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Honesdale beats Tunkhannock

Written by: on Saturday, September 24th, 2022. Follow Mitch Rupert on Twitter.


TUNKHANNOCK — Cameron Hedgelon hadn’t caught a pass all season. Facing fourth down from the Tunkhannock 28-yard line Friday night, the Honesdale junior picked a pretty good time to catch his first.

He gathered in a pass from quarterback Aiden Collins as he broke toward the sideline. And just as it appeared the Tigers’ defense had him bottled up, Hedgelon cut back toward the middle of the field and raced to the end zone for a touchdown.

It was one of two fourth-down touchdowns scored by the Hornets last night. It was also the first of four touchdowns of at least 17 yards Honesdale score. The Hornets’ offense may not have sustained drives last night, but it was explosive leading to a 34-0 win over Tunkhannock.

And offense which has struggled to find much of anything in the passing game over the last three weeks certainly found its footing against Tunkhannock. Sophomore quarterback Aiden Collins completed 9 of 13 passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns. And after not catching a pass through the first four weeks, Hedgelon caught four balls for 94 yards and that first-quarter score.

“We knew all week we needed to find a balance offensively because we’ve been lacking it for a few weeks,” Honesdale coach Paul Russick said. “We’ve been trying to find some confidence in some of our other guys to catch the ball.”
Ever since returning 700-yard receiver, Kage Southerton was lost in the Wyoming Area game in Week 2, Honesdale has managed just 66 passing yards in the last two weeks combined. So the Hornets played a little bit backward Friday night. They used an efficient passing game to try to open up its running game.

After throwing an incompletion on his first attempt, Collins completed six passes in a row to close out the first half, including the touchdown connection to Hedgelon. All four of Hedgelon’s receptions went for at least 20 yards, and all four made first downs.

“We knew he had it in him,” Russick said. “When Kage got hurt, we asked Cameron to go player corner and we wanted him to take care of that. But this week we got him some more reps on offense. He has that slot receiver aura about him.”
The Hornets may not have put together the lengthy drives on the ground which can grind away the clock like it wanted to. But they were explosive when they had to be. Mason Avery scored on a scintillating 38-yard touchdown run. Max Mickel scored on a 17-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. And Kole Fries caught a jump ball on a fade pattern when Collins had all kinds of pressure in his face in the third quarter. Fries’ touchdown, like Hedgelon’s, came on fourth down.

“That’s almost the story of our season,” Tunkhannock coach Mike Marabell said. “We can get you in third-and-long, but we can’t close it out. Those two fourth-down touchdowns are typical of what we’ve been doing and not doing right. And we’re having a hard time figuring out how to fix it.”

Honesdale’s defense was just as explosive as its offense. The Hornets pitched their first shutout of the season. Tunkhannock was shut out for the third time in its last 15 games dating back to last season.

The Tigers struggled to find any rhythm offensively. After completing three of his first four passes, Tunkhannock quarterback Ben Chilson went 4 for his final 14 in the first half as Honesdale pulled ahead, 28-0, at halftime. By the time Tunkhannock found some consistency in its passing game, they were already five scores behind.

Chilson was sacked five times by a Honesdale defensive front that harassed Chilson all night.

“Their defensive line made us look really bad,” Marabell said. “I have a very young line beside my center, and it showed.”

“Those guys got off the ball,” Russick said. “Rocco Fluck, Bryce Stone, Bennett Fritz, and Aaron Phillips, those are four seniors and they were getting in there. We play up to 10 seniors on our defense and it shows.”

Honesdale 34, Tunkhannock 0
Honesdale 14 14 6 0 — 34
Tunkhannock 0 0 0 0 — 0
First Quarter
H – Cameron Hedgelon 28 pass from Aiden Collins (Max Mickel kick), 7:45
H – Mason Avery 38 run (Mickel kick), 5:46
Second Quarter
H – Rocco Fluck 6 pass from Collins (Mickel kick), 5:11
H – Mickel 17 run (Rylan Montgomery kick), 2:48
Third Quarter
H – Kole Fries 25 pass from Collins (kick failed), 6:21
Fourth Quarter

Ho Tu
First Downs 16 9
Rushes-Yards 41-165 22-7
Comp-Att-Int 9-13-0 14-30-0
Passing 181 165
Total Yards 346 172
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 3-2
Penalties-Yards 7-70 6-50

Individual statistics
Rushing: Honesdale — Max Mickel, 13-67, TD; CJ Hinton, 6-33; Mason Avery, 9-32, TD; Jeffry Delgado-Santos, 4-16; Aaron Phillips, 3-14; Robert Quinn, 3-9; Team, 3-(-6). Tunkhannock — Bobby Schultz, 4-14; Tenzen Lewis, 5-9; Joey Ross, 1-8; Jayden Ransom, 1-5; Ethan Dominick, 2-3; Evan Montross, 1-1; Caden Simmers, 1-(-1); Team 1-(-11); Ben Chilson, 6-(-21).

Passing: Honesdale — Aiden Collins, 9-13-0, 141 yds., 3 TDs. Tunkhannock — Ben Chilson, 14-30-0, 165 yds.

Receiving: Honesdale — Cameron Hedgelon, 4-94, TD; Tyler Winters, 2-14; Max Mickel, 1-42; Kole Fries, 1-25, TD; Rocco Fluck, 1-6, TD. Tunkhannock — Colin Madan, 6-52; Joey Ross, 4-57; Garrett Yuhas, 2-54; Jayden Ransom, 2-2.

Records: Tunkhannock (1-4); Honesdale (3-2).

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