Sports

HomeSports ( October 17, 2018 )

Sabers Lose In Delayed Football Game; Lady Meteors Claim Division Soccer Title

By Tom Robinson

Susquehanna got an early look at the team it hopes to be playing again in four weeks, falling to Dunmore, 42-6, Saturday night in a non-league high school football road game.

The game was postponed 24 hours in a school district decision made Friday afternoon in the aftermath of a serious automobile accident in Thompson involving Sabers lineman Tim Sweeney and three other Susquehanna students.

Players and coaches checked on their teammate, who is hospitalized at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, throughout the weekend and Dunmore fans and players offered various signs of support when the game went on Saturday night. The Sabers had Sweeney's number 75 jersey with them on the sideline during the game.

The Bucks (6-2) are Lackawanna Football Conference Division 3 co-leaders and are positioned to be the top seed in the four-team District 2 Class 2A playoffs. The Sabers (4-4) are likely to play Riverside (5-3) in back-to-back weeks, both to end the regular season, then in the district semifinals to try to earn a shot at the defending District 2 champions.

Although the game made its way to the Mercy Rule in the third quarter, the Sabers kept it competitive for most of the first half.

A 75-yard run by Rayshaun Dawkins on Dunmore's third play helped the Bucks open a 14-0 lead after one quarter. The score remained there until quarterback Steve Borgia's touchdown with 11 seconds left in the half gave Dunmore a 21-0 cushion.

With quarterback C.J. Stone remaining out with a leg injury, Susquehanna went with its third quarterback in as many weeks.

Sophomore Garrett Decker, one of the team's defensive leaders the past two seasons as a linebacker, got his first start at the position.

Decker scored the only touchdown for the Sabers on an 8-yard run after Dunmore had opened the lead to 35-0 late in the third quarter.

The Sabers were also without another of their defensive leaders, Billy Perry, because of an injury.

WEEK IN REVIEW

Montrose clinched the Lackawanna League Division 2 girls' soccer championship Oct. 9, then put together one of its top efforts of the season in its next outing Friday.

The Lady Meteors wrapped up the division title with a 5-0 win over Holy Cross.

With the title in hand, Montrose then posted its ninth straight shutout, holding down the only team that had scored on the Lady Meteors during their 14-0 season with a 6-0 victory over Mountain View.

Maddy Gilhool had four goals and an assist in the latest win.

Brianna Spence added a goal and an assist. Lizzy Lathrop scored the other goal.

Katie Puterbaugh had two saves for the shutout.

Mountain View entered the game in second place in the division and dropped to third at 10-4, behind Lakeland, which is 8-3.

In boys' cross country, Montrose posted victories over two opponents with winning records in an Oct. 9 cluster meet, beating Scranton Prep, 21-37, and Holy Cross, 25-32.

The Meteors improved to 17-1 to hold second place in the Lackawanna League.

In girls' cross country, Elk Lake edged its long-time rival by knocking off Holy Cross, 29-30.

The Lady Warriors improved to 11-6 while dropping the Lady Crusaders to 13-4.

In high school football, Montrose remained winless when it lost at home, 49-13, to Honesdale.

The Hornets broke a five-game losing streak by opening a 42-0 lead in the first half and building it to 49-0 after three quarters.

Ethan Cina hit Chucky Rohan with a pair of touchdown passes in the fourth quarter.

In girls' tennis, the District 2 singles tournament was postponed and scheduled to be played Monday and Tuesday.

LOOKING BACK

Mary Ann Lawrenson from Thompson finished fifth in the 50-54-year-old Female Division Oct. 7 at the Steamtown Marathon.

Lawrenson completed the 26.2-mile run from Forest City to Scranton in 3:51:09 to place 359th overall out of 1,238 finishers in the 23rd annual race.

Michael Lopatofsky, a 37-year-old from Clifford Twp., led Susquehanna County finishers, placing 158th in 3:30:29.

Others to break four hours included: 239th, John Heptig, 37M, New Milford, 3:40:27; 304th, Jake Knowlton, 39M, Union Dale, 3:46:15; 332nd, Julia Zarate, 27M, Montrose, 3:49:16; 351st, Michael Quinn, 52M, Richmondale, 3:50:32; 434th, Fred Malloy, 52M, Montrose, 3:58:12.

In professional hockey, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins opened their 20th season with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Springfield Thunderbirds Oct. 6.

Zach Aston-Reese scored in regulation, then hit the only successful attempt of the shootout on his team's first attempt.

Anthony Peters made 30 saves, then stopped all three shootout attempts he faced.

The Binghamton Devils opened the season with a win the same night, beating the Toronto Marlies, 7-5, with the help of two goals by Nathan Bastian.

