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Drakes Sports

Mahanoy Area edges Jenkintown

Posted Friday, October 16, 2009 by Mike Prince
Aden Twer did everything for Jenkintown last Saturday.

He ran the ball five times for 61 yards.  He caught two passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns.  He punted the ball twice, including one that netted 53 yards.  He lined up to kick an extra point after he scored a touchdown and he was even third on the Drakes’ defense with nine tackles.  Oh, and he also recovered a fumble and had an interception, to boot.

So to say that Twer was tired following Jenkintown’s 24-21 loss to the Mahanoy Area Golden Bears at Jenkintown High School last Saturday afternoon would be an understatement.

“Yea, I’m pretty tired after games,” Twer said, “but I mean, I still feel that I can outrun most guys toward the end of the game most times.  I honestly feel that we’re one of the best conditioned teams in the state.  We run a lot.”

Twer lines up in any position that coaches ask of him.  He works hard in practice and he makes sure that he’s conditioned to play several different positions a game.  So when he is asked to carry the load of an entire football team, he has been ready to step up and take the challenge.

“Aden is a very good talent,” Jenkintown coach Hal Smith said, “but one man is not going to make your team and is not going to be the difference in winning or losing.  It’s a total team effort.  We have a couple of freshman up on the line starting and we can’t cry about it.  This is single-A ball.  We just are going to have to figure something out and that’s my job – to figure something out.”

The only thing Jenkintown seems to be able to figure out this year, however, is how to utilize the speedy, athletic Twer, who, despite an overall record of 1-5 for Jenkintown, has kept his team in it until the final seconds over the past two weeks.

“We’re just not good enough right now to make mental mistakes and physical errors,” Smith said.  “We either dropped the ball or fumbled the ball or were not on coverage, and we’re not good enough to make up for those mistakes.  Even though the kids fought their butts off, we’re not on the stage yet where we are good enough to make up for that many mistakes.”

Down by three with just over five minutes to play and inside Mahanoy’s 10-yard line, with a chance to take the lead, Jenkintown faced a fourth-and-two and called an inside-handoff.  But a stop and a strip of the ball at the first-down marker, and Jenkintown had fumbled the ball away for the third time and was unable to recover.

“It’s been like this week after week,” Twer said.  “We come down and play with teams all the way and in the fourth quarter, they just have the will to win and take it over on us.  I can’t think of anything else we could have done.  We’re young, but we just can’t make the plays and move the ball without mistakes and we’re just too inconsistent.  We just have some guys that don’t have the heart.”

After Mahanoy scored the only points of the first quarter, on a five-yard touchdown run by junior running back Nick Forte, Twer caught a 12-yard pass from junior quarterback Kevin Hull to put the Drakes up 7-6.

Following another Forte touchdown run, Hull found Twer yet again along the sidelines on a short pass, where Twer beat two defenders with his speed, almost exactly as he did one week prior versus Springfield, and went 77 yards to the house to put Jenkintown up 15-12 right before the half.

The third quarter, however, belonged to the Golden Bears.

Two Mahanoy rushing touchdowns put Jenkintown down by two scores – a deficit that the Drakes just could not overcome.

“The kids fought hard,” Smith said.  “Every week they work hard and really care about getting the ‘W.’  It’s just not working out our way.  We’ve had a lot of close games and had a chance in this game to put it in at the end, but we just fumbled the ball.  It’s not one person.  We’re snake-bitten at times.  We just have to go to work this week and get ready for our next game.”

Jenkintown senior running back Shawn McCarthy, who led the Drakes with 77 yards on 17 carries, ran in seven-yard touchdown to cut the Mahanoy lead to three, at 24-21, following a botched hold on the extra point attempt.

Junior Jack Kinniry added 38 yards on the ground on 11 carries, while Hull completed only the two passes – both of which went for touchdowns to Twer.  McCarthy, along with senior Devon Perkins shared the Drakes’ team lead with 13 tackles apiece.

Mahanoy outgained Jenkintown in total yards 348 to 250, including 249 yards on the ground alone.

The Golden Bears committed 10 penalties in the first half, including two separate unsportsmanlike conduct penalties that cost them 15 yards each time.  They committed 15 penalties by game’s end, not including two that were declined, while also turning the ball over four times.  But the Drakes also turned the ball over four times, especially when it mattered most.

“We’re going to work hard in practice and work on repetition,” Twer said.  “We have tough opponents coming up, with Calvary Christian next week, and it’s going to be a dog fight like it usually is in the Bicentennial League.  I think that if we can win some league games and beat some formidable opponents, we can get some league points and still try to get in there.  The playoffs are never out.”

Mahanoy    6    6    12    0—24

Jenkintown    0    15    0    6—21


First quarter

M – Forte 5 run (pass failed)

Second quarter

J – Twer 12 pass from Hull (Perkins kick)

M – Forte 3 run (pass failed)

J –Twer 77 pass from Hull (McCarthy run)

Third quarter

M – Forte 3 run (kick missed)

M – Backo 4 run (pass failed)

Fourth quarter

J – McCarthy 7 run (run failed)

                       Mahanoy             Jenkintown   

First Downs    16                          10

Yards Rushing    249                 161

Yards Passing    99                      89

Total Yards            348                 250

Passing               6-13-2              2-13-1
Fumbles – Lost    2-2                   4-3

Penalties                4-30            15-117

Punts                   2-29.5               2-38.0


Mahanoy—Backo 20-97, TD; Forte 10-48, 3 TD; Mroczka 3-12; Fegley 10-53; Senglar 5-18; Stanakis 1-21; Bloss 2-4.

Jenkintown—Twer 5-61; Hull 5-(-15); McCarthy 17-77, TD; Kinniry 11-38.


Mahanoy—Mroczka 1-1-0, 49; Backo 12-5-2, 50.

Jenkintown—Stillmun 1-0-0; Hull 12-2-1, 89, 2 TD.


Mahanoy—Mroczka 1-19; Stanakis 5-80

Jenkintown—Twer 2-89, 2 TD.

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