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Barket breaks record in shootout

Written by: on Saturday, November 29th, 2008. Follow David Mika on Twitter.


PECKVILLE – Zack Barket of Schuylkill Haven broke the state’s single-season rushing record by rushing for 245 yards and four touchdowns. He also ended Riverside’s season with an interception with 24 seconds to go in the game. With the win by the Hurricanes (14-0) they advanced to the Class A state semifinals for the first time since 2002. The Hurricanes will face defending Class A state champs Steelton-Highspire (14-0) who won 27-9 over Bishop McCort.


This was a back and forth battle that had everyone standing during the game. Head Coach Mike Farr from Schuylkill Haven said, “This is unbelievable. I feel like we won the state title.”


Riverside jumped out to a 14-0 lead early in the first quarter. John Velehoski threw two touchdown passes for the Vikings.


Then it was the Hurricanes turn to strike as Barket took the handoff and rumbled 66-yards for the score.  The Hurricanes trailed 14-7.


The touchdown run by Barket broke the single-season rushing record formerly held Austin Scott. Scott’s previous record was 3,847 yards rushing. Barket finished the game with 4,057 yards rushing for the season.


Farr talked about Zach, “Zach is a great player. He can do so many things for us on the field. As you saw here tonight we have a lot of good football players.”


Joe Klebon of Riverside was not dazzled by Barket.  Klevon  took the kickoff all the way.. Klebon’s 74-yard kickoff return and two-point conversion upped the Vikings lead to 22-7.


The Hurricanes answered right back.  They ran a 16-play drive that Barket finished with a one-yard touchdown run. Riverside led 22-13.


Schuylkill Haven kept the momentum going.  The Hurricanes opened their bag of tricks by recovering the onside kick at their 40 yard line. Four plays later Barket would go in for the three-yard touchdown run. Barket’s two-point conversion tied up the game at 22. The scoring drive was set up by Brian Murphy’s 45 yard pass to Barket.


Farr said, “Mike’s onside kick was awesome.”


It seems the Vikings had an answer every time the Hurricanes scored in the first half. Klebon would get the lead right back when he lined up at quarterback and ran right up the middle for the 22-yard score. Klebon’s two-point conversion gave the Vikings a 30-22 lead.


With 4:25 to go in the half, the Hurricanes scored with 32 seconds to go in the half when Murphy hit Brandon Devlin for a 12-yard touchdown pass. After another Barket two-point conversion, the game was tied up at halftime 30-30.


In the second half the Hurricanes’ huge line would slowly wear down the Vikings.

The hurricanes would start the third quarter by eating up seven minutes of the clock on their drive. Barket would carry the ball nine times for 51 yards during the drive. Evan Fink finished the drive with a two-yard touchdown run. Mike Georgevic’s extra point was good and the Hurricanes had their first lead of the game 37-30.


The Vikings answered right back with a nice drive. Klebon’s  16-yard touchdown run combined with a Corey Talerico to Corey Schuster two-point conversion gave the Vikings the lead 38-37 1:21 to go in the third quarter.


The Vikings recovered their onside kick. But the Hurricanes defense would step up and force them to punt with a three and out.


Barket’s punt return gave the Hurricanes good field position down to the Riversides 28 yard line. The Hurricanes’ drive ended when Schuster intercepted a Murphy pass with 10:33 to go in the game.


Two plays later the Vikings gave the ball right back on a fumble, Rob Teijaro recovered the fumble on the Vikings nine yard line. Three plays later Barket ran in for a four-yard touchdown run giving the Hurricanes the lead for good. With 8:46 to go in the game, they led 43-38.


The Vikings drove down to the Hurricanes seven yard line, facing a fourth down and two. Klebon’s pass fell incomplete and the Hurricanes took over on downs.


After a punt by the Hurricanes, the Vikings had one more drive. On this night when Barket broke a single season rushing record he showed off his defensive skills as well by intercepting a Velehoski pass with 24.3 seconds to go.


Murphy took a knee and as time ran out the Hurricanes secured the win in a wild one 43-38 Friday night at Jack Henzes Veterans Memorial Stadium. The Hurricanes will face Steelton-Highspire next Friday night at a District 11 site. 

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23 Responses to “Barket breaks record in shootout”

  1. RHS'09 says:

    Its been almost a year since we lost this game, and after reading these comments I’ve really apperciated what kind of game it was and glad I played in it.

