Indians deck Cards
Published: October 4, 2012
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PINE GROVE - What goes around comes around, and this year it was finally Millersburg's turn to lay the beatdown on Pine Grove.
After losing by a combined 76 points the last two years, and losing four straight games overall to the Cardinals, the Indians turned the tables and cruised to a 41-10 win over Pine Grove in a Tri-Valley League game on September 29 at Cardinal Stadium.
Millersburg (3-2, 2-2 TVL) got two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns from quarterback T.J. Wilson, who threw for 178 yards and rushed for 54.
The last time Millersburg beat Pine Grove before Saturday was in 2007, a 21-14 victory.
"We haven't won here in a while, and last year was ugly," Millersburg head coach Brad Hatter said, referencing Pine Grove's 53-12 win. "We used it to motivate the guys and this is a good win for us. We needed it to keep pace with other teams in the league."
Ryan Heim led Pine Grove (1-4, 1-3) with 147 yards rushing on 34 carries. However, the 12 other rushing attempts that weren't attributed to Heim totaled minus-29 yards.
"He's a terrific runner," Pine Grove head coach Jeff Sampson said of Heim. "But we had trouble producing anything outside of him.
"(Millersburg) could load up the box,'' he added, "and we just didn't make any big plays tonight."
The big plays, and the night, belonged to Millersburg. The Indians scored all six touchdowns on plays over 25 yards.
It started early as Millersburg got out to a fast start, scoring 20 points in the first quarter on Wilson's two rushing touchdowns (26 and 27 yards) while adding a 45-yard pitch-and-catch between Wilson and Josh Howard.
Howard added an 86-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, and the two-point conversion pushed the Indians' lead to 28-0 at the half.
"I wasn't quite sure how our guys would perform because we haven't won here in so long," Hatter said. "But the guys came out and were ready to go from the start. Those big plays put us in a comfort zone early on, and the guys were focused but relaxed."
Millersburg stretched the lead to 41-0 with two scores in the third quarter. Travis Lamereaux returned a fumble 75 yards before Wilson connected with Ethan Troutman for an 85-yard score on the first play of a drive.
Wilson's elusive scrambling ability was on display all night, as well as his strong arm.
"He changes the way teams have to defend us," Hatter said. "The elements he brings allows us to open up the offensive options, and all of those were working tonight."
Sampson acknowledged it made life difficult.
"They're a good team and they have weapons," Sampson said. "Containing (Wilson) is the first job, and tonight it was a difficult one. He hurt us with his arms and his legs."
On a night with plenty of negatives and disappointments, Sampson still found positives in his team's play.
"We played better in the second half than in the first," Sampson said. "The kids are working hard and the attitude is still very positive. As long as that's happening, we'll continue to improve each week."