Both teams have continued their strong starts.

The Penguins are 3-0 and have outscored opponents, 10-3.

The Devils are 3-1 to lead the North Division.

COLLEGE CORNER

Giovanni Amato has started the last six games at midfield for the Marywood University men's soccer team.

The sophomore midfielder from Montrose scored his only goal of the season in a 4-3 loss to Berkeley (N.Y.).

Marywood is 0-3-1 in its first season as an Atlantic East member and is 1-10-1 overall.

Amato has played in 11 games and started nine. As a freshman, he played 17 games, started 14 and recorded one goal and one assist while earning Colonial States Athletic Conference All-Academic honors.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Susquehanna and Montrose each have non-league games with Lackawanna Football Conference Division 3 opponents Friday night.

The Sabers (4-4) are at Carbondale (2-6) while Montrose (0-8) is at Riverside (5-3).

Our high school football predictions were 12-2 (85.7 percent) last week, bringing our season record to 76-19 (80.0).

This week's predictions, with home teams in CAPS: Susquehanna 29, CARBONDALE 18 … RIVERSIDE 44, Montrose 13 … DELAWARE VALLEY 39, Wyoming Valley West 3 … Wallenpaupack 40, WILLIAMSPORT 29 … VALLEY VIEW 37, Scranton 0 … WEST SCRANTON 32, Abington Heights 6 … NORTH POCONO 15, Honesdale 6 … Dunmore 23, WESTERN WAYNE 19 … MID VALLEY 26, Tunkhannock 15 … Old Forge 38, NORTHWEST 13 … LACKAWANNA TRAIL 28, Lake-Lehman 21 … SCRANTON PREP 35, Lakeland 8 … COLUMBIA-MONTOUR VO-TECH 42, Holy Cross 38.

In girls' soccer, two District 2 playoff race leaders will meet in a non-league game Wednesday when Montrose hosts Lake-Lehman.

Lake-Lehman leads Division 2 of the Wyoming Valley Conference and is currently is position to claim the top seed in the District 2 Class 2A playoffs.

The game is a rematch of last year's District 2 Class 2A championship game that Lake-Lehman won in a shootout.

Montrose dropped to Class A this season and will be the top seed in that tournament. The Lady Meteors have District 2's only perfect record and the only unbeaten record in any division of the Lackawanna League.

TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com or followed on Twitter at @tomjrobinson.

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NASCAR Racing

Hodges News Service

STEWART HAAS FORDS DOMINATE TALLADEGA

TALLADEGA, Ala.--Aric Almirola's efforts to conserve fuel in Sunday's Cup Series race paid off, as he claimed his first race of the 2018 season and second of his career.

"They don't come any better than this win," he said. "I've come so close and not been able to seal the win, but what a cool time today. This takes us to the next round, and I'm so proud to be part of this team.

"They asked me to try and save on fuel, which I did. There were times I could have run out front, but I stayed in third or fourth just to be on the safe side. This really makes up for the ones we came so close to winning and missed out on."

Almirola and the three other SHR teams pitted on lap 138 of the 188 lap race. Each driver was told by his crew chief to conserve fuel if possible.

The SHR Fords driven by Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, and Alec Almirola dominated Sundays Cup series race. The four drivers ran 1-2-3-4 for 132 laps of the race. They also won both stages of the race.

The SHR teams were out front when a wreck with three laps to go forced a green-white-checkered overtime finish, and teams were faced with crucial decisions regarding fuel.

Kevin Harvick's No. 4 Ford started sputtering just as the green flag was dropped for the race's last restart, and he had to coast down pit road for fuel, which dropped him to the 28th finishing position.

Kurt Busch jumped to the lead, followed by Almirola and Bowyer. Right after the leaders took the white flag and started the last lap, there was a five car pileup behind them. Normally, NASCAR would put out the yellow, but for some reason they elected to let the leaders race to the finish line.

Busch's No. 41 Ford started sputtering going into turn-4. His gas tank had run dry.

Almirola took the lead and held off teammate Clint Bowyer, for his first win since 2014 at Daytona.

"It was a matter of who was going to be ahead at the time," said Bowyer. "I think all our cars were just about equal, and either one could have won. I was going to race for the win, but I didn't want to wreck my teammate."

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was third, followed by Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, AJ Allmendinger, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Paul Menard, and Regan Smith.

Kurt Busch led 108 laps and was credited with a 14th place finish, but he was clearly upset with NASCAR's decision not to put out the yellow flag while he was leading.

"NASCAR made a bad call today," said Busch. "Once you take the white flag and there is a wreck, the finish and caution flags are supposed to come out. That didn't happen today, and it was wrong."

