Tonawanda News

High Schools

October 19, 2012

Zellner's late TD run lifts North Tonawanda over Bennett

Tonawanda News — Jon Zellner normally doesn't get the headlines. He does all his work in between the tackles, battling for the tough yards, and usually the speedy guys in the backfield get all the glory.

Not on Thursday night.

With his team down by a point and time running off the clock, the junior rumbled into the endzone from 10 yards out to give NT a 23-18 victory. It was the second fourth quarter-comeback win at George Vetter Stadium this month for the Lumberjacks (3-5, 1-5 A North).

Zellner picked up the Jacks and rushed for the final 23 yards en route to the endzone, but he gave all the credit to the big men up front blocking.

"The line made a beautiful hole and I saw it and put two hands on the ball — we weren't running anything special," Zellner said. "I wanted to make sure I wasn't losing that ball and I wanted to go as far as I could."

The Tigers (1-7, 1-5 A South) rushed for 217 yards in the game and seemed to have things under control late, holding the Jacks to a field goal deep in Bennett territory on NT's second-last drive. Bennett got the ball back and converted one first down, putting a scare into the NT faithful in attendance. 

On 4th and 11 and with NT out of timeouts, Tigers quarterback Tondre Bolden broke a run outside to the left hash mark and looked ready to break a big one. But the NT defense zeroed in on him and three players gang-tackled Bolden, giving the Jacks the ball for what would be their game-winning drive.

NT coach Tony Truilizio was happy with the win and said it's an important one despite it only being an exhibition.

"I knew (Bennett was) a good team and I couldn't believe they were 1-6," Truilizio said. "We had a strong finish and we made plays in the fourth quarter."

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