Pat Ingulli’s energy is infectious. He bounded out of the lockerroom, eyes sparkling and smile a mile wide.
The talented tailback had already broken loose for a long touchdown in the first half of Wednesday night’s Dream Game, but the best was still yet to come.
“Man...this is amazing!” he told The News Eagle on his way back to the field for the second half. “It’s so much fun...such an honor to play in the Dream Game. I?just love it!”
Ingulli continued his stellar play after intermission.
Pat rushed for more than 1,900 yards and 20 TDs as a senior at Paupack and he flashed those skills for the big crowd at Scranton Memorial Stadium. By the time Ingulli was done, he’d scored a Dream Game best three TDs and led the City to a dominating 41-20 victory.
With this win, the City upped its advantage in the overall series to 38-36-4.
Back & Forth
Nearly 7,000 people packed the stands Wednesday to witness the 78th renewal of America’s oldest high school all star game.
Those fans were treated to an entertaining, if sometimes ugly contest...one that featured plenty of scoring and big hits, but an equal number of turnovers and mental mistakes.
The City broke the scoring ice early in the opening stanza when North?Pocono scatback JP?Gething ran it in from four yards out. Although Paupack’s Caleb Vogler missed the conversion attempt, the City had itself a quick 6-0 lead.
Moments later, the City was back on the board after the first of four County turnovers gave them possession inside the five yardline.
Ingulli did the honors, recovering a teammate’s fumble in the endzone with 8:07 left in the period.
Vogler, who will continue his kicking career at Shippensburg University in the fall, banged home the PAT for a 13-0 advantage. It was the first of five extra points Caleb would boot on the evening.
The County finally broke through when Abington’s Brandon Pacyna booted a 28-yard field goal with 40 seconds to go in the opening quarter.
Thanks to a quirk in the Dream Game rules, the County got the ball right back and made the most of the opportunity. Old Forge teammates Colin Carey and Dave Argust connected on a dazzling 84-yard TD toss to close out an entertaining first quarter at 13-10.
Ingulli brought the crowd to its feet with what turned out to be the ultimate highlight of the 78th Annual Dream Game.
After a short punt gave the City good field position inside midfield, Pat went to work. He took a handoff from Scranton Prep’s Tom Timlin and cut to his left. Ingulli broke through the line and came face-to-face with a County linebacker.
However, Pat picked up a devastating block from his fullback, and took full advantage. He broke back against the grain and was off to the races. Forty-three yards later, Ingulli was celebrating his second TD in the front of the County’s endzone.
“That play was supposed to go to the left, but it didn’t work out that way,”?he said with a laugh. “I?had to cut back...and man, what an incredible block I got! From there it was just a race to the endzone.”
Ingulli won just about every race in this game. He capped his one man scoring barrage early in the fourth quarter with a short burst up the middle.
This Pat with 56 yards on the ground, three tackles on defense, three TDs and the game’s Most Valuable Player Award as designated by the Northeast Pennsylvania Football Network.
Ingulli’s scholastic swan song may be just a tantalizing preview things to come on the collegate grid. Pat is headed to Wilkes this fall where he should make an immediate impact in the Colonels’ backfield.
By the Numbers
The City turned up the defensive pressure after intermission, limiting the County to just three points and less than 150 yards of total offense.
Gething put the game out of reach for the City, scoring the game’s final TD on a 30-yard run with just over four minutes remaining in the final stanza. The former Trojan wound up with a Dream Game-high 86 yards rushing.
On the County’s side of the ball, three more local lads stamped their presence on the contest. Honesdale’s Regan Grossman, Jamie Blockberger and Nick Hessling played both ways.
Grossman, a wide receiver, snagged two passes late in the second period.
Score by Quarters...
County 10 7 0 3 - 20
City 13 14 0 14 - 41