Paupack's freshmen football team hosted Delaware Valley this week as both squads wrapped up their seasons.
With both teams toting a 4-5 record coming into the game, victory for one team would mean a .500 season while defeat for the other would mean a losing year.
On the Turf
Delaware Valley got things rolling in the first quarter when Quarterback Matt Cavallaro made a run for the endzone.
While the attempt at a conversion was no good, the Warriors were on the board first. Defensively, DV's Brendan Heaney, an 8th grader, laid a sack on Buckhorn quarterback Gavin Hiller.
Cody Fenstermacher tried to make some gains for Paupack but Connor Simonson broke through the line and kept pressure on the Paupack offense.
Joe Gillroy and the Bucks' defense held off further DV scoring and the quarter ended with the Warriors in the lead 6-0.
Both teams fought their way up and back down the field in the second quarter.
It looked as though there would be no scoring gains in the quarter but with 1:28 left, DV's Kyle Stoll made a break for the goal line and after a long run, scored the Warriors' second TD of the afternoon.
Cavallaro launched a short pass to Stoll on the conversion and DV drove the score up to 14-0.
Paupack's short lived attack yielded a quick turnover and with seconds left, the Warriors took possession again and held both the field and the lead at intermission
Delaware Valley made a long push at the start of the third quarter, but an errant pass meant a turnover and gave the Bucks a chance for some gains.
Page 2 of 3 - Warrior defense grounded the Bucks' air assault and Paupack didn't have much luck with the running game either. Running out of downs, the DV squad took up the advance again and once more Stoll took it into the endzone.
The extra point was no good, but now DV held a commanding 20-0 lead as the quarter came to an end.
Paupack was finally able to get things going in the fourth quarter.
The Buckhorn defense prevented additional scoring by DV and Hiller was able to hit Ty Schmalzle with an 8-yard pass good for a Paupack touchdown.
Making good on the 2-point conversion, the Bucks got some points on the board and ruined the shutout for the Warriors.
The late gain was too little, too late as time expired, DV closed the book on Paupack with a 20-8 decision.
"We had a tough season," offensive coordinator Dan Gumble stated remarking about the Paupack 4-6 record.
"We had a small amount of kids this year. We normally have 30 or so come out for the team but this season we only had 22.
"A lot of the kids played multiple positions and didn't get a lot of breaks. They played hard all season and most will go on to JV football while a couple like Gavin Hiller and Anthony Hoopingarner have a shot at varsity special teams."
Finishing the year with a 5-5 record, DV Coach Robert Cosentino noted the Warriors had a tough start.
Their starting tailback went down with a season ending injury week 1; an eighth grader, Dylan Kelly carried the load until he went down with an injury.
They had a 1-4 start and struggled against non-league opponents such as Parkland.
Page 3 of 3 - The Warriors finished the year winning four out of the last five games with Cavallaro's arm and Stoll's legs doing most of the work.