North Pocono rallies to defeat Honesdale; Scranton Prep awaits
Following a dominant offensive effort last week versus Honesdale, North Pocono will face one last stern test before seeding for this year's District Two tournament takes place.
The Trojans carry a 6-3 record with them into their 2017 Lackawanna Football Conference finale against Scranton Prep.
The Cavs are undefeated at 9-0, all alone atop the Division II standings and fresh off a 50-20 triumph over West Scranton.
“Prep is a very good team and so it's going to be a big challenge,” said Coach Greg Dolhon of his team's Week 10 assignment. “We need to improve in all facets of the game if we want to come out on top. As I said, it's going to be a challenge, but we're definitely looking forward to it.”
Opening kick-off for what promises to be an epic contest is slated for 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
Week in Review
North Pocono got off to a sluggish start in its Week Nine battle with Honesdale.
In fact, the Trojans were facing a 21-14 deficit at intermission and were struggling with the Hornets' size up front.
“We've had problems with bigger teams that run the ball right at us,” Coach Dolhon said. “Honesdale came right after us. They're pretty big up front and we had to make a couple of adjustments at halftime.”
Whatever the specifics of those changes were, the tide definitely turned early in the third quarter.
Led by a monster outing from JC Gaughan, North Pocono tallied 28 second half points en route to an eventual 42-28 victory.
A lightning-quick senior tailback, Gaughan paced the offensive onslaught with an eye-popping 217 yards rushing. JC also caught three passes and scored five touchdowns on the night.
“JC had a whale of a game,” Coach Dolhon said.
“He's finally healthy and really starting to take it to a different level. JC is a very strong, physical kid with sprinter's speed … and that's a lethal combination.”
Gaughan scored his first TD of the evening from a yard away with 5:31 left in the opening half. He then ran wild after the break, tallying scoring runs of 3, 13, 41 and 60 yards.
“When JC gets into the open field, he's just about impossible to bring down,” Coach Dolhon said. “It's good to see him feeling better and getting stronger every day.”
Jeremiah Acker also contributed key plays to the cause on both sides of the ball. A senior who lines up at fullback on offense and end defensively, Acker earned high marks from his veteran mentor.
“Jeremiah had some injury issues early in the year as well, but he's back near 100 percent now,” said Coach Dolhon. “He's an unselfish young man who will do whatever he can to help out his team.”
Acker tallied the game's first touchdown against Honesdale, barreling into the endzone from 13 yards out. He finished up his night with 55 hard-earned yards on 14 carries.
Donny Blaine once again directed the aerial assault.
North Pocono's veteran signal caller completed 8-of-13 passes for 161 yards. He was intercepted once, early in the game, and that resulted in a 66-yard “Pick Six” by Honesdale's Andy Carroll.
North Pocono is coming off a 2016 season that culminated in a District Two title and a trip to the PIAA state tournament.
If the Trojans hope to recapture that late-season magic, Dale Moore must continue to play a key role.
A junior who starts both ways at free safety and wide receiver, Moore turned in yet another stellar all-round effort versus Honesdale.
Coach Dolhon lauded Moore for his open field tackling ability. Dale also has an interception return for a touchdown.
“Dale had a nice game and he's having a really good season,” he said. “I'm very proud of Dale. He's a hard-nosed kid who's really stepped up this year.”
Moore leads the team with 20 catches, good for 393 yards and two TDs. His “Pick Six” came during a Week Three victory over Wallenpaupack Area.