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Southmoreland Middle School gridders fall to Indiana

| Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

In the world of football, there are up times, down times, and times where teams simply try and rebuild a program.

For the Southmoreland Middle School football team and head coach Mike Russin, the past two seasons have held a part of all three of those ingredients.

Last season, the Scotties were on the rise. They played stingy defense and got just enough offense to have a very successful 6-2 season.

With 20 experienced eighth-graders moving on to the varsity program, the Scots expected to be down a bit this season.

But no one expected the Scotties to be 0-5 at this point of the 2013 season.

Southmoreland lost for the fifth time Oct. 9, when Indiana handed the Scotties a 30-22 loss.

Indiana led, 24-0, at the half, but the Scotties did not go away quietly.

Southmoreland cut the lead to 24-6 early in the third quarter when Jaden Datz hauled in a 35-yard screen pass from Jonathan Leighty. Leighty then found Mark Farmer on a slant route on the two-point conversion to make it 24-8.

Cole Leasure recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and Farmer and Leighty hooked up once again, this time from 15 yards out and the Scotties were back in the game at 24-14. Leighty added the extra two points with a nifty run to cut the deficit to 24-16.

Indiana upped its lead to 30-16 when Tom Evans scored his third touchdown of the game early in the final period.

Datz cut the lead to 30-22 when he scored with 40 seconds left in the game on a jet sweep.

Indiana fell on the ball when Southmoreland tried another onside kick and ran out the clock to hang on to the win.

“We were proud of the way the kids showed some heart and determination and made a strong comeback,” Russin said. “They never gave up and finally played four full quarters even though the score was not in our favor.”

As of press time, the Scotties had two games remaining this season.

Mark King is a contributing writer.