Lackawanna Trail came out fast, scoring four touchdowns in the first quarter to roll to a 55-0 win over Holy Cross in a Lackawanna Football Conference Division III game Saturday at St. Anthony’s Memorial Park.
The quick-strike Lions (2-1 overall, 2-1 Division III) scored the four touchdowns in nine plays in the quarter, covering 135 yards.
After forcing a punt to open the game, Lackawanna Trail took over at the Holy Cross 35-yard line.
On their first play, junior Nathan Rolka dropped back and hit junior Noah Coleman in stride over the middle for a touchdown.
The Lions’ defense then forced a punt on the Crusaders’ (0-3, 0-2) next possession.
On Trail’s next drive, sophomore Jeffrey Resto ripped off a 45-yard gain on first down, then capped the three-play drive with a 6-yard touchdown run to give the Lions a 14-0 lead.
“Having a quick start, spreading the ball around, was important,” Lackawanna Trail head ocach Steve Jervis said. “There were some good plays made across the field and we need to be able to do that. We need to be able to spread the ball on offense.”
Coleman returned Holy Cross’ next punt 14 yards to the Crusaders’ 38. Four plays later, junior Cody Moyle scored on a 6-yard run with 2:34 left in the opening quarter.
Then, a botched snap on a punt attempt gave Lackawanna Trail the ball at the Crusaders’ 5, which led to Resto’s second rushing touchdown of the quarter on the next play to push the lead to 28-0 with 14 seconds left.
“I was just doing my job,” Resto said. “Just follow our blocks, follow our reads, see that cut and look for daylight.”
Resto finished with 57 yards rushing on four carries, while freshman Ray Melnikoff had 49 yards rushing and a touchdown on six carries.
“We wanted to have a better showing on offense,” Jervis said. “I felt there were times last Friday when we weren’t playing to our abilities. And our younger kids made some good runs so that was good to see.”
Early in the second quarter, Trail kept its foot on the gas as Rolka found Coleman again, hooking up for a 61-yard touchdown strike to push the advantage to 35-0.
“It’s not common in high school to have a kid like that that has the size, the arm strength and the accuracy,” Jervis said. “So we have to work hard to give him time because he’s definitely a weapon.”
Trail then closed out the quarter strong, with senior Quinn Jagoe finding a hole that led to a 42-yard touchdown at the 3:57 mark.
Holy Cross tried to get on the board before the half, but sophomore Nico Berrios had other ideas, intercepting a Crusader pass for 56 yards and his first varsity touchdown with 23 seconds left in the quarter.
Melkinoff also scored his first varsity touchdown in the third with an 8-yard run to end the scoring.
Trail’s defense finished the day holding Holy Cross to negative total yards.
Lackawanna Trail 55, Holy Cross 0
LT 28 21 6 0 — 0
HC 0 0 0 0 — 0
LT - N. Coleman 35 pass from N. Rolka (Rolka kick), 9:26.
LT - J. Resto 6 run (Rolka kick), 5:08.
LT - C. Moyle 6 run (Rolka kick), 2:34.
LT - Resto 5 run (Rolka kick), 0:14.
LT - Coleman 61 pass from Rolka (Rolka kick), 10:10.
LT - Q. Jagoe 42 run (Rolka kick), 3:57.
LT - N. Berrios 56 interception return (Rolka kick), 0:23.
LT - R. Melnikoff 8 run (kick failed), 3:47.
First Downs 10 1
Rushes-Yards 36-281 24-(-29)
Comp-Att-Int 3-4-0 5-7-1
Passing Yards 115 6
Total Yards 396 -23
Punts-Average 1-28 7-29
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 2-0
Penalties-Yards 1-10 2-10
Rushing: LT - J. Resto 4-57, 2 TDs; R. Melnikoff 6-49, 1 TD; Q. Jagoe 1-42, 1 TD; M. Ella 4-42; J. Noakes 9-35; J. Edwards 3-32; L. Baldwin 4-14; O. Hivner 2-6; C. Moyle 1-6, 1 TD; N. Berrios 1(-1); Team 1-(-1). HC - J. Kopf 11-17; D. Possanza 8(-20); J. Wiercinski 4-(-25); Team, 1-(-1).
Passing: LT - N. Rolka 2-3-0, 96, 2 TDs; N. Berrios 1-1-0, 19. HC - J. Wiercinski 5-7-1, 6.
Receiving: LT - N. Coleman 2-96, 2 TDs; Z. Cost 1-19. HC - D. Possanza 2-(-4); J. Kopf 1-8; J. Kowalski 1-(-2); D. Dougherty 1-4.
Interception: LT - Nico Berrios.