Chiefs open with a hard-fought win over Hornets

The Lakeland Chiefs faced a big challenge in their season opening Lackawanna Football Conference (LFC) 6-0 win against Honesdale.

Their opponents' size was a concern.

At Lakeland at 7 p.m. on Friday, the Chiefs will confront a different challenge. Old Forge is coming off a 38-0 win over CA after showcasing quick movement upfront and speed on the perimeter.

But, the Chiefs have their share of speed on the perimeter and boasts a veteran line-up setting up an interesting second week match-up.

By the Numbers

Both teams had strong defensive outings to add to the intrigue.

At quarterback, Lakeland sophomore, CJ Dippre was an efficient 5-of-9 for 88 yards at Honesdale. Old Forge sophomore, Dante Lucarelli also had a solid outing at 7-14 for 107 yards.

Tom Pidgeon, the area’s top receiver a year ago, caught all five of Dippre’s completions. Anthony Rios, Tommy Souriyavong and Tyler Carey compiled the receptions for the Blue Devils last week.

Giovanni Spataro rushed for 98 yards handling 22 of Lakeland’s 38 carries.

Dippre proved to be a legitimate run threat at 6-5, 255 pounds, banging his way to 49 yards on 10 carries.

Both teams had successful ground games with Lakeland averaging 5.1 yards on 38 rushes while Old Forge averaged 5.0 yards on 30 carries.

Defensively, both posted shutouts.

Chiefs 6

Honesdale 0

Lakeland throttled Honesdale’s offense for most of their season opener.

And, when the Hornets put together a time-consuming 19 play march late into the game, the Chiefs turned away a possible game-winning march.

Lakeland scored in the second period. In his first career start, CJ Dippre keyed the scoring series by turning a bobbled snap into a 21 yard gain.

The talented gunslinger followed that up with a connection to Tom Pidgeon for 33 yards. Giovanni Spataro scored from four yards out for the 6-0 lead with 3:23 left in the half.

The Hornets overcame two miscues in their most productive drive, but a holding penalty on an apparent game-tying TD catch, moved the Hornets back to the Chiefs’ 22 late in the game.

Lakeland’s defense stiffened and turned away a fourth down pass on a Pidgeon deflection for the win.