Trojan Gridders Hoping to Bounce Back After Heartbreaking Loss
Fans might have paid for a whole seat at last Friday’s game at Wallenpaupack, but they only needed the edge!
The Trojans, after winning four straight games, took a lump from Scranton Prep the week before that put them at 4-2 overall while still maintaining a 3-0 standing in the Division I.
The Buckhorns, coming off a roller coaster win the week before at Wyoming Valley West were looking to improve on a 3-3 overall tally as well as their 2-0 status in the Lackawanna Football League Division I.
With a title on the line and a packed house for Paupack’s Homecoming, the recipe for one wild night was set to cook.
A sizable contingent of NP loyal made the trip to the Big Lake and they had reason to celebrate midway through the first quarter.
Trojan senior Donny Walsh intercepting Paupack quarterback Tom McCormick and returned it 65 yards to The House.
Senior Ryan Dommes made the extra point for NP and put them up 7-0 with 7:04 remaining.
Solid Trojan defense meant it would take almost another full quarter for Paupack to strike back.
With 5:36 to go in the first half, senior Manny Obeng, after a few solid gains, completed a 10-yard run into the endzone for the touchdown.
Although the home team was able to close the gap to 7-6, the two-point conversion attempt was no good and things went to halftime with North Pocono in the lead.
Following Paupack's homecoming ceremony during the intermission, the two teams got back to business.
Junior JT Tirjan picked off Trojans’ senior Donny Blaine and got it to the 10-yard line. Unable to reel in a TD, the Bucks opted for a field goal, but a bad snap destroyed that plan, making North Pocono fan contingent jubilant.
Paupack defense then upped their game and forced the Trojans to punt with 6:25 left in the third.
Paupack then jumped ahead with just 24 seconds left in the quarter. From 15 yards out, McCormick let one fly to the right side of the endzone.
There he found senior Eric Smith waiting in the corner. Smith made a spectacular catch for the touchdown and the lead.
A try for the two-point conversion was stuffed, but Paupack now had a 12-7 lead with one quarter left.
The Trojans certainly weren’t going down without a fight.
With 7:16 still on the clock, Blaine took matters into his own hands and snuck the ball over the line from the 2-yard line.
While unable to convert, North Pocono still held a 13-12 advantage, but now Paupack had control and was on the offensive once more.
Late in the fourth, Trojan defenders literally clung to Paupack’s Joe Ingulli in order to prevent his rush, but the senior running back was able to bulldoze forward and score.
With 59 seconds to go in the game, Obeng would carry for the 2-pointer and put the Bucks up 20-13, but don’t stick a fork in North Pocono just yet!
The Paupack partisans might have thought their team had this in the bag. But, with just six seconds left on the clock, Blaine rifled off a short 7-yard pass to Walsh. This clutch seven yard scoring strike pulled NP to within one point of the hosts.
Paupack fans screaming, Trojans fans screaming, no one was skipping out early.
A good kick would tie the game and send it to OT, a solid run would spell the end of the night. North Pocono opted for the run.
Everything hinged on the Paupack defense.
The snap, the pump, the throw. No good!
Paupack held fast to the 20-19 lead for the win as well as the divisional clinch and sent the North Pocono home to re-group for Week Seven.
***That’s a Wrap
Walsh had four receptions for 48 yards with one TD as well as 22 yards on two rushing attempts.
Blaine picked up seven yards on as many carries and also had a touchdown. He completed 15-of-28 pass attempts for 176 yards giving up one pick and connecting for one TD.
Dale Moore logged five receptions for 77 yards while Jake Owens made one catch for a dozen and carried six times for 27.
Ricky Kryeski also picked up yards running and catching. He had a pair of runs for 16 and a trio of grabs for 29.
Gabe Hribal earned four yards of one catch, Tyler Motichka had six on one catch, and Ryan Dommes made one of one point-after attempt.
“We knew this was going to be a tough night. Wallenpaupack is a big, physical team and our kid fought hard,” said Trojans Head Coach Greg Dolhon.
“Our quarterback led us and our defense played great all night long. The kids did everything we asked them to do. Paupack is well coached and they gave us a good game.”
The Trojans get to finish up the season at home.
Coughlin is in town this Friday, and on October 19, it’s Honesdale, and they close versus Valley View on Oct. 26.
All games are slated for a 7 p.m. kick-off at the North Pocono stadium.