Inguilli, Gething help City run past County in 78th Dream Game
SCRANTON, Pa. – At one point in the second half, a Delaware Valley assistant coach asked, “Is it Thursday (morning) yet?”
It was hard to tell whether the assistant was joking or serious with the inquiry, but one thing was certain: in the 78th installment of the Scranton Lions’ Club Dream Game, the City all-stars scored nearly enough points to knock its County counterparts into next week.
Pat Inguilli (Wallenpaupack) and J.P. Gething (North Pocono) combined to rush for more than 120 yards and score five of the City’s six touchdowns in a convincing 41-20 victory from Scranton High School Wednesday evening.
For some of the participants, the Dream Game, which holds the distinction of being the nation’s longest-running all-star football game, marks the final time for donning a helmet and pads. Others, like Gething and Inguilli, are bound for the collegiate ranks.
And City head coach Keith Olsommer (Delaware Valley) hoped his running back tandem’s future destinations were paying attention to their performances this night.
“Wilkes and (Lebanon) Valley are getting two great athletes – I hope they know what they’re getting,” Olsommer said. “We had a real nice group of skill kids and tough blockers up front. We didn’t go too hard in practice, but come game time, they went out and got after it.”
Inguilli, who ran for more than 1,800 yards in his senior season for the Buckhorns, said it was easy to pick out the holes his teammates were creating.
“Our fullback (Chris Yurechko, Dunmore), our wide receivers downfield, our linemen, they all did a great job blocking all game long,” Inguilli said. “In every game of football, you can’t do anything without your line.”
It was Inguilli’s 43-yard touchdown run in the second quarter which snapped a 10-point spurt by the County to pull within three, and his 1-yard run on the City’s first play from scrimmage of the fourth quarter helped the blue and white widen its margin to 34-17. He also recovered a fumble in the end zone to give the City a 13-0 lead in the first quarter, though No. 2 said he never lost control of the ball.
“Our guys were still up, but they were starting to show signs of getting down a bit,” Inguilli said before his 43-yard scoring run. “I saw nothing but green in front of me and it was like, ‘Nobody’s getting in my way. I’m going all the way.’ It’s awesome to be in the drivers’ seat like that.”
Gething’s two touchdowns bookended the City’s scoring effort in the game. His 30-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter capped the City’s scoring and a 4-yard run on the squad’s first offensive play of the game following an 18-yard interception return by Nick Hessling (Honesdale) gave the blue and white a 6-0 lead.
The County, however, was spearheaded largely by a trio of Old Forge Blue Devils. Quarterback Colin Carey, running back Louis Febbo and wide receiver David Argust all made significant contributions offensively for the red and white, who twice pulled to within three points in the first half, 13-10 in the first quarter and 20-17 in the second.
In fact, the Old Forge triumvariate was responsible for both County touchdowns in the game. Carey hooked up with Argust (5 rec., 100 yards) on an 84-yard pass-and-catch for a touchdown in the first quarter, punctuated by an Argust backflip into the end zone, which ultimately drew a flag.
“I had told Coach (Mike) Schuback I wanted to do that (a backflip) at some point, and that if I got a big run or big play I was going to do it,” Argust explained. “I looked behind me (on the long reception) and there was no one there, so I did it. But I couldn’t believe it drew a flag. This is an all-star game, man. Just have fun.”
Argust, who will not play football in college, admitted it was disappointing to lose the final game he’d ever play.
“It did feel good playing in this game – Colin and I were feeling it out there,” Argust said. “These last two weeks, practicing and hanging out with these guys, I’ve made friends who I intend to keep for my entire life. A bigger team like this isn’t something we’re used to seeing in Class A.”
Febbo (10 rush, 45 yards), who was the Blue Devils’ featured running back in 2011, scored the County’s other touchdown on an 11-yard run in the second quarter to pull within 20-17.
But the City strode back in control on its first play following the County kickoff. Jordan Dempsey (Dunmore) hit Austin Cowpertnwait (Susquehanna) on a 61-yard touchdown pass to jump back up by 10 at halftime. The County would never get closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
Carey threw for 145 yards and ran for 54 yards on six carries for the County while Antonio Russo (Mid-Valley) added 53 yards rushing on 11 carries. The County all-stars finished with 397 yards of offense and 18 first downs.
Gething paced the City with 71 yards rushing on 11 carries and Inguilli added 56 yards on seven totes. Quarterbacks Dempsey, Rob Heyen (Susquehanna) and Tom Timlin (Scranton Prep) combined to throw for 153 yards on 4-of-8 passing. Heyen also added 36 yards rushing on five carries.
Though the County outrushed, outpassed and outgained the City, Olsommer noted that his group not only had talent, but character as well.
“When you combine talent and character, that’s very hard to defeat,” Olsommer said.
NOTE: Dunmore’s Jack Henzes Jr. was honored at halftime as the Scranton Lions Club’s 2012 Man of the Year. Henzes ranks second all-time in career victories among Pennsylvania scholastic coaches, with an overall record of 357-152-8. In receiving the award, Henzes also achieved the same honor earned by his father, John “Papa Bear” Henzes, who coached the former Blakely High School and was honored posthumously with the Man of the Year award in 1986…..In the Dream Game, rules stipulate that if the losing team is trailing by nine points or more, it gets to receive the ensuing kickoff following any of its scores. The County’s first points came via a field goal in the first quarter, and, down 13-3, received the ensuing kickoff after some discussion. An official said nowhere in the game rules did it explicitly state the rule applied only to the second half.
78th Dream Game
County 10 7 0 3 – 20
City 13 14 0 14 – 41
CIT – J.P. Gething 4 run (PAT failed), 11:12
CIT – Pat Inguilli fumble recovery in end zone (Caleb Volger kick), 8:07
CNT – FG, Brandon Pacyna 28, :40.7
CNT – David Argust 84 pass from Colin Carey (Pacyna kick), :23.8
CIT – Inguilli 43 run (Volger kick), 2:46
CNT – Louis Febbo 11 run (Pacyna kick), :32.2
CIT – Austin Cowpertnwait 61 pass from Jordan Dempsey (Volger kick), :15
CIT – Inguilli 1 run (Volger kick), 11:56
CNT – FG, Pacyna 38, 7:01
CIT – Gething 30 run (Volger kick), 4:09
Rushes-yds 27-157 39-209
Passing 4-8-1 15-26-1
Passing yds 153 188
Total yds 310 397
Penalties 5-50 5-46
RUSHING: CITY: J.P. Gething, 11-71 2 TD; Inguilli, 7-56 2 TD; Rob Heyen, 5-36; Chris Yurechko, 2-5; Jordan Dempsey, 2-minus-11. COUNTY: Antonio Russo, 11-53; Louis Febbo, 10-45 TD; Colin Carey 6-54; J.J. Rojenches, 5-12; Tyler Kapinus, 4-5; Eric Laytos, 3-14; Alex Filarsky, 1-27.
PASSING: CITY: Tom Timlin, 2-3-0-38; Heyen, 1-2-0-54; Dempsey, 1-3-1-61 TD. COUNTY: Carey, 10-17-0-145 TD; Rojenches, 5-9-1-43.
RECEIVING: CITY: Austin Cowpertnwait, 1-61 TD; Daniel Repshis, 1-54; Pat Robinson, 1-39; Gething, 1-minus-1. COUNTY: David Argust, 5-100 TD; Russo, 3-35; Matt Aten, 2-21; Regan Grossman, 2-13; Kapinus, 2-2; Febbo, 1-19.
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