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Scranton – Mountain View's defense could have been stunned by the developments in the opening minutes of Thursday's District 2 Class A boys' soccer championship game at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
Ken Jesse had already made one difficult save and the Eagles had given up their earliest goal of the season to fall behind Bishop Hoban.
The defense, however, quickly settled itself and allowed Joe Scanlon the chance to lead an offensive effort that carried Mountain View to its third straight district championship with a 3-1 victory.
After allowing a goal, two shots and a corner kick in the first 2:31, Mountain View dominated, outshooting Bishop Hoban, 20-1, the rest of the way. Chad Lasher and Phil Cicco led a strong defensive effort as the Eagles did not even give up a shot for the next 53 minutes.
Mountain View did not face a deficit for long.
Scanlon converted a penalty kick after a hand ball in the penalty area to force a 1-1 tie at 4:10.
The game, however, remained evenly played until past the midway point in the first half when the Eagles began putting relentless pressure on the Argents.
Nick Stoud ripped a shot off the crossbar with 15:15 and the half ended with Mountain View threatening to break the tie.
"We played well in the second part of the first half," Eagles coach Darin Bain said, "but we didn't possess the ball as much as I would like."
Scanlon consistently got off shots by being able to get around and above defenders on corner kicks and throw-ins deep in the Bishop Hoban end.
"It's like he's got a steel forehead and there's a magnet in the ball," Bain said. "They double-team him and triple-team him and every ball gets to him."
Scanlon used his feet to score the game-winner with 30:01 remaining. He stopped Stoud's throw-in with his back to the goal, spun and fired a left-footed shot out of the reach of goalie Anthony Aguilina.
"He usually scores off set pieces off his head," Bain said, "but if he does get the ball to his feet, he's dangerous."
Scanlon used his feet to set up the clinching goal. He dribbled near the end line on the right side and passed to Adam Christina in front for a score with 50.1 seconds remaining.
The Eagles reached the final with a 1-0 victory over Wyoming Seminary.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Elk Lake and Blue Ridge both used strong finishes to the race to place in the top 10 among Class AA girls' teams Saturday morning at the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association cross country championships in Hershey.
Juniors Rachel Owens and Ellen Squier led the way as Elk Lake finished fifth in the state. Freshman Vikki Hartt led Blue Ridge to 10th out of 24 teams that qualified for the state meet.
If the race had ended at the two-mile mark, Elk Lake would have been seventh and Blue Ridge would have been 17th. Runners from both teams climbed through the ranks over the final 1.1 mile of the Parkview Course.
Owens (19:40) finished 10th and Squier (19:58) was 15th among the 168 runners from teams. They were 26th and 40th overall in the field of 288 runners, including individual competitors.
Hartt was 55th and 22nd among team competitors in 20:14.
Kim Caines was 70th overall, Lisa Ruppert was 89th and Hannah Owens was 189th for Elk Lake.
Maegan Lewis was 121st, Janelle Collins was 153rd, Beth Stone 183rd and Megan Kliner 186th for Blue Ridge.
Tara Chiarella from Montrose, the runner-up in District 2, was fourth among Susquehanna County runners. She was 58th in 20:15. Teammate Samantha Cudo was 170th.
Scranton Prep, the other District 2 team, was 14th.
St. Basil Academy outscored Lancaster Mennonite, 106-139, for the team title. Central Cambria had 133, York Suburban 162 and Elk Lake 178. Blue Ridge had a team score of 211.
Lauren Zarger, a sophomore from Harborcreek in District 10, won the individual title in 18:44. Wyoming Seminary's Alexandra Hackett led District 2 runners, taking 18th in 19:19.
The only county competitors in the Class AA boys' race were as individuals.
Elk Lake's Ryne Carney was 143rd out of 286 runners in 17:49. Susquehanna's Connor Frietag was 187th in 18:08.
West Middlesex beat out Tulpehocken, 132-186, for the boys' title.
District 2's Scranton Prep was sixth, Bishop O'Hara ninth and Lake-Lehman 10th in the team standings.
Mark Bucklaw of Lakeland was sixth in 16:13, leading a group of four straight District 2 runners. Mike May of Bishop O'Hara was seventh, followed by Kyle Pepson of Lakeland and Eddie Penetar of Bishop O'Hara.
Lucas Zarzeczny of Avonworth won the individual title in 15:37.
In high school football, Montrose's Taylor Smith returned to the offensive backfield and reached a milestone with a career-high effort during a 38-0 rout of visiting Susquehanna in the season finale.
