St. Hill, Thorpe blank Blue Mtn.
ORWIGSBURG — Justin St. Hill says he’s a quarterback.
When Jim Thorpe lines up in its offensive formation, the 5-foot-10, 160-pound senior usually takes the snap from center.
But running with the football is what the speedy, shifty St. Hill does best.
Friday night in a Schuylkill League Division I game against Blue Mountain at the Eagles’ Nest, St. Hill ran his way right into the Jim Thorpe record books.
Operating out of a wildcat-like formation for most of the game, St. Hill rushed 38 times for 331 yards and four touchdowns as the Olympians blanked the Eagles 27-0 to improve to 6-0 on the season.
St. Hill is the first District 11 player to rush for
more than 300 yards in a game this season. His total is believed to be a Jim Thorpe single-game school record.
“Technically, our offense is not wildcat. I am actually a quarterback this year,” St. Hill said. “The transition was great and it’s given a lot of depth to our offense.
“I like being able to use my vision. The coaches have always said that my vision is my strong suit. So being able to see the entire field, it allows me to make my cuts. It’s really good for me.”
Basically running the same play — shotgun snap, fake handoff to C.J. Selby coming in motion, run the ball through a hole between the tackles — St. Hill carried the ball 23 times for 223 yards in the first half alone.
He had all six carries in a six-play, 88-yard drive to open the scoring early in the second quarter, setting up his 7-yard TD with a 64-yard burst. He did the same thing on Jim Thorpe’s next possession, carrying the ball eight straight times before scoring on a 10-yard run to give the Olympians a 12-0 halftime lead.
“He’s an outstanding athlete,” Jim Thorpe coach Mark Rosenberger said. “He runs the ball well. He can throw the ball really well. He’s great out of the backfield as well. He’s an allaround football player.
“You couldn’t ask for a better performance. He carried our offense on his back. Our kids opened holes up front and allowed him to make big plays for us. He really stepped up for us.”
Jim Thorpe (6-0, 1-0 D-I) finished with 390 yards rushing on 50 carries, as the Olympians’ offensive line of William Munson, Nick Trovarello, Lucas Boyle, Ethan Mordaunt and Jason Scott continuously gave St. Hill and Selby lanes to run in.
St. Hill’s final two touchdowns came in the second half on runs of 4 and 33 yards.
“They opened up some big holes for St. Hill to run,” Rosenberger said of his offensive line. “His ability once he gets into the hole to make it a 60-yard run was impressive tonight. He was healthy all week. This is the first week he had a little extra burst in his step. He felt healthy this week and he looked it tonight.”
Lost in the shuffle of St. Hill’s monster night was another impressive performance by the Jim Thorpe defense.
The Red Swarm pitched its fifth straight shutout and extended its scoreless streak to 22 straight quarters by keeping the Eagles (1-5, 0-2) out of the end zone on a key sequence early in the third quarter.
Blue Mountain capitalized on a short Jim Thorpe punt to move to the Olympians’ 6-yard line on a 19-yard run by Chase Sincavage. After an offsides penalty put the ball at the 3, the Olympians stuffed Ben Kramer on first down, Munson stood up quarterback David Krewson at the 1-yard line on second down, then Munson came up big again on third down, hitting Chase Umbenhauer on a pitch right at the 4 and forcing a fumble that Max Schlenner recovered.
Blue Mountain wouldn’t threaten to score again the rest of the night.
“In years past, that’s a touchdown. Our defense doesn’t suck up and make the play,” Rosenberger said. “This team is different. When their backs are against the wall, to not give up and not allow a team to score ... they weren’t having it. They kept on fighting and made plays.”
Jim Thorpe held Blue Mountain to 78 yards rushing and forced two turnovers, getting big plays from a variety of players.
For Blue Mountain, it was the Eagles’ fourth straight loss and the second straight week the Eagles’ defense allowed more than 300 yards rushing.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t make plays,” Blue Mountain coach Cory Mabry said. “They made the plays and we didn’t.
“We have to play downhill and get off blocks. At times we did a good job, and at times we didn’t. We just didn’t have an answer for it.”
Blue Mountain’s Cameron Umbenhauer (24) is brought down by Jim Thorpe’s Colin Jacobs, bottom, and Ethan Mordaunt (50) during Friday’s Schuylkill League Division I game at the Eagles’ Nest. The Olympians recorded their fifth straight shutout with a 27-0 win over the Eagles.
Lehighton quarterback Cody Scherer threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in the Indians’ 22-14 win over North Schuylkill.
JUSTIN ST. HILL
Blue Mountain’s Nate Calderone (81) is brought down by Jim Thorpe’s Max Schlenner (4) and Trevor Keefer (9) during Friday night’s Schuylkill League game.