Deer Lakes rallies past Summit Academy
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Deer Lakes nearly let a superb defensive effort go to waste Saturday afternoon at Summit Academy.
After yielding 53 yards and three first downs on Summit's opening drive, the Lancers gave up just 56 net yards and no first downs the rest of the way.
The Deer Lakes offense finally came to life, scoring three touchdowns in the final 10:10 of the game, and rallied for an 18-14 Allegheny Conference victory. The Lancers (3-3, 2-3), who trailed, 14-0, at halftime, took their first lead of the game with 1:18 to go on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Josh Plocki to Zach Bryner. It was Deer Lakes' third win in a row.
“I guess it's just that uniqueness of a Saturday afternoon in a pastoral setting,” said Deer Lakes coach Todd Hazlett, explaining the slow start. Plocki led the second-half surge, throwing for 156 of his 164 passing yards in the final two quarters.
“I think we definitely started running the ball better in the second half, and that opened up the pass game, and opened some lanes for our guys to go out and get the ball,” Plocki said.
Cody Keenan, who also spearheaded the defensive effort, added 117 rushing yards.
The Knights (2-4, 1-4) took charge early, going ahead, 14-0, on a pair of touchdowns by William Johnson, including a 66-yard interception return for a touchdown with 24 seconds left in the first half.
Deer Lakes finally put together a successful drive, moving 80 yards in 14 plays, capped by Brandon Newmaster's 3-yard touchdown run to make it 14-6. The key play of the drive was a 10-yard pass to John Grebonoski to the Summit 6 on fourth down. On Summit's next possession, Deer Lakes took over on downs at its own 43 and three plays later, Bryner caught a 59-yard touchdown pass from Plocki. The two-point conversion failed, however, and Summit led, 14-12.
Deer Lakes stopped Summit yet again on the ensuing series, setting the stage for the decisive Plocki-to-Bryner touchdown pass. Two Summit facemask penalties aided the drive.
“At times it broke down a little bit, but we had just enough time and the receivers made some nice plays,” Plocki said.
George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
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