Top-12 Chase leaders: 1. Harvick-3128, 2. Kyle Busch-3111, 3. Logano-3104, 4. Kurt Busch-3095, 5. Almirola-3087, 6. Bowyer-3086, 7. Truex-3083, 8. Elliott-3066, 9. Keselowski-3065, 10. Blaney-3061, 11. Larson-3057, 12. Bowman-3015.

Note: After next week's Kansas race the points will be reset and the Chase field reduced to eight drivers.

Results of the NASCAR Truck Series race held Sat., Oct. 13 at Talladega: 1. Timothy Peters, 2. Myatt Snider, 3. David Gilliland, 4. Justin Haley, 5. Wendell Chavois, 6. Stewart Friesen, 7. Jordan Anderson, 8. Bryan Dausat, 9. Matt Tullman, 10. Austin Hill.

Top-6 Chase leaders: 1. Sauter-3042, 2. Moffitt-3027, 3. Gragson-3025, 4. Enfinger-3018, 5. Haley-3014, 6. Crafton-3003.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series had an off week.

KAHNE WON'T RETURN TO NASCAR

Kasey Kahne said he will not be returning to the NASCAR Cup Series this season and indicated that he might never be able to return to full-bodied stock cars.

Kahne, who announced in August that he would not race in NASCAR regularly starting in 2019, has missed the last five races as he has worked with doctors to determine why he is suffering severe dehydration during races.

"To say I'm disappointed after receiving the result that I was not medically cleared for the remainder of the season following a test session at Charlotte Motor Speedway last week is an understatement," Kahne said. "Out of the race car I am perfectly healthy, I feel great, and the doctors have determined that I have no underlying health problems.

"My body just can't handle extended periods of time in the race car and we weren't able to control the sweat ratio to keep me hydrated enough to prevent any permanent damage to my body."

The 38-year-old Kahne has 18 Cup wins and 93 top-5s in 529 career starts.

JOHNSON TO GET NEW CREW CHIEF

Hendrick Motorsports has named new crew chiefs for their Nos. 24 and 48 NASCAR Cup Series teams, effective at the conclusion of the 2018 racing season.

The assignments represent new roles for veterans Chad Knaus and Darian Grubb, along with the return to Hendrick Motorsports of Kevin Meendering.

Knaus will become crew chief for William Byron and the No. 24 team with its respective personnel. He currently leads the No. 48 team of Jimmie Johnson.

Meendering will become crew chief for Johnson and the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 team with its respective personnel. He is currently crew chief of Xfinity Series playoff contender Elliott Sadler.

"Chad and Jimmie will go down as one of the greatest combinations in sports history," Rick Hendrick said. "They defied the odds by performing at a championship level for longer than anyone could've possibly imagined. What they've accomplished together has been absolutely remarkable and will be celebrated for generations. This has been an incredible, storybook run."

Racing Joke:  One day Kevin thought he'd see just how fast his son's bicycle could go before it became uncontrollable. He asked teammate Clint, who owned an old Pontiac Trans-Am, if he could tie his bike to the bumper of his car to test his theory.
"Sure," said Clint.
So Kevin tied the bike to the back of the car and told Clint, "I'll ring my bike bell once if I want you to go faster, twice if I want you to maintain speed, and repeatedly if I want you to slow down."
Clint shifted the Trans-Am into gear and off they went. Things were going pretty well, with Clint slowly speeding up to 60 mph. Kevin was handling the speed just fine. But all of sudden, a black Porsche came up beside them and before you knew it, Clint forgot all about Kevin and his bicycle and took off after the Porsche.
A little further down the road sat Officer Sawyer in his police cruiser, radar gun at the ready. He heard the two cars before his radar registered 100 mph.
He called into headquarters on his radio, "Hey, you guys aren't going to believe this, but there's a Porsche and Trans-Am racing out here on Highway 22, and there's a guy on a bicycle ringing his bell and waving his arms trying to pass them!"

Weekend Racing: It's on to the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway for the Cup and Xfinity teams. The Trucks have an off week.

Sat., Oct. 20; Xfinity Series race 30 of 33; Starting time: 2:30 pm ET; TV: NBCSN.

Sun., Oct. 21; Cup Series race 32 of 36; Starting time: 2 pm ET; TV: NBC.

Racing Trivia Question: Which was the first Cup Series team that Kasey Kahne drove for?

Last Week's Question: Where will the last race of the season be held? Answer. Homestead, Fla. On Nov. 18.

Gerald Hodges is a syndicated NASCAR photojournalist and author. You may contact him by e-mail at: hodges@race500.com.

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