By Todd Hummel
For The Daily Item
SHAMOKIN — It has all the earmarks of the classic trap game for Lewisburg.
The Green Dragons face a winless Shamokin team sandwiched around former coach Todd Tilford’s return at the helm of Shikellamy last week and a huge game with Heartland Athletic Conference-Division II and District 4 Class AA playoff implications with Montoursville.
However, coach Jeremy Winn thinks his Green Dragons won’t look past Shamokin.
“I think the best thing about this group is their ability to focus on the task at hand,” Winn said.
And just in case Lewisburg would look past Shamokin, Winn addressed that with his team on Monday afternoon.
“I told the guys we are only guaranteed five more games after this one,” Winn said. “The seniors are only guaranteed five more Mondays. We need to stay focused if we want to accomplish our goals and get into the playoffs.”
For the Green Dragons (3-1), staying on track will mean continuing their resurgence up front and continue to take care of the ball.
Lewisburg, after seven turnovers in its first-week win over Towanda, had turned the ball over just once in the next three games. That’s given an opportunistic Lewisburg defense a chance to wreak some havoc, allowing just 14 points the last two weeks, plus forcing 13 turnovers this season.
Drew Newcomb, a junior safety, has already intercepted five passes this season, while the Green Dragons secondary has seven picks this season.
Shamokin could test the Lewisburg secondary in this HAC crossover game, and Homecoming Game for the host team. The Indians have a veteran quarterback in junior Tucker Yost. Yost has thrown for 369 yards and two touchdowns. Sean McLaughlin has 19 catches for 220 yards and touchdown.
“I’ve been impressed by their passing game. They were able to move the ball against Selinsgrove through the air,” Winn said.
The Green Dragons have also rediscovered their running game the last two weeks, albeit in two completely different ways.
After junior Logan Aikey exploded with 158 yards and three scores against Hughesville two weeks ago, Lewisburg moved the ball on the ground a different way in the 14-7 win over the Braves.
With the Shikellamy defense lined up to stop the pass when the Green Dragons went to a spread set, quarterback Nick Costagliola took advantage to rush for 95 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.
Costagliola has thrown for 487 yards and four scores. He’s thrown two interceptions, but both came in the first week against Towanda. Newcomb and Ben Frankel each lead the team with nine catches.