Summit Academy rushes by Deer Lakes
The wait for a win continues for Deer Lakes' first-year coach T.J. Wiley and his Lancers.
Hopeful to get a homecoming victory, Deer Lakes came up short against Summit Academy, which won the Allegheny Conference game 46-8 on Friday at Lancers Stadium.
Deer Lakes (0-6, 0-5) struggled to slow the rushing attack of Summit Academy (3-3, 3-2), which had 435 yards on the ground and 462 total yards. The Knights attempted only one pass, a 27-yard completion by junior quarterback J'Ron Hill-Phillips.
“It's just missed opportunities,” Wiley said. “I mean, in the first half, we were able to play with them good.”
Miscues also hurt the Lancers. Trailing 16-8, midway through the second quarter, Deer Lakes looked to answer a 25-yard touchdown run by Summit Academy sophomore running back Elijah Hardy. But the ensuing kickoff bounced off a Deer Lakes player, and Summit Academy recovered.
Deflation followed for Deer Lakes, as eight plays later, Hardy scored again to make the score 22-8. Hardy finished with 195 yards on 24 carries and scored four touchdowns.
“You probe and look for where you're going to be successful,” Summit Academy coach Steve Sherer said. “We saw things we could do, and we attacked that area. Hardy ran hard and pretty well.”
Deer Lakes had an opportunity to get back in the game at the start of the second half. It began the third quarter on offense, but what looked to be a promising drive — Deer Lakes moved the ball to the Summit Academy 22 — ended with a turnover. Senior quarterback Josh Plocki threw his second interception, as sophomore DeAngelo King stepped in front of the pass.
Plocki was 6 for 14 for 52 yards. He added 22 yards on the ground, including a 15-yard touchdown run.
Deer Lakes' defense didn't give up. The following Summit Academy drive lasted just one play; the Lancers recovered a Hardy fumble at the Summit Academy 25-yard line. But an illegal procedure penalty, and a 9-yard loss followed by a 7-yard sack resulted in a Deer Lakes' punt from the Summit Academy 45.
“I've got to keep these kids believing,” Wiley said. “I've got to keep them motivated. I'll do everything in my power. I'm not quitting; I'm not a quitter. My kids just have to stay the course these last three games. I truly believe we can get some wins to the end the year and springboard us into the offseason.”
D.J. Vasil is a freelance writer.