H.S. FOOTBALL: Minersville nips Marian 41-39

Sep. 1—HOMETOWN — Luke Stevenosky.

Remember that name.

Marian football fans certainly will, possibly in nightmares.

Stevenosky, a Minersville senior running back, pounded through the Colts' defense Friday night, scoring touchdowns from all over the field and the Battlin' Miners needed every one of them to hang on for a 41-39 victory that went down to the wire.

Stevenosky carried the ball 21 times, gaining 316 yards and scoring touchdowns on runs of 55, 5, 85 and 63 yards, the last one coming 3 minutes, 46 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

"What can you say about Luke Stev. ... He's one of the most respectful kids you'll ever meet, but you get him on the field and he's an animal," Minersville coach Justin Frantz said. "He single-handedly put us on his back."

For a while, the Miners were in a comfortable position. A 15-yard scoring run by Dante Carr — his second of the game after an 81-yarder in the first quarter — had Minersville ahead 28-7 early in the third quarter.

At the end of the third they were up 34-13.

Then Marian caught fire at the same time the Minersville defense made some mistakes.

Colts quarterback Bruce Hopeck, who fired three TD passes on the night, connected with Jesse Rodino for a 22-yard score with 7:35 remaining in the fourth quarter and the deficit was cut to 34-19.

Just over three minutes later, he hit Brandon Klitsch with a 44-yard TD pass that made it 34-25. Less than a minute later, Klitsch returned an interception 44 yards for a score to make it 34-33 following a two-point conversion run by Rory Dixon.

On the first play after the ensuing kickoff, Stevenosky scored on a 63-yard ramble that made it 41-33 Miners.

It still wasn't over.

Marian had one more chance, and the Colts took advantage. Driving from their own 27, it took 10 plays and with 1:22 showing on the clock, Hopeck hit Rodino for an 11-yard score drawing within two points at 41-39.

On the try for two, Hopeck attempted a pass into the middle, a Minersville defender batted the ball in the air, Hopeck caught it, passed it again and a Marian player apparently caught it in the end zone for the tying two-point conversion.

Officials, however, ruled an illegal pass, denying the conversion and ending Marian's hopes.

Matthew Dube recovered the onside kick for the Miners, Carr ran two plays, taking a knee on both and Minersville hung on for the victory.

"We always preach when you play Marian, they don't make mistakes," Frantz said. "Unfortunately, in the second half, we made mistakes, and they made us pay.

"They kept hanging around and chipping away, but at the end of the game, our kids kept fighting. A lot of teams might have hung their heads, but they just kept going."

Stevenosky's ground performance was part of a 415-yard performance by the Miners that came on just 35 rushes. Carr, normally known for his passing, rushed for 89 yards on just five carries.

For the Colts, Hopeck connected on 8-of-23 passes for 220 yards and a trio of touchdowns, two of 22 yards each to Rodino, and the 69-yarder to Klitsch. Klitsch also had two interceptions.

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