RIMERSBURG — Running the table on a perfect 10-0 season, the Brookville Lumberjacks won the junior division title of the ABC Youth Football League last Saturday at Union High School.
The Lumberjacks beat Union on its field for the second time this year, 22-12 this time around as they led 8-6 at halftime before scoring two unanswered touchdowns in the second half to pull away for the win.
It’s the first title for the program since the juniors won it all in 2017. It’s the fifth championship overall with the juniors also winning in 2013 and the seniors taking ABC crowns in 2007 and 2011.
“It was a great group of kids, very coachable, hard-working, they never give up and had a lot of heart. It was a fun group,” Lumberjacks head coach Kenny Lindermuth said. “Bantam games are obviously scrimmages, but everybody keeps track of the scores in those and two years ago this group would’ve been undefeated and they did it again this year.
“Obviously we gained a few kids and lost a few along the way, but everybody filled in nicely.”
The Lumberjacks scored first when Cody Householder scored on a 9-yard run, then caught a two-point conversion pass from Owen Weaver to go up 8-0 by the 5:44 mark of the first quarter. The drive started at the Union 33 after Weaver blocked a Union punt.
Householder ran for 105 yards on 13 carries while Gabe Hannah finished with 65 yards on nine carries.
The Knights (7-3) made it 8-6 when Parker Bish scored on a 17-yard run with 37 seconds left before halftime.
“Union is a very good team,” Lindermuth said. “We knew after the first time we played them that we were going to see them again. Unfortunately, we knew that a second time would be on their home field again and that was going to be a tall order. The kids were nervous, but they stepped up and performed really well.”
In the second half, the Lumberjacks stopped the Knights on downs at the Union 42 and scored five plays later on Hannah’s 4-yard run with 2:43 left. The first play of the drive was Householder’s 27-yard pass to Landon Smith. Weaver hit Hannah for the two-point conversion pass and a 16-6 lead.
In the fourth quarter, one play after stopping the Knights on downs at their own 30, Hannah raced all 30 yards for the touchdown and a 22-6 lead with 7:28 remaining.
Micah Kindel’s 1-yard TD run for Union set the final with 2:02 left in regulation.
Hannah and Smith had interceptions while Maddox Mantzell recovered a fumble for the Lumberjacks defense.
“Throughout the playoffs, Maddox and Landon have had phenomenal games defensively. I think they had three interceptions between them,” Lindermuth said. “Our corners tackled well and did their job turning things back inside if they didn’t make the tackle. Everybody stepped up. It was definitely a total team effort through the two playoff games.”
In the Senior final, Karns City routed Armstrong, 67-18. The consolation games had Karns City edging Redbank Valley 26-20 in the juniors and East Brady routing Slippery Rock, 42-8, in the seniors.
— Correspondent Bryce Weaver contributed to this story.