TUNKHANNOCK -- With a playoff berth on the line, Carbondale recorded its highest point total of the season, defeating Tunkhannock 42-21 on Friday at Tunkhannock Memorial Stadium.
The Chargers spoiled Tunkhannock's senior night en route to securing a district playoff berth.
We lost some really close games early on in the season, Carbondale coach Larry Gabriel said. I'm just thrilled for our seniors that we battled back and got into the postseason.
In the first half, the Chargers completed a few screen passes on third down to keep two touchdown drives alive.
I think the screen game was big early for us, Gabriel said. We feel if we could get our screen game going, we'll keep guys on their heels.
After falling behind 14-0, the Tigers drove the ball to the Carbondale 31-yard line. On first down, Brian Beauchemin threw a pass that bounced off his receiver's fingertips and into Joe Gigliotti's hands for a Chargers' interception.
On its ensuing possession, Tunkhannock had another chance to put points on the board when the Tigers drove into the red zone. However, two straight penalties knocked the Tigers back and they failed to score again.
I think that we took ourselves out of the game in the first half, Tunkhannock coach Rod Azar said. I think if we had executed better in the first half, I think it could have been a close game in the second half.
Brandon Sales added to Carbondale's lead when he juked a defender in the backfield and scampered 17 yards to give the Chargers a 20-0 advantage.
Tunkhannock responded on the ensuing kickoff. Ryan Cywinski picked up a key block from Josh Robinson and scored on an 80-yard kickoff return to cut the deficit to 20-7.
The Chargers answered with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Gigliotti to Remington Hedden before the end of the first half that gave Carbondale a 26-7 lead.
Carbondale ended any chance of a comeback on its first play from scrimmage in the second half. Gigliotti handed to ball off to Hedden, who rumbled 63 yards for the score.
Hedden finished with 135 yards rushing, 52 yards receiving and four touchdowns, while Sales balanced out the Chargers' rushing attack with 122 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite the deficit, the Tigers continued to battle. After the Hedden touchdown, the Tigers answered when Beauchemin delivered a pass into the outstretched arms of Brett Stage in the corner of the end zone to cut the deficit to 33-14. Robinson also added a rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
CAR – Remington Hedden 1 run (Jarrod Arndt kick), 6:31
CAR – Brandon Sales 4 run (kick failed), 1:28
CAR – Sales 17 run (Arendt kick), 3:48
TUNK – Ryan Cywinski 80 kick return (Colton Coolbaugh), 3:33
CAR – Hedden 9 pass from Joe Gigliotti (kick failed), 0:20
CAR – Hedden 63 run (Arendy kick), 11:38
TUNK – Brett Stage 28 pass from Brian Beauchemin (Coolbaugh kick), 7:45
CAR – Safety (lateral out of endzone), 8:52
CAR – Hedden 5 run (Arendt kick), 5:14
TUNK – Josh Robinson 3 run (Coolbaugh kick), 0:09
RUSHING- CAR: Sales 19-122, Hedden 14-135, Gigliotti 5-12, Bradley Sales 1-4, Cody Browne 1- (minus 2); TUN: Robinson 11-39, Cywinski 5-28, Beauchemin 8-5, Josh Colley 5-19, Shane Edmundson 1- (minus 6), Coolbaugh 2-33.
PASSING- CAR: Gigliotti 7-12-0-123; TUN: Beauchemin 4-9-1-59, Colley 1-1-0-28, Robinson 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING- CAR: Sales 3-40, Hedden 3-52, Michael Scotch 1-31; TUN: Robinson 2-41, Andrew Muckin 1-18, Stage 1-28.
INTS- CAR: Gigliotti MISSED FGS- None