Abington Capitalizes on Turnovers, holds off Scranton
Abington vs Scranton is a game that most figured to be an entertaining and crucial game. For me, the first thing I noticed was the massive crowd in the Abington Stands compared to the home Scranton Knights’ fans. Also, the rowdy Abington Student section was cheering and screaming before the game even started, getting the real players on the field pumped up and ready for action. And that enthusiasm would pay off.
Scranton would get the ball first off the initial kickoff. But, on the third play of the game, Collin Bremer of Abington Heights forced a fumble and the Comets recovered. Again, the students went insane, firing up the now confident Comets. Two plays later, Sophomore running back Paul Gallagher caught the pass from 5 yards away to put the Comets up 7-0.
On the next kickoff, Scranton would again be looking to get something going offensively. But, on the fifth play of that drive, once again, a fumble by Scranton, this time from star Senior running back Fabby Desir, would lead to the Comets taking over in great field position. And then, 4 plays later, one of the best kickers in the area, Sophomore Charlie Armetta, booted one through the uprights to give Abington Heights a 10-0 lead with 7:30 still left in the first quarter.
After another poor outing by the Knights of Scranton, the Comets would again take over. The drive was lead by the running game, with speedy Senior back Eric Ofcharsky bursting through gaping holes thanks to the great play of his line and terrific blocking by the Junior running back Kody Pasqualichio. The defensive line of Scranton was one of great strength of their entire team, but Pasqualichio and the O-Line did a fantastic job of neutralizing them and allowing Ofcharsky to show off his game breaking quickness and elusiveness. Ofcharsky would finished off the drive witha 3 yard run, giving the Comets all the momentum, all of the confidence, and all the points in a 17-0 lead. Ofcharsky would go on to score another touchdown through the air from Senior QB Pat Griffen before the half ended, and another field goal by Charlie Armetta would give the Comets a 26-0 lead at the half.
The second half began similarly to the rest of the game, with another strong Abington drive capped off by a touchdown pass from Pat Griffen to Junior receiver Tyler Cuneo, whose speed and quickness are something to watch for next season. But, a Scranton drive finished off by a 1 yard TD run by QB Brian Dunleavy to try to stir up a comeback with the lead now at 33-7.
Another run by Dunleavy and a 5 yard reception from Dezmond Keiser would bring Scranton back a little, but mostly it was all for show, as the Comets would hang on to win, 36-21. The key players of the game were deffinatly expected on offense, where Comet running back Eric Ofcharsky outplayed Scranton running back Fabby Desir, both of which had outstanding 100+ games. Also, the passing attack of Pat Griffen was very well executed, as he had 3 passing touchdowns, all of which in the red zone.
On defense, the Comets really overpowered, as linebackers Paul Gallagher and Junior John Snyder as well as safety Ross Cadman lead the way on all levels. Paul got in the backfield with ease, putting pressure on Dunleavy all day. Cadman was great in coverage, confusing the QB and even intercepting a pass late. And John Snyder was the solid foundation in the defense, always around the ball and shutting down the running game as well as the short passing game with his sideline to sideline ability.
And finally, the outstanding and under appreciated play of Sophomore kicker Charlie Armetta is something people across the state will be noticing. Charlie had 3 field goals, two from inside the 25 and one from 41 (which would have been good from 45+), 3 extra points (something that some teams can’t acheive) and 2 touchbacks, a feat that is rarely seen in schools across the state. Of all the talent in the area, Armetta is a player would could be kicking his way to a good football college.
Although the loss hurts, the talent of the Scranton Knights should rebound over the next few weeks, and I see them making the playoffs. Also, the red hot Comets look like one of the districts top teams, and could go very deep in the playoffs this season. Both teams were fun to watch, but the hardnosed, Penn State-like play of the Comets could be trouble for opposing teams for the remainder of the football season.
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