OLD FORGE – The hits brought loud oohs and ahhs from the crowd.
It seemed like every time Lackawanna Trail touched the ball, an Old Forge defender delivered the boom.
The Blue Devils were the physical team in every sense of the word, blowing up the Lions in the trenches and on the scoreboard as Old Forge led 22-0 after one quarter and cruised to a 50-13 win on homecoming night in Lackawanna County.
Old Forge improves to 6-1 and prepares for a battle with undefeated Carbondale next week.
How dominant were the Blue Devils offensively?
The team needed just 17 first-half plays to rack 50 points. All six of Old Forge’s offensive possessions went for touchdowns.
The longest was just five plays, a drive that covered 80 yards.
The shortest? That would be Brandon Yescavage’s 82-yard run where he drove right through the middle, hit the sideline and was gone untouched.
Yescavage finished with 192 yards on just five carries, and accounted for three scores.
“I didn’t think we would be up like that at halftime,” OF head coach Mike Schuback said. “We had a little shakeup Tuesday night in practice and we got the kids motivated. They just hit on all cylinders against a playoff opponent. Lackawanna Trail is a playoff-contending team. I thought every kid offensively understood their role this week, and we got the most out of everyone.”
Lackawanna Trail (4-3), on the other hand, didn’t know what hit it.
Offensively, the road was filled with many potholes. A total of 20 rushing plays went for zero or negative yards. The team’s leading rusher, for the game, Kyle McHugh, picked up his 74 yards in the second half against Old Forge’s junior-varsity unit.
Five of the team’s first-half drives were three-and-outs, while its best possession – the ball resting on the Old Forge 16 – was deterred by a big loss on first down and Jorden Sekol’s 10-yard sack on the ensuing play.
Digging out of a 22-point first-quarter hole against one of the state’s best Class A teams proved too steep.
“My hats off to Old Forge,” Trail head coach Steve Jervis said. “They have some big, strong kids. We didn’t have much of an answer for them tonight.”
Old Forge quarterback Jake Manetti also accounted for three touchdowns – tossing two scores, while running a short 1-yard keeper up the gut, pushing the score to 35-0.
Two long Yescavage TD runs increased the lead to 50-0 at the break.
“We didn’t have Joey (Bruno) on the line tonight, and I thought all the kids stepped up for him,” Schuback said. “He’ll be ready to go Monday morning. This is the first time we didn’t have our whole unit up front in about 20 games. They knew this was a big night. We came to work, and had a great effort.”
Trail scored twice in the second half – a 9-yard run by Ross Fauquier and a 4-yard sneak by backup quarterback Tyler Baltrusaitis.
“I think we only had one drive in the first half where we sustained it pretty well,” Jervis said. “They are a good team, and I think we were just a little outmanned tonight.”
Old Forge 50, Lackawanna Trail 13
Lack Trail `0`0`6`7`—`13
OF – Brandon Yescavage 24 pass from Jake Manetti (kick failed), 9:11
OF – Shane Schuback 5 run (Yescavage run), 7:39
OF – Joey Gutowski 50-yard punt return (Yescavage run), 5:26
OF – Schuback 6 pass from Manetti (Christian Mozeleski kick), 7:07
OF – Manetti 1 run (kick failed), 6:43
OF – Yescavage 44 run (Yescavage run), 4:22
OF – Yescavage 82 run (Schuback kick), 1:49
LT – Ross Fauquier 9 run (kick failed), 5:12
LT – Tyler Baltrusaitis 4 run (Mike Kearney kick), 6:25
RUSHING —LT, Kyle McHugh 7-74, Jonathon Zedar 12-40, Ross Fauquier 2-7, Tyler Baltrusaitis 2-1, Bryan Tuft 3-(-7), Vic Mallory 7-(-10), Rocco Pacini 4-(-14). OF, Brandon Yescavage 5-192, Zackary Chludzinski 9-23, Jorden Sekol 2-11, Shane Schuback 2-10, Jake Manetti 2-4, Troy Harris 3-3, Team 2-(-4), Paul Cariati 2-(-8).
PASSING — LT, Vic Mallory 10-22-0-92. OF, Jake Manetti 4-4-0-61.
RECEIVING — LT, Liam Dougherty 5-56, Matt Harris 2-20, Jonathon Zedar 2-6, Kyle McHugh 1-10. OF, Shane Schuback 2-12, Steve Mascaro 1-25, Brandon Yescavage 1-24,