Smith missed one game with a leg injury and was limited to defensive play only a week ago. He returned to the tailback position in style, surpassing the 1,000-yard mark on the season by carrying 31 times for 292 yards and three touchdowns.
"He looked good. He looked explosive," Montrose coach Jack Keihl said. "You could see it in pre-game."
Smith still contributed on defense where he returned a fumble 30 yards for his fourth touchdown in the fourth quarter. He scored in each of the first three quarters on runs, covering a yard in the first, 21 yards in the second and 24 yards in the third.
Montrose outrushed Susquehanna, 320-1.
After holding the Sabers without a first down and limiting them to minus-6 yards total offense and forcing one turnover in the first half, the Meteors forced five more turnovers while blowing open a 14-0 game in the second half.
When the Sabers failed to cover the second-half kickoff, Smith scored on the third play for a 20-0 lead.
Smith's 69-yard run set up a one-yard touchdown by Jared Fowler midway through the quarter.
Bud Roszel scored on a six-yard run in the fourth quarter.
In girls' soccer, Montrose had its 10-game unbeaten streak come to an end in the District 2 Class AA championship game with a 3-0 loss to Lakeland.
The Lady Chiefs held the Lady Meteors without a shot or corner kick in the first half.
Chelsea Buck scored on a first-half breakaway and Cozy Armezzani connected on a high shot from 35 yards with 29:35 remaining to break the game open.
Montrose reached the final with a 1-0 overtime victory over Dunmore on a goal by Nikki Printz.
In girls' volleyball, fourth-seeded Bishop O'Reilly knocked off top-seeded host Susquehanna in the semifinals then beat Blue Ridge in the District 2 Class AA championship match.
Blue Ridge upset Mountain View, 25-15, 25-18, 14-25, 25-22, to open the semifinal doubleheader at Susquehanna.
Bishop O'Reilly then surprised Susquehanna, 25-14, in the opening game before rallying from deficits to take the final two games, 25-23 and 26-24.
"We had a 10-day layoff," Susquehanna coach Phil Baldwin said. "I don't think that helped. I think we lost focus."
The Lady Sabers were unbeaten Lackawanna League champions, losing just two games along the way.
"After we lost that first game, I think we put extra pressure on ourselves," Baldwin said. "We made a lot of mistakes."
Bishop O'Reilly used its height advantage to handle Blue Ridge, 25-17, 27-25, 25-19, in the final.
College Misericordia's Sarah Golis won the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference championship at fifth singles.
The freshman from Montrose avenged her only loss of the season in the finals when she beat top-seeded Caitlin Haman of Gwynedd-Mercy, 7-5, 6-2.
Golis went 16-1 in singles play, including an 8-4 victory over Cabrini's Jackie Creighton in the league semifinals.
Golis was also 7-0 in doubles play, including 6-0 when teamed with Blaire Lord, a junior from Elk Lake.
THE WEEK AHEAD
A series of results combined to put Montrose in the Eastern Conference playoffs, a runner-up tournament for teams that are not part of the district and state playoff system.
The Meteors (5-5) will play at Salisbury Township (5-5) Friday in a Class AA semifinal.
A total of 10 Lackawanna Football Conference teams are involved in district/state play and three others are in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Abington Heights and Delaware Valley reached the District 2/11 Class AAAA Subregional Tournament, West Scranton made the District 2 Class AAA playoffs, Valley View, Riverside, Dunmore and Lakeland all made the District 2 Class AA playoffs and Mid Valley, Old Forge and Lackawanna Trail made the District 2 Class A playoffs.
Scranton (AAAA) and Bishop O'Hara (A) are the other Eastern Conference teams.
Our high school football predictions will continue until the last Lackawanna team is eliminated.
Last week's picks were a perfect 10-0, bringing our final regular season record to 86-21 (80.4 percent).
This week's predictions, with home teams in CAPS: SALISBURY TOWNSHIP 20, Montrose 8; ABINGTON HEIGHTS 17, Hazleton Area 7; BETHLEHEM LIBERTY 28, Delaware Valley 13; DALLAS 22, West Scranton 12; Valley View 28, WYOMING AREA 17; DUNMORE 38, Riverside 23; LAKELAND 20, Wilkes-Barre Meyers 12; OLD FORGE 44, Mid Valley 10; Lackawanna Trail 27, NORTHWEST 13; SCRANTON 21, Emmaus 20; BISHOP O'HARA 20, Bucktail 14.
In boys' soccer, Mountain View would play in the state Class A quarterfinals Saturday if it managed to get through the first round, which was scheduled for Tuesday.
