By: Wes Brink | Williamsport Sun-Gazette | September 22, 2007 | Photo courtesy Wes Brink
Chris Lusk is a coach and a teacher, but on Friday, he was also a clairvoyant. The South coach said that if running backs Patton Bartholomew and Wade Morehart each got over 100 yards, South would probably win. The duo reached that mark, and then some.
Bartholomew and Morehart combined to rush for 289 yards as South controlled the game with a solid ground attack to score its first win of the season with a 20-9 win over Troy at Rodney K. Morgans Stadium.
"That was our gameplan coming in. We had to control the clock and keep our pace," said Lusk. "The last couple of weeks we've gotten a little gassed and we needed to be able to control the pace and we have kids that can run the football and we just have to make up our minds that that's what we have to do."
Morehart, who rushed for 132 yards on 28 carries, may have scored South's most important touchdown to open the second half. The Mounties missed a golden opportunity to score at the end of the first half, failing on a fourth-down attempt at the four-yard line with time running out.
But Morehart and the South offense put that in the back of its mind and took the initial possession of the third quarter 69 yards and took four minutes off of the clock. Every play involved either Bartholomew or Morehart as the latter scored from nine yards out to give his team a 14-3 advantage.
"When we went back in the locker room we went back to the drawing board and coach talked to the lineman about what to do. We just came out and executed perfectly like we did all week in practice," said Morehart, who also had an interception. "We came out and just executed perfectly. We went over the game plan all week and we practice those plays all week repeatedly."
"That's what we needed to do," said Lusk. "We needed to take it out and punch it in and the kids executed perfectly there. I think when you can do that it just wears on a team and wears them down a little bit especially when you have some size with you. The kids came out and did everything we asked of them to do tonight."
South's defense forced a three-and-out on Troy's first possession of the game and Brett Rooney blocked a punt to give the Mounties the ball at the 33-yard line. Bartholomew, a 5-foot-9, 200 pound sophomore, scored his only touchdown of the night with 6:35 to play in the first quarter. Bartholomew finished with a game-high 157 yards on 26 carries.
Troy, which knocked off North Penn 34-7 last week, got as close to 14-9 late in the third quarter when Vance Spencer scored from a yard out, but the Mounties answered with another long scoring drive. This one lasted nearly six minutes long and went 63 yards before Morehart scored from four yards out with 10 minutes to go.