The Lehighton Indians welcomed the Saucon Valley Panthers for their final home football game of the season. Lehighton entered with a 1-6 record while Saucon Valley entered with a 3-4 record.
Lehighton had a great first drive going, driving all the way down to Saucon Valley’s 12-yard line, but a fumble gave Saucon Valley possession of the ball on their own 19. Saucon Valley quarterback Dante Mahaffey was leading his team down the field, but left the game due to an injury, leaving Travis Riefenstahl in for the remainder of the game.
Lehighton and Saucon Valley were tied 0-0 at the end of the first quarter. Just when Saucon Valley was inches away from scoring, a fumble gave Lehighton possession on their own one-yard line. Lehighton punted the ball back to Saucon Valley.
Lehighton’s defense held strong and forced Saucon Valley to punt, but a fumble by the Lehighton returner, who appeared to be hit early, gave Saucon Valley the ball in enemy territory. A couple of plays later, Riefenstahl hit Braden Weiss for a seven-yard touchdown giving Saucon Valley the 7-0 advantage over Lehighton. With a small amount of time left in the first half, Lehighton drove 64 yards down the field deep in Saucon Valley territory. With just a handful of seconds left, an interception by Saucon Valley ended Lehighton’s drive. Saucon led Lehighton 7-0 at the half.
On their first possession of the second half, Lehighton quarterback Brady O’ Donnell hit Hunter Crum for a 22-yard touchdown tying the game up at seven apiece. On the ensuing kickoff, Lehighton’s Christian Salerno recovered the kick giving them the ball at Saucon Valley’s 35-yard line. Lehighton’s drive was stopped when freshman Jack Robertson picked off O’ Donnell giving Saucon Valley the ball on their own five-yard line. Lehighton responded with a pick of their own by freshman Deven Armbruster who took the ball back for the score giving Lehighton their first lead of the night 14-7.
Saucon Valley drove down to Lehighton’s 14-yard line, opting to go for it on fourth and goal. Riefenstahl’s pass was knocked down by Crum giving Lehighton the ball on their own 14. Lehighton led Saucon Valley 14-7 at the end of the third quarter. Three plays into the fourth quarter, Riefenstahl took the ball ten yards for a score tying the game up 14-14.
With 2:50 remaining in the game, Robertson recorded his second interception of the game, returning the ball to the Indian’s one-yard line. Riefenstahl then took the ball on the QB sneak for a touchdown. The PAT by Saucon Valley hit the left upright resulting in a 20-14 lead for Saucon Valley.
Lehighton started their drive on their own 30. Three runs by O’ Donnell put the Indians in Panther territory. Lehighton was faced with a fourth and 10 but was able to convert on an 11-yard pass from O’ Donnell to Crum. Lehighton faced a fourth and 15. O’ Donnell looked for wide receiver Ethan Buchert, but the pass fell incomplete giving Saucon Valley the ball with 30 seconds left in the game. One kneel down by Riefenstahl and time expired with Saucon Valley defeating Lehighton by a score of 20-14.
For his rushing efforts on the night, Riefenstahl was awarded the D11Sports Player of the Game. Saucon Valley improves to 4-4 on the season. Saucon Valley’s next game is Friday, October 22nd at 7:00 PM as they take on Northwestern Lehigh. Lehighton falls to 1-7 on the year. Lehighton will travel to Southern Lehigh next week on Friday, October 22nd. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7:00 PM.
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