North Pocono players close out their high school careers at mid-summer classic
As Dream Games go, the 85th installment of the Scranton Lions Club classic was not the high-scoring, showboating spectacle of years past.
Nonetheless, a good amount of talent from the eastern end of the Lackawanna Football Conference was in the mix.
The County squad piloted by Honesdale Head Coach Mike Jurkowski had players from both his team as well as Western Wayne and DV among its ranks,
The City squad was led by Susquehanna’s Kyle Cook and swelled with seven Wallenpaupack players as well as four from North Pocono.
While it was a good night for the recently graduated Hornets, Wildcats, and Warriors, things were tougher for the Buckhorns and Trojans as County emerged after four quarters with a hard fought 14-7 victory.
Suiting up for the red clad County were Honesdale’s Ethan Dunn, Andy Carroll, Justin LoBasso, Isaiah Sims, and Cameron Baker. From Western Wayne, Dylan Walck, Kobe Sauter, Austin Boguski, and Evan Coons. DV was represented by Aaron Loihle.
Donning the City blue were North Pocono’s Donny Blaine, Tyler Motichka, Dale Moore, and Dan Walsh. From Paupack, Joe Ingulli, Exzavier Warner, Adam Haupt, Nick Ruggieri, Chance Smith, Tom Hiller, and Josh Moore.
Postponed one evening due to thunderstorms, 7,522 fans came out to John Henzes-Memorial Stadium last Thursday night to cheer on the recently graduated stars.
While many of the players will be going on to collegiate careers, for some, what is traditionally considered the unofficial start of the Lackawanna Football Conference season, would be the final time some would put on the pads and helmets.
The County got things rolling early when Dunn found Walck for a 21-yd completion that set up the eventual one-yard run in by Dunn a few plays later.
With 3:17 to go in the first period, Valley View’s Cam Ceccotti split the uprights with the PAT try and put County up 7-0.
City began to make a move, but a fumble recovered by Valley View’s Traon Jones gave County control again and they wasted no time capitalizing on the good fortune.
On the next play, Dunn connected with Valley View’s Jordan Duplessis for a 31-yd touchdown.
The kick was good, and County sprang to a 14-0 lead with 2:38 to go in the first quarter.
While Blaine might have been the focus of many plays, the Trojans made solid contributions throughout the spectacle.
Motichka in particular was in the fray quite a bit, while Moore and Walsh saw significant action as well.
Post-intermission, the City was finally able to make some headway.
Just moments into the third quarter, Blaine unleashed a perfect strike to West Scranton’s Zakeem Quincey Vassell for a 79-yard touchdown.
Alec Buttner from Scranton Prep added the point-after to close the gap to 14-7 with 11:39 to go in the period.
The unrelenting heat did not retreat as the shadows fell on the stadium. Trainers on both sidelines worked on players’ cramped legs, the game slowed, and the score remained as it was.
The fourth quarter saw some running attempts by Ingulli and Ruggieri. Both met with some gains, but another touchdown was not in the cards for the City squad.
Over & Out
Both Blaine and Dunn completed 7-of-14 attempts and delivered 120 passing yards.
Walck made good on 2-of-3 for 15.
Rushing for the City, Ruggieri had five carries for 28 yards, Ingulli also had five for 19, and Blaine took the ball three times for 10.
For the County, Walck carried three times for 18, Carroll took it twice for eight, and Dunn had six rushes for a loss of 25 but had one TD.
Walck had one reception for 21 and LoBasso had one for 11.
Linebacker Tyler Motichka offered some sentiments on behalf of his fellow Trojans. He’s heading to Penn State Main Campus in a few weeks to study civil engineering.
Football, however, isn’t in his future plans.
“The entire experience has been great and I’m glad I got to be a part of it. I met a lot of new friends,” he said. “It was great to be out here one more time with my own teammates but also a lot of fun playing with guys I barely knew.”