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MERCERSBURG >> This was not a fair fight from the start.

But it was on the schedule and it got played.

James Buchanan started Friday night's non-league football game with just 20 players and ended with 18 and suffered a predictable result to a strong Susquehanna Township team at Rocket Stadium – a 63-0 defeat.

The Indians (7-3), Mid Penn Keystone Division co-champions with Bishop McDevitt, led 35-0 after one quarter and the game ran under mercy rule conditions from that point on.

"We're all coaches, whether we have 20 kids or we have 120," Susquehanna Twp. coach Joe Headen said, "and you coach those kids the best you can. You could see their coaches working with their kids the whole way through. And those kids fought the whole game."

The season ended without a victory for James Buchanan (0-10), which had some success over the past two seasons. But it's tough to be competitive with a short roster like the Rockets had.

JB coach Andy Stoner said, "All we can do is play and try to do what we can do, and play with passion. We were competitive the last couple of years, and the (nine) seniors tonight were on those teams. They wanted to play to the end the way we coach it."

Seth Carbaugh was one of those seniors, and he had a fine game to end his career with. He rushed 17 times for 74 punishing yards and picked up four of JB's five first downs.

"It's disappointing to end this way," Carbaugh said. "I've been playing football for 11 years, and football has been the best part of that time. This game is always fun – that's all that matters. Winning isn't everything, although it is nice when you do win."

That wasn't going to happen Friday.

The Indians were bigger, stronger, faster and had plenty of depth.

Susquehanna Twp. scored on its first play from scrimmage and on its third play. In the first half, the Indians scored 49 points despite running only 12 plays.

Headen said, "Our whole approach was for us to focus on Susquehanna and line up correctly the way we expected the plays to go. As a staff, this was a game we were able to get healthy and give some time to those kids on the second 22 and get them some reps. We tried to pay attention to detail."

The Indians scored twice on interceptions returns from Joey Rebarchak, (55 yards) and Devin George (32 yards), and twice on punt returns from Trael Seegars (20 yards) and Aneas Carter (31 yards). Quarterback Ben Moser fired three scoring passes, including two to Jose Aponte.

The Rockets' best starting position for any of its possessions was its own 27. JB gained a total of 67 yards in the game.

Stoner said, "Our offense this year just couldn't get anything going, and that ends up putting too much pressure on the defense. We did stop them a couple of times, but you get worn down when the offense can't move the ball."

Dustin Walker helped stop ST on a fourth-down play at the JB 2, and the Indians fumbled the ball away once on the Rockets' 14.

In the second period, Carbaugh did shake loose for runs of 17, 13 and 16 yards. On both possessions, James Buchanan reached its own 49, but never made it into Indian territory.

Carbaugh said, "We were definitely down in the beginning and it took us a little while to get fired up. I just tried to kick on the jets and get it going."

"Seth had a great career," Stoner said. "He gets yards where there are no yards to get. What's tough is he went this whole season without scoring (the Rockets totaled only 15 points for the year) and that's unfortunate.

"By the end of the night we were down to 18 players and I was putting kids out on special teams who didn't even know what to do because they hadn't practiced there. But I'm proud of them because they kept fighting."

Susquehanna Twp. 63

James Buchanan 0

Susq. Twp.351477—63

J. Buchanan0000—0

First Quarter

ST — Jose Aponte 38 pass from Ben Moser (Jonah Williams kick), 9:56

ST — Trael Seegars 17 run (Williams kick), 9:07

ST — Seegars 20 punt return (Williams kick), 7:01

ST — Isaiah Ramsey 45 pass from Moser (Williams kick), 3:30

ST — Aponte 10 pass from Moser (Williams kick), 0:58

Second Quarter

ST — Joey Rebarchak 55 interception return (Williams kick), 8:20

ST — Michael Perry 25 run (Williams kick), 3:34

Third Quarter

ST — Devin George 32 interception return (Williams kick), 5:42

Fourth Quarter

ST — Aneas Carter 31 punt return (Williams kick), 3:42

STJB

First downs95

Rushes-yards19-12322-57

Passing4-6-03-17-3

Passing yards10312

Total yards22667

Punts0-05-23.4

Fumbles-lost1-12-1

Penalties-yards3-251-5

Individual statistics

Rushing — ST, Perry 2-31, Mari Wright 3-24, Jahlonni Gilles-Miles 2-20, Seegars 2-18, Andre Young 3-15, Carter 1-9, Seth Lindsey 3-8, Malcolm Zimmerman 3-(-2). JB, Seth Carbaugh 17-74, Hunter Spoonhour 1-0, Caden Ficks 1-(-1), Clay Sanders 3-(-16).

Passing — ST, Moser 4-6-103-0. JB, C.Sanders 3-16-12-2, Carbaugh 1-0-0-1.

Receiving — ST, Aponte 2-48, Ramsey 1-45, Chris Ciotti 1-10. JB, Evan Stoner 2-4, Clay Ziemba 1-5.

Interceptions — ST, Seegars, Rebarchak, George.

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