LEWISBURG - Lewisburg quarterback Nick Costagliola dropped in the pocket, cocked his right arm and watched as his pass zipped through the warm air at Bucknell's Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium on Friday night. As the ball quickly approached a wide-open Joseph Gardner a few yards in front of the goal line, Costagliola became a little nervous.
The throw was right on target and he knew Gardner's hands were sure, but a few steps behind Gardner was teammate Brandon Batman and Costagliola pictured his teammates fighting over the ball.
Costagliola had nothing to worry about as it turns out these Green Dragons have learned to share quite well.
Costagliola threw touchdowns to four receivers and the Green Dragons rebounded from an emotional and physical loss to Mount Carmel with a 35-0 shut out of Hughesville.
"I was very concerned that both of them were going to go after it and tip it and knock it down, but he got it so we were good," said Costagliola.
The 6-foot-3 junior quarterback played an efficient game and finished 12 of 18 for 193 yards and the four scores - one each to Ty Turner, Gardner, Ben Frankel and Luke Smith.
Turner's 25-yard touchdown reception came just over 2 minutes into the game showed the Green Dragons (2-1, 1-1 HAC-II) had no ill-effects from their first loss of the season a week ago.
Hughesville (0-3, 0-2) went toe-to-toe with Lewisburg through a quarter-and-a-half, but allowed the home team to take control of the game with a pair of touchdowns in less than a 2-minute span in the second quarter.
"We made improvement tonight," said Hughesville coach Andy Brown. "I know it says 35-0, but we had a better defensive effort tonight than we did in the first two weeks.
"We've played three good teams so far and I said last week we weren't competing at their level yet, but tonight we did a better job of that."
Hughesville trailed just 7-0 in the second quarter before Gardner ran through the heart of the Spartans' defense and made the safety miss a tackle on a 48-yard run for a 14-0 lead. A quick three-and-out followed for the Spartans but they compounded the problem with a bad snap to the punter that resulted in a negative kick. Lewisburg took advantage of the miscue and scored on the Costagliola touchdown pass to Gardner with 3:06 left in the half.
"We played so tough defensively in the first half and we give up 14 points in the last five minutes of the half," said Brown.
Ben Frankel, who also had two interceptions for Lewisburg, caught an 8-yard touchdown from Costagliola in the third quarter and Luke Smith made a sliding 10-yard touchdown catch early in the fourth to invoke the mercy rule.
While four Green Dragons caught touchdown passes, six had receptions.
Gardner finished with over 100 yards of total offense, including 88 on the ground.
Hughesville's offense gained just 85 total against one of the area's better defenses. The Spartans lost a fumble and threw two interceptions.
"We had a great defensive effort," said Lewisburg coach Jeremy Winn. "They didn't have too many positive plays all night long and that is a testament to our guys that they were prepared and ready to play."
Lewisburg will step outside HAC-II play next Friday and will play a familiar face when it travels to Shikellamy to meet old coach Todd Tilford. Shikellamy will be coming off a short week after its game last night with Selinsgrove was postponed to Monday because of a car accident earlier in the day Friday that involved Shikellamy students.