the line blocked for me. It was fun to play in," he said.
WEARING THEM DOWN: Both coaches, Southern's Jim Roth and Line Mountain's Rodney Knock, agreed that the Tigers' advantage in their number of one-way players wore down the Eagles in the second half.
"They did a great job in the second half and wore us down. Our senior corps of kids, all 14 of them, give or take a couple, were on the field 95 percent of the time," Knock said.
ONE LAST SHOT: The Eagles led 14-0 and 21-7 but found themselves behind 28-21 when junior fullback Adam Feudale scored on a 44-yard screen pass from senior Taylor Young with 3 minutes, 18 seconds left in the game.
Rickert drove the Eagles from their own 20-yard line all the way to the Tigers' 35 before finally seeing their season end when Southern linebacker Mitch Stanziale hit Rickert as he threw the ball and it was deflected and picked off by Matt Klock, on the 13th play of the Eagles' final drive.
A big play on the drive came with the Eagles facing a fourth-down-and-three at their own 37. Rickert faked the dive, stepped back and hit a wide-open Dillan Michael for a first down at the Eagles' 45. Southern's Luke Rarig caught Michael to prevent a TD.