Solid Effort Not Enough For Tigers

Posted: October 21, 1991

Harry S Truman went into its Suburban One American Liberty Division matchup at Methacton Saturday with two missions. The Tigers wanted to go home with a victory, and they wanted to stop the turnover problem that had plagued them.

They were only partially successful. They improved in the turnover department - they had only 2 - but lost, 22-20, despite a solid effort on both sides of the ball.

"It seems like we're always one step, one fumble, one block away from winning the game," Truman coach Jan Cechak said. "But we did a nice job of shutting them down inside and on the outside."

Truman (1-6, 1-3) got off to a slow start, failing to move the ball after the opening kickoff. Methacton took the punt and marched to a well-executed 13-play, 52-yard drive that ended with a 9-yard touchdown catch by the Warriors' Pat Mullady to give Methacton a 7-0 lead.

After forcing Truman to punt again, Methacton seemed ready to break the game open. Starting from the Truman 40 after a 20-yard punt, the Warriors went to the Tigers' 1-yard line. But the Truman defense came up with a superb goal- line stand, stopping Methacton four straight times.

After a punt, Truman's Anthony McClease intercepted Warriors quarterback Tom Cresswell at the Methacton 26. Three plays later, Tigers' tailback Rodney Hancock, who finished with 103 yards on 12 carries, burst down the left sideline for a 24-yard scoring run to put Truman within a point, 7-6, with 8:41 left in the half.

On their next possession, the Tigers took their first and only lead of the game. Starting at their own 47-yard line, they went to the Warriors' 2-yard line in seven plays, including two option pitch runs from quarterback Lex Kolaris to Jeremy Romer that accounted for 40 yards.

On second-and-goal from the 2, the Tigers took advantage of a fortunate bounce. Kolaris handed off to Romer, who fumbled. The ball bounced into the end zone, where it was scooped up by Kolaris for the score.

Methacton answered with a score of its own. The Warriors went from their own 33 in eight plays to regain the lead for good when Cresswell tossed his second touchdown pass of the day, this one to Sal Sutera from 1 yard out with only 24 seconds left in the half.

The Warriors started the second half where they left off in the first, driving for a 62-yard, 12-play gain that was aided by two lucky bounces. On a third-and-8 play, Cresswell dumped a pass to fullback Eric Klein. The ball was tipped by one of the Truman defenders and caught by Klein, who picked up 12 yards to keep the drive going. Cresswell ran in from 1 yard out for the score.

The point-after attempt that would ultimately prove to be the game-winner had Methacton benefiting from another lucky bounce. The snap was fumbled and picked up by Sutera, who threw a desperation pass into the end zone. The ball was batted by a Tiger defender and caught by Cresswell for the conversion.

Late in the fourth quarter, Truman got within striking distance of the Warriors. The Tigers scored on the 10th play of a 64-yard drive when Kolaris threw a 10-yard pass to Matt Lee. The conversion was good, pulling them within 2 points with only 51 seconds left.

Methacton recovered the onside kick, but Truman got the ball back with 25 seconds left. The Tigers got to the Methacton 33-yard line with 7 seconds left, but Kolaris' pass fell short as time expired.

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