The Eagles (15-2-1) opened with District 11 runner-up Moravian Academy (19-3) in a game set for Tuesday night at Scranton Memorial Stadium. The winner moves into Saturday's game against the winner between District 3 champion Pequea Valley (14-6-2) and District 4 runner-up Benton (15-7-1).
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
The Racing Reporter
STEWART WINS At Texas, Ft. Worth, TX – Tony Stewart won Sunday’s Nextel Cup Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in what he called “the perfect race car,” and at the end, Stewart’s two fresh tires were better than runner-up Jimmie Johnson’s four.
Tony Stewart celebrates his Sunday win at Texas.
“I thought we had the perfect car all day, we really did,” said Stewart. “Kasey (Kahne) was the closest guy to run with us, but even he fell off there at the end.”
Stewart led 273 laps of the 334-lap race, and except for the last eight laps, it was a long and boring event.
Greg Biffle hit the wall on lap 326, bringing out the second-to-last caution. During the caution period, Kasey Kahne, who was running second, lost the engine in his No. 9 Dodge.
When green flag racing resumed, the leaders were Stewart, Scott Riggs, Kevin Harvick, and Jimmie Johnson.
Johnson was able to immediately get by Harvick for third. Within a lap, Johnson had pulled up on the rear of Riggs, who moved down to the bottom of the track. By this time Harvick came up with a full head of steam, and touched the rear bumper of Riggs’ No. 10, sending him into the outside wall.
As Riggs’ car slid down the track, several other cars slammed and banged into each other.
This set up a green/white/checkered finish with Johnson, Harvick, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., lined up behind Stewart.
Johnson was not able to close on Stewart, as Stewart went on to his fifth win of the season.
With his second-place finish, Johnson has now gone from eighth to first in points in the last four races.
“The 20 car was fast all night long,” said Johnson. “I just didn’t have anything for him. I had some problems like the window net popping out under green flag, and I had to get it back up on my own.
“It was a wild night, but it was a good night, and I’m proud of the team.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was suffering from the effects of flu, but still managed a sixth-place finish.
“The first part of the race, it wasn’t any good at all,” he said. “But the guys got to working on the car and I got to feeling better, and that last half of the race I was fine. It was a good finish, because we just couldn’t get a hold of the car.”
Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Casey Mears, Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, and Denny Hamlin were the top-10 finishers.
The ten Chase contenders with two races remaining: 1. Johnson-6157, 2. Kenseth-6140, 3. Earnhardt-6079, 4. Hamlin-6077, 5. Harvick-6052, 6. J. Gordon-6000, 7. J. Burton-5973, 8. Kyle Busch-5924, 9. Martin-5904, 10. Kahne-5867.
With only the Phoenix and Homestead races left on the schedule, it appears the 2006 Nextel Cup Championship will be decided between Johnson, Kenseth, and Earnhardt.
JEFF BURTON’S Chase Chances Gone – A right front tire blew out on Jeff Burton’s No. 31 during Sunday’s race at Texas, and doomed his chances of making this year’s Chase. But despite the bad luck he has endured for the past three races, Burton continues to embrace a mature attitude.
“I have done my best to prepare myself emotionally for whatever this sport or whatever life brings me,” said Burton. “Not to say that I've prepared myself as well as I could have, but I've tried. Coming into this chase, I understood, believed that there would be moments of excitement, hoped there would be moments of excitement, and understood there would certainly be moments of disappointment.”
For two brief weeks, Burton was the leader, but after three races, he fell to seventh, 184 points out of first.
“I haven't gotten caught up when we were leading,” he continued. “I haven't gotten caught up in that, because I've said to you guys to begin with I thought with two to three races to go, you start to get into it a little bit, now we're the pursuer.
“How that affects us, I don't know. We're still going to go out and do our best job, but I don't feel like I've been on a roller coaster.
“I've been in this sport a long time. And Jimmie Johnson and I were talking about this before the race on Sunday, look at any 10-race period throughout the year and how many teams go through that 10-race period without struggle, without problems. It's very few.
“So certainly the microscope is on this 10-race program. There's no question about it. But we, as competitors, understand that just because it's the chase doesn't mean that it's any different than any other time of the year, it just has more importance to it.”
NASCAR chairman Brian France promised slight changes to the sport's championship format, hoping to add more drama to the 10-race title hunt in 2007.
This past week on NASCAR Live, Bob Dillner reported that NASCAR is considering increasing the number of drivers making the Chase next year from 10 to 12. He said NASCAR is also looking at a new points system for chase participants.
One aspect that is being talked about is to widen the Chase field and award more points to race winners.
