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From the sidelines: by Larry Spegar Week 2

Written by: on Monday, September 8th, 2008. Follow Larry Spegar on Twitter.


     Week No. 2 of High School Football action brought a great clash between 2 highly ranked State contenders in District 2.  RIVERSIDE was the site for a mighty battle between the Vikings of RIVERSIDE, coming off an impressive District 2 AA Runner-up in 2007 and the WEST SCRANTON Invaders, who enjoyed a highly successful 2007 season reaching the AAA State Quarterfinals before losing to eventual State Runner-up, GARNET VALLEY.  WEST SCRANTON was ranked No. 3 in the State going into the game, while RIVERSIDE, which has bumped down to the A Class, enjoyed a No. 2 ranking in the State among A schools.  Both RIVERSIDE and WEST SCRANTON showed much talent and grit and proved to many that both schools are for real and as the season progresses, much focus will remain on both teams as ones to beat.  Remember well the names of Eric Shrive and Shawn Bodtmann for WEST SCRANTON and Joe Klebon and Jay Velehoski for RIVERSIDE as talented players who will surely continue to impress as the 2008 season unfolds.


     The RIVERSIDE – WEST SCRANTON match-up was worth the billing as the game of the week in District 2 before an overflow crowd at RIVERSIDE.  RIVERSIDE got the scoring going when QB, Jay Velehoski kept the ball on a 4th and 1 attempt and raced 66 yards for the 7-0 lead.  WEST SCRANTON answered in the 1st quarter with a long drive capped off by a 1 yard TD run by Shawn Bodtmann.  The PAT failed.  WEST SCRANTON scored again in the 2nd quarter with a 54 yard scoring pass from Tyler Hughes to Ethan Dunn.  Chase Passeri caught a 2 point conversion pass for a 14-6 halftime lead.  In the 3rd quarter, WEST SCRANTON dominated on the ground with punishing runs by Shawn Bodtmann and his eventual 1 yard burst for a 21-7 lead.  RIVERSIDE did not give up.  Sensation and the do everything man, Joe Klebon, raced away with a very impressive 87 yard TD reception and run early in the 4th quarter to cut into the lead at 21-14.  While WEST SCRANTON had an opportunity to put away the game with a 4th and 1 attempt with under 2 minutes to play, the RIVERSIDE defense denied the attempt with a fine stop by Alex Pucilowski.  The RIVERSIDE offense, which had been explosive and opportunistic all evening proved the impossible by igniting a jubilant celebration by marching down the field and scoring with a 16 yard strike from Velehoski to Ryan Chisdock with only 21 seconds remaining.  The Vikings showed great confidence in going for the all important 2 point conversion and RIVERSIDE succeeded with a beautiful, finely planned and executed 2 point conversion pass from Klebon to Corey Schuster for the 22-21 come from behind and dramatic win before the Viking faithful.  For RIVERSIDE, their high State ranking is well deserved.  Remember, Head Coach, Harry Armstrong was the RIVERSIDE QB on the 1997 Viking Team which rolled all the way to a State Runner-up finish in the A Class.  WEST SCRANTON will be a force to reckon with in the AAA Class.


     In other District 2 action, other teams posting 2-0 records after 2 weeks, include DUNMORE, LAKELAND, VALLEY VIEW, DELAWARE VALLEY, and SCRANTON.  In a Sunday afternoon special attraction following some rainy weather on Saturday, ABINGTON HEIGHTS scored an impressive 21-7 win over WYOMING VALLEY WEST.



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