Function of Beauty

Moscarello TD caps thriller for Lewisburg at Southern.

By: Brett R. Crossley | Williamsport Sun-Gazette | October 2, 2010


CATAWISSA - The halfway point of the season marked many teams' homecoming games, with none being bigger than Southern Columbia's as it welcomed Lewisburg for a Heartland Athletic Conference contest.

The game delivered more than any court could provide as the teams battled through three lead changes with a Merle Moscarello 72 yard run playing the spoiler as Lewisburg won, 28-21.

"The line kept pushing and I kept my feet moving," Moscarello said of the run. "Southern kept me down most of the game, but I kept pushing and so did the line. It was a great team win. We're a family around here and this was a great team win."

Moscarello's run came on the heels of an equally impressive Tyrell Thomas 62 yard gallop, which the Tigers used to cap their 72 yard drive on their previous possession.

In what was sure to be the Dragons' final possession of the game, Moscarello's run sent the Dragon faithful into a frenzy on the first play from scrimmage.

"It was just an outstanding individual effort," Lewisburg coach Todd Tilford said. "He broke three or four tackles on his way to the end zone. We kept giving our play makers a chance to make a play."

Moscarello's run certainly was the most important in the contest for the Dragons, but the team's most impressive drive came on its previous possession when they drove down the field converting two different third down attempts and a fourth down attempt on the way to the endzone.

Lewisburg's first conversion came on a fourth and three attempt when Cam Cassels used a hard count to draw Southern Columbia offsides. The Dragons continued to push down the field and faced another conversion on a third-and-four, which Nathaniel Brown picked up with an eight yard carry. Cassels converted the final attempt with a 11 yard scamper to the three-yard line. Brown finished the drive off on the next play.

"We talked to the kids all week about handling adversity," Tilford said. "We told them something positive was going to happen for Southern, and it was going to come down to how we reacted to it."

Lewisburg's first test of handling adversity came early in the contest when Southern marched down the field for a 7-0 lead. The drive came in response to Lewisburg's second three-and-out.

Lewiburg's answer to the score came when Cassels attempted to hit his tightend over the middle of the field. The ball was deflected off a Tiger defender and right into Robbie Gaines hands. Gaines exploded away from the defense to punch in the Dragons first score.

Along with catching a touchdown, Gaines also played a big role on defense as he intercepted Jake Townsend once and broke up two passes.

"I thought it was going to be short and I was just going in to play defense," Gaines said. "When the ball kept on carrying I knew it was going to come my way. It just changed the atmosphere of the game. They (Southern) were moving the ball and we needed that score."

Gaines also kicked in all four of the Dragons extra points, two of which came from five yards back after two false start penalties.

"It's just practice to me," Gaines said. "I've been kicking for the team for three years now and should make those kicks."

Gaines touchdown reception was the second throwing touchdown Cam Cassels was able to complete. Cassels completed over 50 percent of his passes with only one interception.

Turnovers played a key role throughout the game. The Tigers turned the ball over five times in the contest including two of its' first three possessions. Southern Columbia's most critical turnover came on its third offensive series when Gaines intercepted Townsend at the Lewisburg 19-yard line.

Brown led the defense in tackles for the second consecutive week while racking up 56 yards on 12 carries.

"This is the best win of the season," Moscarello said. "It's a family around here and we all contributed today. It just feels great."


About the Author

Brett R. Crossley Author Bio
Brett R. Crossley

Brett Crossley has been covering sports in the area for more than a decade. Through that work he has built close community relationships with athletes, coaches, and athletic directors. In 2013 and 2015 he won Keystone Press Awards for Sports Story of the Year. He has worked as a photographer, columnist, beat writer, and sports editor.