Lackawanna Trail’s rushing attack overpowered Montrose in a 54-13 win in a Lackawanna Football Conference Division IV game Friday night at Lions Pride Stadium.
Ray Melnikoff and Josh Brown each ran for two touchdowns during the first half to help Lackawanna Trail (2-1, 2-0 LFC Division IV) take a commanding, 47-7 lead.
Melnikoff, who accounted for 90 yards on five carries, credited the Lions offensive line for creating big holes throughout the contest.
“They really understand their jobs and they were dominating all night,” Melnikoff said. “They’ve been working harder than I’ve ever seen and they’re starting to figure it out.”
Brown started the Lions’ scoring with a 14-yard run on an inside handoff with 6:23 left in the first quarter. Guard Ty Vokes had a key block on the run.
“We work hard together every day in practice,” Vokes said. “All five of us do everything as a team and it really builds a bond between us.”
After Trail’s Cole Choplosky recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, the Lions converted the turnover into points when Melnikoff scored on a 19-yard run.
Lackawanna Trail quarterback Nico Berrios converted both pass attempts and found Jeffrey Resto, who leaked out of the backfield, for a 23-yard touchdown to put the Lions ahead, 21-0, late in the first quarter.
Brown played a big role in the Lions defense forcing the Meteors into minus-8 rushing yards and put a big hit on Montrose quarterback Ethan Cina for a 5-yard loss to set the tone in the second quarter.
“I just blitzed my gap,” Brown said. “I knew where the defensive linemen were going and they gave me a big lane to go through and hit him.”
Brown scored his second touchdown on an 11-yard run on the Lions’ next possession.
Melnikoff continued Trail’s strong ground game by breaking a 59-yard run, before scoring from three yards out to put the Lions up, 34-0.
Kody Cresswell took advantage of his only carry of the game by racing 73 yards for a touchdown to give Lackawanna Trail a 40-0 lead.
Montrose (1-1, 0-1) got on the board when Ethan Cina connected with Dominic Palmatier on a 70-yard strike late in the second quarter. The duo also hooked up for an 80-yard touchdown in the fourth.
Lackawanna Trail struck again, just before halftime, when Luke Baldwin scored on a 63-yard run. Johann Ella added a rushing touchdown in the third quarter for the Lions.
Trail 54, Montrose 13
Montrose 0 7 0 6 13
Trail 21 26 7 0 54
LT - Brown 14 run (Melnikoff kick). 6:23
LT - Melnikoff 19 run (Melnikoff kick). 3:38
LT - Resto 23 pass from Berrios (Semken kick). :04.8
LT - Brown 11 run (Semken kick). 8:56
LT - Melnikoff 3 run (kick failed). 7:04
LT - Cresswell 73 run (kick failed). 3:42
MON - Palmatier 70 pass from Cina (Rogers kick). 1:29
LT - Baldwin 63 run (Melnikoff kick). 1:05
LT - J. Ella 3 run (Semken kick). 3:40
MON - Palmatier 80 pass from Cina (kick failed). 5:13
First Downs 7 18
Rushg-Att-Yds 20-8 37-456 Comp-Att-Int 9-22-1 2-2-0
Passing Yards 227 41
Total Yards 219 497
Punts-Average 5-27.0 0-0.0
Fumbles-Lost 4-1 2-2
Penalties-Yards 6-35 2-20
Rushing: MON-E. Cina 8-11; H. Taylor 5-(-13); C. Harder 4-0; Team - 3-(-6). LT – T. Rozanski 6-135; R. Melnikoff 5-90, 2 TDs; K. Cresswell 1-73, 1 TD; L. Baldwin 1-63, 1 TD; J. Resto 4-55; J. Brown 4-23, 2 TDs; J. Ella 10-18, 1 TD; X.Toward 4-0; Team - 2-(-1).
Passing: MON – E. Cina 7-17-1, 195, 2 TDs; G. Brown2-5-0, 32. LT– N. Berrios 2-2-0, 41, 1TD.
Receiving: MON – D. Palmatier 6-185, 2 TDs;
D. Geertgens 2-7; L. Rought 2-35. LT – J. Resto 1-23, 1 TD; O. Lisk 1-18.