  2. Jim f.Sch. Haven says:

    An update on schools looking at Zach: Most of the recruitment has come from Ivy League schools such as Princeton, Penn and Dartmouth. Lehigh and Lafayette, both of the Patriot League, are also possibilities. (from the Philly Inquirer). It also mentions that Brigham Young has interests too.

    Week 2 a friend of mine asked me what I thought of “Haven’s” season, my response was “I don’t think they’ll have any competition until they have to play Riverside or Steel-High”. Klebon’s a very fine player and from what I gather Riverside had to play a few games this season without him thus making them an overall better team since they won all their games but mistakes cost them the game against the “canes”. We could battle semantics all day long but from the side of the “Canes” I can say I’ve seen the “canes” create their own breaks in crutial situations before and I am not surprised at the outcome in the Vikings game either. Haven creates their own breaks and because of the threat, causes teams to get a little jumpy thus also creating mistakes.

    This week we have #1 vs #4 (last report) for career rushing yards going head to head with Haven v the Rollers of Steel-High. I’m bias when I say the ‘canes’ will win this one but I’ll just say to keep your eye on Brian Murphy. The kid’s only a sophmore but each game of experience is giving him more and more confidence and I think this game will be a breakout game. It’s true the ‘canes’ don’t have much of a defense but they have enough when it’s needed, my prediction of a score:

    Schuylkill Haven 49
    Steelton-Highspire 43

    Another nail biter boys and girls… strap in and enjoy this one because THIS is the state championship game (the winner of this one is the A Champ). Farrell v Clairton are playing just to see who’s going to get beat up in the “finals”.



  4. havenator says:


  5. Minersville Football Fan! says:

    That was one heck of a game and the best ive seen so far this year. Haven and Riverside are two outstanding team. I wanna thank Riverside for supporting Coal Region Football. But Haven lets show Steelhigh how us coalcrackers get WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!

    Mike Farr is Great guy i know him personally. Just wanted to say your doing great job and lets get a win this week cause skook is Hungry for chocolate!! GOOD LUCK GUYS

  6. John says:

    I’m not trying to take anything away from Haven but 1 person will NOT BEAT STEEL HIGH.. their to powerful of an Offense and Defense, and if they don’t make mistakes I don’t see Haven beating them. my final

    Steelton Highspire- 41
    Schuylkill Haven- 27

  7. John says:

    My personal opinion is that riverside should have never lost this game… they were definately the team to beat in this state tournament. Congrats to Haven on the win.. but i don’t think they can beat steel high…. their turning into the Southern Columbia of this time.
    I think that if Klebon didnt get hurt the outcome would have been different because he could have ran the ball down inside the 10 and probably would have scored and it might have won them the game, instead they fumbled and blew their chance.

  8. talent scout says:

    THANK YOU VIKINGS FOR AN EXCITING SEASON !!!!and Haven the best way to beat steelton is to keep there offense off the field let zach pound them keep the clock ticking and the east is yours.

  9. HAVEN says:

    good job riverside good luck HAVEN!!!

  10. zach barket for president says:

    he lacks breakaway speed? he would break beast runs and outrun everyone if he didn’t have breakaway speed.

  11. scaalum28 says:

    they are probably saying the same thing people said about Hynoski, he is playing Single A football, the lowest classification in our state. Many players that are heavily recruited come from the bigger classifications in their state. I don’t agree with that though because you can have the same caliber player in A as you do in AAAA. Colleges many not want to take a chance on someone from a small classification when they can get someone just as good from a higher classification. I am not taking away anything from Barkett, just stating what happens.


    I just want the riverside players to know how proud we are of the great season they treated us to. They brought a lot of pride back in a small town. I wish the best of luck to our seniors. They should be proud of not just their winning record but the way they played together as a team. Riversides coaching staff did a great job with these kids and i hope they can work their magic with the new faces the team will see. I really hope one of my favorite players on the team, cory talerico, does not let his suspension from the game bother him too much. He has a lot of fans that cannot wait to see him play the next two years. This kids got a great future and our support. Fantastic player!

  13. Joe says:

    haven is a championship team. they make great teams unwind from the constant poundings. remember the williams valley game and then riverside. havens team has held it’s head up high and shown character unlike i’ve seen since havens last state title team. this season has been so exciting and i can’t wait to watch the game in our home area at blue mountain on friday. i truly think that riverside was the team to beat and steelton is not quite as good as riverside. we’ll see on friday.

