Wallenpaupack Area well-represented at 85th annual mid-summer classic

As Dream Games go, the 85th installment of the Scranton Lions Club mid-summer classic was not the high-scoring, showboating spectacle of years past.

Nonetheless, a good amount of talent from the eastern end of the Lackawanna Football Conference was in the mix.

Talented Crew

The County squad piloted by Honesdale Head Coach Mike Jurkowski had players from both his team as well as Western Wayne and DV among its ranks.

The City team was led by Susquehanna’s Kyle Cook and swelled with seven Wallenpaupack Area players as well as four from North Pocono.

It was a good night for the recently graduated Hornets, Wildcats, and Warriors, but things were tougher for the Buckhorns and Trojans as the County emerged with a hard fought 14-7 victory.

Suiting up for the red clad County were Honesdale’s Ethan Dunn, Andy Carroll, Justin LoBasso, Isaiah Sims, and Cameron Baker. From Western Wayne, Dylan Walck, Kobe Sauter, Austin Boguski, and Evan Coons.

DV was represented by Aaron Loihle.

Donning the City blue were North Pocono’s Donny Blaine, Tyler Motichka, Dale Moore, and Dan Walsh. From Paupack, Joe Ingulli, Exzavier Warner, Adam Haupt, Nick Ruggieri, Chance Smith, Tom Hiller and Josh Moore.

Game On

Postponed one evening due to thunderstorms, 7522 fans came out to John Henzes-Memorial Stadium last Thursday to cheer on the recently graduated stars.

Many of the players will be going on to collegiate careers. For some, though, what's traditionally considered the unofficial start of the Lackawanna Football Conference season, would be the final time they put on the pads.

The County got things rolling early when Dunn found Walck for a 21-yd completion that set up the eventual 1-yard run in by Dunn a few plays later.

With 3:17 to go in the opening period, Valley View’s Cam Ceccotti nailed the PAT and put the County up by a score of 7-0.

The City began to make a move, but a fumble recovered by Valley View’s Traon Jones gave County control again and they wasted no time capitalizing on the good fortune.

On the next play, Dunn connected with Valley View’s Jordan Duplessis for a 31-yd touchdown.

Cue Ceccotti.

The kick was good, and County leapt out to a 14-0 lead with 2:38 to go in the first quarter.

Last Hurrah

Defensively, Buckhorns were in the mix nearly every play.

Warner was seemingly glued to whichever quarterback the County put on the field and Smith delivered a bone crushing tackle to end the first half.

County players would not score again for the remainder of the night.

After intermission, the City was finally able to make some headway.

Just moments into the third quarter, North Pocono quarterback Donny Blaine launched a strike to West Scranton’s Zakeem Quincey Vassell for a 79-yard touchdown.

Alec Buttner from Scranton Prep added the point-after to close the gap to 14-7 with 11:39 to go in the period.

The unrelenting heat did not retreat as the shadows fell on the stadium. Trainers on both sidelines worked on players’ cramped legs, the game slowed, and the score remained as it was.

The fourth quarter saw some running attempts by Ingulli and Ruggieri. Both met with some gains, but another TD was not in the cards for the City squad.

Over & Out

Both Blaine and Dunn completed 7-of-14 attempts and delivered 120 passing yards. Walck made good on 2-of-3 for 15.

Rushing for the City, Ruggieri had five carries for 28 yards, Ingulli also had five for 19, and Blaine took the ball three times for 10.

For the County, Walck carried three times for 18, Carroll took it twice for eight, and Dunn had six rushes for a loss of 25 but had one TD.

Walck had one reception for 21 and LoBasso pulled in one good for 11.

Already with his collegiate team, Paupack's Chance Smith returned from Monmouth University after missing two days of Dream Game practice.

The Bucks elected one of their former captains to share the teams’ sentiments.

“It’s a great experience,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of talented players here and we butted heads together for a few days but it’s like The Avengers, they’re all superheroes but they all have to work together.

That’s how it is with this game. It’s also great to play with guys that are usually on the other side and of course with seven guys here from Paupack, it was big for us.

“In the end, we’re all here to share our love of football, players and fans, and to support a great cause.”