HAWLEY — The star running back for Crestwood High School didn’t need 300 yards or long-distance touchdown sprints to help his team secure a victory this time.
Rather than his explosive legs, Frank Aigeldinger relied more on his hands. Because they helped Crestwood hang onto victory.
Aigeldinger and Michael Legg teamed up to stop Wallenpaupack three yards short of the end zone — and also shy of a first down — Friday, sealing Crestwood’s 27-19 victory over the Buckhorns at Wallenpaupack High School.
“Definitely defensive play,” Aigeldinger said, referring to his favorite moment of the night. “We scrapped it out, were able to make the tackle. It helped us beat them.”
Of course, Aigeldinger’s three rushing touchdowns didn’t hurt.
The hard-running tailback crossed the goal line on bursts of 3, 5 and 3 yards to produce three of Crestwood’s four scores.
That didn’t match Aigeldinger’s eye-popping career-high day of 323 rushing yards and four touchdowns against Pittston Area last week, but his workman-like performance Friday was every bit as meaningful to the Comets.
“A lot of people see his numbers on offense, what he did last week,” Crestwood coach Greg Myers said. “Tonight, I don’t think he had crazy numbers. But he did score three touchdowns. Most importantly, he stepped up on defense and made a great play at the end.”
For the record, Aigeldinger finished with 88 yards on 16 carries.
“Doesn’t matter to me,” Aigeldinger said. “All that matters is we get the win at the end of the day.”
Aigeldinger made sure the Comets secured it.
With little more than a minute to play, Wallenpaupack faced a fourth-and-3 from Crestwood’s 4-yard line while driving toward a potential score and conversion that would have tied the game. The Buckhorns gave the ball to their star running back Jovaughn Marshall, who finished with 181 rushing yards on the night.
But Aigeldinger dove in from his linebacker spot to make a low tackle, and Legg finished the play off from up top to thwart Wallenpaupack’s hopes of catching Crestwood.
“We knew it was going to be a fistfight,” Myers said. “I thought we answered the bell.”
Crestwood 27, Wallenpaupack 19
C — Frank Aigeldinger 3 run (George Gendler kick), 9:37
W — Jovaughn Marshall 30 run (Matt Vosburg kick), 6:29
W — Marshall 8 run (kick failed), 9:01
C — Aigeldinger 5 run (Gendler kick), 5:20
W — Marshall 4 run (kick failed), 0:48
C — Jay Popson 1 run (Gendler kick), 4:41
C — Aigeldinger 3 run (kick blocked), 9:27
RUSHING — CRES, Frank Aigeldinger 16-88, Jay Popson 8-45, Tanner Kahlau 6-21, Matt Bobeck 2-7, TEAM 4- (minus 8). WAL, Jovaughn Marshall 32-181, Rick Smith 6-71, John Steffen 2-25, TEAM 2-0.
PASSING — CRES, Popson 6-16-1-119. WAL, Steffen 5-8-2-48.
RECEIVING — CRES, Timothy Tokash 3-64, Matt Bobeck 1-20, Connor Sheloski 1-21, Andrew Chang 1-14. WAL, Ryan Worzel 3-39, Brad Bieski 1-7, Brad Day 1-2.
INTERCEPTIONS — CRES, Lance Blass 1-6, Matt MacDonald 1-0. WAL, Dominick Basilicata 1-0.