  14. Jim f.Sch. Haven says:

    The words I heard mid-way through the season had Zach going to either Penn, Prinston, or Bucknell. Major D-1 scouts were saying of him in the beginning of the season that he lacked “break away speed”. Now that he has broken records and basicly strapped his team on his back to carry them to the promised land I wonder what they’re saying about him.

  15. Todd says:

    From what I’ve heard he is thinking about going Ivy League

  16. steelhigh? says:

    i am so proud of both teams, and riverside thank you for supporting us. the best game i’ve ever seen in my life. zach’s very smart and he wants to attend a ivy league school, penn, princeton or lafayette or bucknell.once again thank you riverside for your support

  17. talent scout says:

    HAVEN FANS does anyone know where ZACH is going to be playing college ball at? with being the nations leading rusher i’m thinking he has to be going somewhere good despite he lacks size some d-1 team has to be looking at him if anyone has an idea fill me in.good luck canes

  18. talent scout says:

    S.HAVEN the poor sportsman on riversides part is unlike them i was suprised but i could only imagine how frustrating it was for them to stop zach numerous times to bring up 3rd and 10 and he busts a 15 yard run to get the first down I KNOW I WAS FRUSTRATED but i disagree on talerico getting ejected from the game that should of been offsetting penalties both kids were at fault throwing punches but it’s always the last one who gets caught unfortunately it was corey tal. but that didnt lose us the game. the fumble inside S.HAVENS 20 killed us and that REALLLLLLY stupid halfback pass on 4th and goal on the 2 yard line. when push comes to shove it was a very physical game both teams played hard and the hurricanes won NO EXCUSES FROM ME HAVEN BEAT RIVERSIDE and i will trvel to see them play steelton highspire next week to cheer on Barket and the CANES. once again best of luck to the team ,coaching staff and fans.

  19. Riverside says:

    Congrats on the win. But Klebon didnt get a penalty for hitting Barkett, because Barkett gave Joey a late hit, on the final play. Joey was already out of bounds,and Barkett hit him.

    Whatever it doesnt matter now, Riverside made to many mistakes and penalties to win.

  20. Harry from Tamaqua says:

    First off id like to congradulate riverside on a great season. What else can u say abought Zack and the Hurricanes! They play coal region football with pride!! I am one coal region fan who will be cheering for them to go all the way. GO HAVEN!!!

  21. Schuylkill Haven says:

    I was going to post this earlier…but had an emergency. It was a great game, no one could have predicted except for me and a guy that I was standing with during the first half. We both said that it would be a shoot out and that is what it turned out to be. I was looking for a car battery to jump start my heart after this game. As far as the being immature..yes…but it was only a few players…I was glad to see Klebon and Zach shake hands at the end of the game…it shows you what kind of player he is along with the rest of the Haven players. Emotions were running high, and i am not making excuses for them, but that was the game of the year and probably one of the best games that i saw in my life. I am glad to hear that Riverside will be cheering us on and a shout out goes to all the other Schuylkill County teams that I saw at the game cheering us on. This isn’t over and I for one am not looking past Steelton. They are a very good team that is well balanced and also have a very good runing back in Young. So lets focus on them and not Hersey. I am so stoked for this game….Give me a Valium!

  22. talent scout says:

    riverside had them beat BUT the team who makes the least mistakes usually wins.This was one of the most exciting games i have seen in years as much as i love my vikings they made to many mistakes and HAVEN took the win away from them. I WISH HAVEN THE BEST OF LUCK AND I’LL BE CHEERING FOR THEM NEXT WEEK AGAINST STEELTON AND REMEMBER THIS HURRICANES IF YOU CAN BEAT RIVERSIDE YOU CAN BEAT ANYONE SO BRING THAT STATE TITLE HOME. BEST OF LUCK TO YOUR PLAYERS AND YOUR FANS BECAUSE BOTH SHOWED ALOT OF CLASS. WHAT A GAME!!!!!

  23. Schuylkill Haven says:

    This had to be one of the best games that was played on Friday night. My hat goes off to those fine football players at Riverside. WAY TO GO HAVEN! I was just watching the weather channel and they said that another storm was brewing for next week.