With the season hardly going the way the Tunkhannock Tigers expected, head coach Mike Marabell figured it was time to get back to basics.
And change a few things up.
Three losses in the first three games left the Tigers looking for answers. But Marabell quickly discovered there were even more questions.
So this week he challenged the offensive line, putting a little more of the onus on the group, and basically tried to get back to playing fundamental football.
The Tunkhannock offensive line accepted the challenge, and the Tigers got a big victory.
Tunkhannock quarterback Jack Chilson rushed for three touchdowns, the offense dominated time of possession in the first half and the Tigers picked up their first win of the season, 50-14, Friday night at Nanticoke Area.
“It’s the first time in a couple of weeks we got it going in the right direction,” Marabell said. “I think they were trying to do too much. Last year we had a little bit of success. That put so much pressure on the seniors, it just didn’t work out and we didn’t know how to react.”
While last year’s offense relied mainly on Chilson’s right arm, the Tigers have found a running game. The offensive line paved the way for 253 yards, and the Tigers ran the ball 49 times. Tunkhannock ran 44 plays in the first half to Nanticoke Area’s 16.
“We challenged the line on Sunday during film,” Marabell said. “They were begging us to run the ball and we finally did. We challenged them to get 200 yards. They rose to it and did it. I am ready to follow their lead.”
Nanticoke Area scored first when Joe Fox picked off a pass and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown. Chilson answered with his first touchdown run of the game, but the Trojans came right back and regained the lead when Mike Marcella tossed a perfect pass to Sincere Shiloh for a 59-yard touchdown play.
From there, the Tigers took control of the game.
Ty Konen, Riley Jones and Chilson each rushed for touchdowns in the second quarter to help the Tigers lead, 29-14, at the half.
“This year we have had a lot of three-and-outs,” Marabell said. “Running the ball, we are able to slow the clock down and not put a lot of pressure on the defense. Last year we were able to throw it around a little more. This year we haven’t found that rhythm.”
Marabell found a way to reward the offensive line, particularly senior Colin Porasky. After Chilson rushed for his final score of the night, and Riley Jones returned a punt for a score, Marabell gave Porasky a shot to score, and he did just that, carrying the ball over from the 4-yard line to cap the scoring.
“We talked about righting the ship and tonight was a good game to right the ship,” Marabell said. “Nanticoke Area is a good team, we are equally matched. We just did our job and it worked out for us.”
The Tigers are scheduled to face Holy Redeemer on Friday night at home.
Tunkhannock 50, GNA 14
Tunkhannock 7 22 21 050
Nanticoke 14 0 0 014
NA — Fox 56 interception return (Lukowski kick), 10:29
Tunk — J. Chilson 2 run (Montross kick), 3:45
NA- Shiloh 59 pass from Marcella (Lukowski kick), 1:14
Tunk — Konen 6 run (Montross kick), 8:39
Tunk — Jones 5 run (Montross kick), 1:54
Tunk- J. Chilson 5 run (Sickler pass from J.Chilson), :12.5
Tunk — J.Chilson 4 run (Montross kick), 8:18
Tunk — Jones 45 punt return (Montross kick), 5:39
Tunk- Porasky 4 run (Montross kick), 2:50
First Downs 19 5
Rushing-Att-Yards 49-253 31-50
Comp-Att-Int 9-13-1 4-11-0
Passing Yards 86 81
Total Yards 339 131
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 4-30 7-53
Rushing: Tunk – J.Chilson 13-83, 3 TDs; T.Konen 12-53, 1 TD; B.Schultz 9-46; M.Sickler 4-38; R.Jones 3-28, 1 TD; M.Roccograndi 3-7; C.Porasky 1-4, 1 TD; B.Christ 1-1; C.Madan 2-(-6); Team — 1-(-1). NA – A.Everett 7-28; A.Brozusky 3-23; D.Lohman 6-15; J.Fox 8-9; M.Marcella 3-(-3); L.Stachowiak 2-(-5); Team — 2-(-17).
Passing: Tunk – J.Chilson 9-13-1, 86. NA – M.Marcella 4-8-0, 81, 1 TD; S.Krzyzewski 0-3-0, 0.
Receiving: Tunk – B.Chilson 3-43; R.Jones 2-14; M.Sickler 2-14; J.Zacharias 1-3; T.Konen 1-12. NA – S.Shiloh 1-59, 1 TD; N.Penko 1-12; D.Tuthill 1-6; S.Raymer 1-4.
Interceptions: NA — J. Fox.