Turnovers end Rockets' chance at win streak

September 21, 2004|by CHRIS CARTER/Staff Correspondent

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - The James Buchanan football team was forced to move its game with the York County School of Technology from Friday night to Monday night due to severe weather.

Unfortunately for the Rockets, another storm was in the making - a whirlwind of turnovers - leading to a 28-7 home loss to York Tech.

The Rockets (1-2) turned the ball over seven times on five fumbles and two interceptions. Six of the giveaways were after JB had driven inside York Tech's 25-yard line and one was returned for a touchdown.

"It doesn't matter who you're playing, when you turn the ball over that many times ... you lose," Rockets head coach Kevin Gustafson said. "We moved the ball down the field pretty much the whole game, but almost every time we had a chance to score, we gave it away."


The most significant turnover happened just before halftime when York Tech's Ryan Scott jumped in front of a quick out pass by Josh Cotton, picked it off and returned it 92 yards for a touchdown that gave the Spartans a 20-7 lead.

The drive started when the Rockets, trailing 14-7, recovered a fumble at York Tech's 30-yard line with 3 seconds left in the half. Consecutive penalties gave JB a shot at tying score game with an untimed down from the 8.

Cotton's pass was thrown slightly late allowing Scott to intercept it and sprint down the field untouched.

The Rockets' chances at winning consecutive games for the first time since 1997 looked promising early in the game, but it didn't take long for things to unravel.

On the opening drive of the game, JB marched 64 yards on eight plays, but was halted thanks to a fumble on the 10-yard line.

On its next possession, JB turned the ball over on downs, giving York Tech the ball at its own 40. The Spartans drove the field in just under three minutes for the first touchdown of the game - a 6-yard scamper by Jason Presion - and a 6-0 lead.

The Rockets came right back with a 55-yard drive, capped by a 4-yard scoring run by Tyler Morris. The extra point gave JB a 7-6 advantage.

The lead was short-lived, though, as York Tech answered by driving to the Rockets 27. After a timeout, Spartans quarterback Nathan Patterson used play action to roll out and find Scott in the flat. Scott turned up field and plunged into the end zone. The conversion gave York Tech the lead, 14-7.

"I don't have an answer to exactly what went wrong and why we couldn't hold onto the football. It just happens and now we've got to get back to work and get ready for Friday (at Waynesboro)," Gustafson said."

The Herald-Mail Articles