Local varsity football teams back in action on Friday night
Carbondale Area (0-2) heads to Dunmore (1-1) on Friday night facing a monumental task. The Bucks have won 45 straight games against AA opponents and 43 straight contests vs. divisional opponents.
Dunmore is coming off a 33-0 win over Mid Valley while the Chargers dropped a 35-14 decision to Riverside.
“We’ve shown much improvement from week one to week two,” noted Charger head coach, Larry Gabriel III.
“But, we must continue those positive steps. Dunmore has been the most dominant AA program for quite some time, so we will need a stellar effort and huge improvement step this week.”
After the Bucks dropped their season opener vs. defending AAA champion, Scranton Prep (31-0), Dunmore produced a dominant effort in their most recent outing.
The Bucks rolled up 7.0 yards per carry on 40 attempts. On the flip side, the Bucks’ defense stuffed their opponent by yielding just eight rushing yards on 28 carries and 43 total yards on 35 offensive snaps.
Cristian Buckley and Rayshawn Dawkins lead the Bucks’ ground game with 90 yards (17 carries) and 79 yards (13 runs).
Quarterback Steve Borgia is 5-12-3 on the season for 64 yards and two scores.
The Chargers’ offense will be an integral part of trying to slow down the Bucks’ offense by CA keeping possession.
After CA’s offense sputtered in week one and did not pick up a first down until the second half, thus putting its defense under constant duress, the offense opened last week’s game with a 98 yard TD march.
The Chargers, who averaged 5.1 yards per carry on 41 runs, will look for similar possession efforts this week.
Whether the Chargers have tailback, Nick Vadella (missed Riverside game) or QB, Adam Rossetti (left Riverside game with injury) wasn’t known at press time.
Last week, Marino DePalma rushed for 86 yards on 19 carries while Nick Tierney added 82 yards on six attempts. Rossetti scored twice.
Defensively, Seth Arthur and DePalma has led the Chargers’ defense.
Carbondale Area answered Riverside in the first half for a 14-14 stalemate but the Vikings broke through with back-to-back scores in the third period and added a punt return TD in the final quarter for the win.
Riverside took its first possession to the endzone on a 64 yard, nine play drive highlighted by four completions for 48 yards and a John Gilchrist to Razen Reyes three yard TD flip (7-0).
Despite mishandling the ensuing kickoff and having to start at their own 2, the Chargers answered with their own TD march. The 12 play series was highlighted by a Nick Tierney 45 yard run. Adam Rossetti scored from two yards out for a 7-6 score.
The Vikes answered in just 1:02 on a Kristian Pon 35 yard TD (14-6).
Following an exchange of possessions, CA went 74 yards in 10 plays. Two of DePalma’s runs totaled 37 yards and Tierney added a 10 yard burst and 13 yard reception from Rossetti before Rossetti scored on a fourth and goal from the two. His conversion pass to Zack Racht tied the game at 14-14.
After pinning CA on another kickoff then forcing a punt, Riverside converted a TD on a short field for a 21-14 lead. Another score with 2:34 left in the third pushed the spread to 28-14.
CA mounted a threat on their next possession but a blocking penalty nullified a 26 yard gain to the Vikes 38. The drive stalled.
Riverside added a 54 yard punt return score with 9:-0 left in the game (35–14).
After a defensive battle in a season-opening 6-0 win vs. Honesdale and a dominating 34-13 victory over Old Forge, the Chiefs face a wide-open spread offense in Riverside (2-0).
Lakeland (2-0) will be challenged to defend a Vikings’ team that has gone to the air 56 times in two games and is coming off a 35-14 win over Carbondale Area.
The contest is a huge Division III game with the winner seen as the biggest challenger to Dunmore’s stranglehold on the division title.
Riverside’s attack is paced by sophomore signal caller, John Gilchrist who has a 25-56-2 mark for 314 yards and four TDs. He has spread the ball to seven receivers led by Reyes Razen’s seven catches for 109 yards and three TDs.
On the ground, Kristian Pon has posted 207 yards and four TDs on 20 attempts (10.3 ypc).
Lakeland’s ground game is led by Giovanni Spataro’s 241 yards and four scores on 49 runs while sophomore QB, CJ Dippre has added 94 yards and a TD on 19 runs. Tom Pidgeon tops the receiving corps with six catches for 121 yards.
Old Forge 13
Lakeland’s defense shutdown Old Forge’s ground game limiting the Blue Devils to 10 yards on 23 attempts forcing thwvisitors to 18 pass attempts.
Giovanni Spataro rushed for 143 yards and three TDs on 27 attempts. His 15 yard scoring run just 1:37 into the game gave the Chiefs the upper hand the rest of the way.
Old Forge answered with a Dante Lucarelli to Tommy Souriyavong 19 yard TD to close the gap to 7-6 at the 4:50 mark.
From that point on, it was all Chiefs. While Old Forge was shutdown, the Chiefs added a Spataro two yard touchdown and CJ Dippre QB keeper for a 21-6 halftime score.
Spataro and Josh Kovaleski added two yard scores in the third period to put the game away at 34-6.