Paupack suffered a 27-14 loss in Sunday's C-Team game, but bounced back to post a dominating 40-0 Mercy Rule win in the B-Team battle.
HAWLEY — Paupack turned in a solid all-round effort this weekend in All-County Conference Junior Football League action.
The Junior Bucks put out the proverbial welcome mat for Old Forge on a picture-perfect Sunday afternoon and forged a split with the Blue Devils.
Coach Keith Hiller's C-Team battled right down to the wire, but eventually came out on the short end of a 27-14 score. Despite the loss, quarterback
Alex Gardsy dazzled the big home crowd with one electrifying run after another.
"Alex does pretty much everything well," Coach Hiller told The News Eagle. "He's a tough kid who never shies away from contact. Alex can run right over people, but when he gets to the sideline and turns on the afterburners, no one's going to catch him either."
In the B-Team contest, Coach Frank Ingulli's lads dominated from opening kick-off to final whistle. Thanks in large part to an outstanding performance from tailback Tyler Wesenyak, the Junior Bucks rolled to a 40-0 Mercy Rule victory.
"No one runs as hard between the tackles as Ty does," Coach Ingulli said. "He's the kind of kid that only comes along once in a great while. Ty is one of the best athletes I've ever had the pleasure of coaching."
Paupack will be back in action for a full slate of Week Five ACCJFL games next Sunday. Opening kick-off for the I-Team contest is scheduled for noon on the shores of The Big Lake.
Back & Forth
Old Forge used its old-fashioned Double Wing formation to grind out an early lead in Sunday's C-Team encounter.
Quarterback Michael DiGregorio directed the offense to a pair of first quarter touchdowns, giving the Blue Devils a 13-0 advantage. However, Paupack retaliated as time wound down in that opening stanza.
Gardsy did the majority of the damage. Alex stopped Old Forge in its tracks with a huge hit on 4th down. He then ripped off two solid runs before bringing the hometown fans to their feet with a 46-yard sprint down the sideline.
A 4th grader who attends Wallenpaupack South Elementary, Gardsy roots for the Minnesota Vikings and his favorite player is Adrian Peterson. Alex did his best imitation of Peterson on this day, scoring both of Paupack's TDs...the second on an 18-yard sweep around left end.
Gardsy picked up plenty of powerful blocking from his offensive line. In particular, Coach Hiller was quick to praise the efforts of center Liam Smith, tight ends Carmine Genetti and Seamus Smith.
"We need to work more on our blocking," he said. "But, those three kids did a great job today. Alex is an excellent running back, but he doesn't score if they don't seal off the corner the way they did."
Paupack's C-Team is now 1-3 overall and 0-3 in the conference. The Junior Bucks also suffered a lopsided loss to Pocono Mountain in Week Three...despite a 64-yard touchdown run by Gardsy.
In Sunday's B-Team battle, Paupack set the tone early en route to a dominating 40-0 shutout.
Joe Ingulli delivered the Junior Bucks' first big play in this one. The veteran quarterback sprinted 35 yards to the Old Forge 5-yardline early in the opening stanza.
From there, Ingulli handed the ball off and Wesenyak did the rest. Ty rumbled in for the score with two Blue Devils hanging on his back. He also tacked on the PAT, giving the home team a 7-0 lead.
Less than a minute later, Robert Spinelli recovered the first of two fumbles, which gave Paupack the ball just inside the midfield stripe.
Wesenyak quickly went back to work, this time embarking on an epic 45-yard TD run. Ty broke two tackles inside the Old Forge 10, then stiff-armed one last defender right to the turf at the goal line.
"He is just so strong," Coach Ingulli said with a chuckle, shaking his head. "Ty has no fear. He's a 3-year starter and a captain...and, that's exactly the way a captain should play. He always seems to step up in the big situation."
Wesenyak kept adding lines to his already impressive resume as the first half continued. On Paupack's next possession, Ty caught a short pass from Ingulli and turned it into a 46-yard touchdown reception.
(He's a sixth grader at Paupack and a die-hard Giants fan. Wesenyak is still just 12-years-old and his favorite player is Victor Cruz).
Ingulli then hooked up with wideout Alexi Sprague on the conversion toss and the Junior Bucks' lead was suddenly 21-0.
Coach Ingulli began substituting liberally midway through the second quarter, but Paupack's offense remained red-hot.
Wesenyak caused an Old Forge fumble with a teeth-rattling hit, which was recovered by William Doran inside Blue Devil territory. Adam Haupt capped a 6-play drive at the 3:22 mark by racing in from five yards out.
Eddie Torres tallied the PAT, upping Paupack's lead to 28-0. Then, with the seconds ticking down until intermission, Torres struck again. A lightning-quick tailback, Eddie jetted into the Old Forge endzone for a 38-yard touchdown as time expired in the half.
Game officials invoked the Mercy Rule after the break and Paupack scored just once more before the final gun. Spinelli did the honors, dragging two Blue Devils tacklers with him across the goal line.
"Robert always works hard and I was very happy to see him score that touchdown," said Coach Ingulli. "He's a great kid. Robert is a starting linebacker and a very physical kid. His head is always in the game and he has a nose for big plays."
Paupack is now 4-0 overall and 3-0 in divisional competition. The Junior Bucks defeated Pocono Mountain last week in a re-match of the 2011 Super Bowl.
Ingulli led the charge in that one, breaking loose for three long TD runs. Wesnyak added the final tally in this 27-12 victory.