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Elusive Roscoe, Kennedy defeat LaBrae, 34-14

September 7, 2013
By JOHN VARGO - Tribune Chronicle (jvargo@tribtoday.com) , Underthelights

LEAVITTSBURG - Michael Roscoe's 5-foot-11, 180-pound frame served him well Friday against LaBrae.

The John F. Kennedy junior quarterback had more moves than a 1980s breakdancer against the Vikings in a 34-14 victory.

His elusiveness was quite evident in the Eagles' second drive of the game. With JFK looking at a second-and-8 from the LaBrae 48, Roscoe looked to be dead to rights by a group of Vikings pass rushers.

Then, Roscoe scooted away from one, two, then three LaBrae defenders to get back to the line of scrimmage and actually gain a yard.

"Sometimes the play breaks down, so you've got to make a play. I was trying to do my best," Roscoe said.

He gave LaBrae (1-1) fits all night as he had a game-best 14 carries for 132 yards and three touchdowns. Behind center, he was 4 of 8 for 88 yards with a score.

"We knew Michael was a good quarterback when he was a sophomore," said JFK coach Dave Pappada, whose team improves to 1-1.

"He can run. He's a good athlete. You can see what he can do."

Roscoe's counterpart, LaBrae junior quarterback Justin Jenkins, did some impressive things as well. The 5-9, 170-pound signal caller was 17 of 28 for 204 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

However, the Vikings were their own worst enemy with a couple of dropped passes and 15 penalties for 123 yards.

"I have a feeling we gave a lot of this game away," LaBrae coach John Armeni said. "We have learn from our mistakes. Penalties and turnovers killed us."

LaBrae compiled a 12-play drive to start its first movements of the second quarter. On that 12th play, Jenkins hit Steve Jurasin on a 18-yard crossing route for a touchdown that would've closed the JFK lead to 12-6, pending the extra point. But wait, the officials that threw more penalty flags than Pittsburgh Steelers fans wave terrible towels, flagged the Vikings for an illegal man down field with 4:23 remaining in the quarter - negating the LaBrae touchdown.

But, the Vikings regrouped a couple plays later as Jenkins threw a shovel pass to Chris Mathews, who wrestled his way past the JFK defenders and reached the ball over the goal line for a score with 2:54 left before halftime, cutting the Eagles' lead to 12-7. Mathews led all receivers with nine receptions for 105 yards.

LaBrae kept its momentum coming out after halftime as the Vikings went six plays and 67 yards in a 3:31, capped by a Jamal Dawkins 5-yard touchdown run - giving LaBrae a 14-12 lead with 9:26 left in the third quarter. Dawkins led the Vikings with 14 carries and 73 yards.

Then, JFK put together its longest drive of the game with an 11-play drive - spanning a little less than 5 minutes. Dante Munno's 1-yard scamper capped the JFK scoring run with 4:38 left.

However, a 15-yard pass interference call on a first-and-10 at LaBrae's 29, set up the Eagles' score, going up 20-14.

JFK scored one more time, but it seemed as if LaBrae would make another run at the Eagles - down 27-14. Jenkins hit Marcell Richardson on a 42-yard strike with 5:41 remaining, setting the ball at the JFK 9. But, on the next play, the snap was muffed and went 15 yards in the backfield. The ball squirted around a couple of times and JFK freshman Ross Nocera pounced on it at the Eagles' 30.

"He's a freshman, so we're constantly giving him support," Roscoe said. "I knew he wanted to make a play. He saw the ball and that was his play."

Armeni was impressed with the play of Roscoe, and the play of Chad and Carl Zallow, who each had an interception.

"He's a special athlete," Armeni said of Roscoe. "The Zallow brothers are fantastic athletes. Coach Pappada does a great job. You know what you're going to get with those guys. They're sound and they don't make mistakes. We made mistakes tonight."

Next Friday, LaBrae hosts Pymatuning Valley. On Sept. 14, JFK hosts Girard.