Another, though considerably more controversial option, would be to score the drivers in the Chase separately than the other 33 cars in each race. Thus, the highest-finishing Chase driver would get 10 points, while the driver who finishes last would receive just 1 point.
HARVICK Is On Way To Record Busch Season – Kevin Harvick put together another dominant performance, leading 145 of 200 laps en route to winning the O’Reilly Challenge 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday. Harvick has won both races since clinching the 2006 Busch Series Championship at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
Top-10 Busch Series leaders with 2 remaining races: 1. Harvick-5323, 2. Edwards-4489, 3. Bowyer-4388, 4. Hamlin-4342, 5. Yeley-4177, 6. Menard-3853, 7. Kyle Busch-3747, 8. Biffle-3613, 9. Sauter-3530, 10. Sorenson-3487.
BODINE On Way To Truck Championship – With only two races left in the 2006 Craftsman Truck Series schedule, Todd Bodine has a 137 point lead over Johnny Benson.
Top-10 Craftsman Truck leaders: 1. Bodine-3406, 2. Benson-3269, 3. Reutimann- 3241, 4. Musgrave-3144, 5. Crawford-3070, 6. Hornaday-3068, 7. Starr-3059, 8. Sprague-3027, 9. Cook-3005, 10. Skinner-2986.
All three of NASCAR’s major series will be at the 1-mile Phoenix Raceway.
Friday, November 10, Craftsman Truck Series Phoenix 150, race 24 of 25, 150 laps, 8 p.m. TV: Speed Channel.
Saturday, November 11, Busch Series Arizona, Travel 200, race 34 of 35, 200 laps, 3 p.m. TV: TNT.
Sunday, November 12, Checker Auto Parts 500, race 35 of 36, 312 laps, 4 p.m. TV: NBC.
Racing Trivia Question: Which famous driver was often referred as “Ironhead?”
Last Week’s Question: What year did Bill Elliott win the Winston Cup championship? Answer. Elliott’s only Cup Championship came in 1988.
If you have any NASCAR questions, e-mail them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the new fall missions of The Susquehanna Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association is to help hunters find out if there are 200-pound deer in Susquehanna County and the surrounding areas. The directors of the branch have heard of unconfirmed reports that 200-pound deer have been harvested during some past hunting seasons.
The local branch of the QDMA is sponsoring a contest in which the first 10 hunters to have their deer weighed and certified as weighing over 200 lbs. will receive recognition in the form of a custom-made vest.
The rules of the contest are that the deer needs to be weighed by one of the directors of the branch and a witness; the deer will need to be a legally harvested and tagged Pennsylvania deer; the hunter must be legally licensed to harvest a deer in Pennsylvania; a deer harvest report card will have to be filled out and sent into the Pennsylvania Game Commission; the deer will be weighed on scales and a chest measurement will be taken to corroborate the weight.
If possible, a picture of the deer will also be taken. Directors who can be contacted about getting your deer weighed are Ed Grasavage 655-8181, Jim Dovin 785-2552, Dave Sienko 879-4338 and Bob Wagner 278-9363.
Kirstie Kemmerer and her Susquehanna volleyball teammates have been building toward this season for quite a while.
Seven of this season's eight seniors joined the program together in 2003 as freshmen.
By her sophomore year, Kemmerer was often starting on the varsity and many of her classmates were busy producing a perfect junior varsity record.
A year ago, the class occupied all but one starting spot as the Lady Sabers advanced to the District 2 Class A championship match.
The run was completed this season with an unbeaten league record and a Lackawanna League championship.
For Kemmerer's role as a consistent leader of that success, the senior middle hitter has been named the Susquehanna County Transcript Athlete of the Month for October.
"We want to emphasize that the only reasons we're so good are because of our coach (Phil Baldwin) and that we're all best friends," Kemmerer said. "We help each other so much."
Kemmerer said the closeness of the team made the players particularly sad when their championship run ended with an upset loss in the District 2 semifinals to eventual champion Bishop O'Reilly.
The teamwork, Kemmerer said, helped set up her success.
"The three main passers would pass to our setter, Casey Glidden, and then she'd make the sets to one of our hitters," Kemmerer said. "We couldn't be the team we were without each other."
Kemmerer provided kills and blocks from the frontline where she joined Katie DeWitt in leading the team statistically. She also helped the team with her serve.
After playing two years of basketball, Kemmerer plans to concentrate on softball for the remainder of her high school athletic career. The first baseman has also been part of the softball team since her freshman season.
Kirstie is the daughter of Kyle Kemmerer and Ann Stewart of Susquehanna.
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