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SCRANTON – Scranton Prep opened Saturday afternoon’s meeting of winless football teams with an impressive 80-yard scoring drive.
The Cavaliers offense never needed to work that hard the rest of the day.
Prep took advantage of excellent field position and Rob Evans ran for four touchdowns during a 35-0 romp over Montrose in a crossover game between Lackawanna Football Conference opponents.
On average, the Cavaliers began their remaining possessions inside the Meteors’ 40. They took over once at midfield, five times in Montrose territory and just twice in their own end of the field.
A blocked punt, a short punt and a long punt return combined with a fourth-down stop at midfield to give Prep four short scoring drives. The Cavaliers only needed 255 yards total offense to produce five touchdowns and put the game into the Mercy Rule just 18 seconds after the midway point in the third quarter.
The Cavaliers were inside the Meteors’ 10 two more times in the fourth quarter and fell on the ball from the Montrose 2 with 23 seconds left.
The only time the Prep offense needed to move the length of the field, it did so impressively.
Evans, who finished with 133 yards on 14 carries, had runs of 16, 4, 8, 14 and 18 on the six-play, 62-yard drive to score just 2:20 into the game.
Kyle Bonnice pulled in a tipped pass from Rob Volk for 27 yards on third-and-14 and Montrose was faced with a big decision on its first possession. The Meteors were stuffed for no gain on inside runs on third-and-two and fourth-and-two, giving the Cavaliers possession at midfield.
Evans scored on an 11-yard run for a 14-0 lead with 2:05 left in the half.
Evans ran 30 yards for a score on the first play after Chris Donahue blocked a punt early in the second quarter. The Cavaliers pinned the Meteors and scored again less than three minutes later when Matt McGrath hit Josh Ildefonso wide open for a 36-yard touchdown.
Al Caban’s 50-yard punt return set up a 7-yard run by Evans on the first Prep possession of the second half.
The running of Jared Fowler accounted for more than half the Montrose total offense. He finished with 68 yards on 18 carries.
D.J. Brown led Montrose with six tackles before being ejected along with Scranton Prep’s Brian Holland late in the third quarter.
Andy Burgh had an interception.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Christine Snyder of Elk Lake advanced to the District 2 Class AA girls’ tennis singles tournament quarterfinals at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre.
Snyder received a first-round bye and opened her tournament with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Wilkes-Barre GAR’s Danielle Whitehead in the second round.
Snyder then lost, 6-1, 6-0, to second-seed and eventual runner-up Annie Cognetti of Scranton Prep.
The other three local players – Amanda Vaccaro and Emma Steed of Montrose and Karin Mowry of Elk Lake – were eliminated with losses in their first match.
The Montrose team of Courtney Hinds and Alyssa Hickey won a first-round match in the District 2 Class AA doubles tournament.
Hinds-Hickey won, 6-3, 6-2, over Liz McHugh-Kaitlyn Falzone of Wyoming Seminary before falling to sixth-seeded Cayla Candrilli-Nicole Wooten of Tunkhannock, 6-3, 6-0.
Vaccaro and Steed formed the other Montrose doubles team and put up a tough fight against eighth-seeded Kasey Voges-Tatiana Samson of Western Wayne, 6-2, 7-5.
Brianna Grover and Jael Green lost to Whitehead and Lachelle Bent of GAR, 6-2, 6-2.
In high school football, Susquehanna took a halftime lead before falling at home to Mid Valley, 36-25.
The injury-plagued Sabers (1-5) led, 6-0, after one quarter and, 13-12, at halftime.
In girls’ soccer, Mountain View used three wins to finish the week as the Lackawanna League North Division leader.
Erika Lewis had a goal and two assists during a five-minute span late in the first half to lead a 3-1 win over Montrose.
Kristen Repchick had the other goal and Saleta Oakley had the other assist.
Montrose bounced back when Julia Koloski scored two first-half goals and added an assist in a 6-1 win over Elk Lake.
In other high school sports, the Montrose golf team, Elk Lake girls’ cross country team and Blue Ridge girls’ volleyball team all remained perfect and alone in first place. The Forest City boys’ soccer team remained unbeaten and a half-match behind West Scranton in Division III of the Lackawanna League.
In professional hockey, the Binghamton Senators and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins split a home-and-home weekend exhibition series as they prepared for the start of the American Hockey League season.
Binghamton won, 5-1, Saturday at the Broome County Arena.
Jeff Glass stopped 34 shots and Ryan Garlock scored the last two goals.
Joe Jensen and Connor James assisted on each other’s first-period goals the night before when the Penguins won, 5-3, at the Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre.
Montrose graduate Brittany Ely is a freshman midfielder on the Wilkes University women’s soccer team.
Ely has appeared in four games and has one shot.
Wilkes is off to a 3-6 start.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The 12th annual Steamtown Marathon is scheduled for Sunday at 8 a.m.
Nearly 2,000 runners in the marathon field are expected to make the trek from Forest City High School to downtown Scranton.
In high school football, Division II and Division III games in the LFC begin this week.
Susquehanna and Montrose open Friday against the two teams that shared the Division III title last year.
Susquehanna (1-4) is at Lackawanna Trail (2-3), which has lost three straight close games to the strongest teams in Division II. Montrose (0-5) is home against Old Forge (3-2).
Our high school football predictions were 9-1 (90 percent) last week, bringing our season record to 45-11 (80.4 percent). This week’s predictions, with winners in CAPS: LACKAWANNA TRAIL 48, Susquehanna 6; Old Forge 34, MONTROSE 8; Holy Cross 20, CARBONDALE 14; NORTH POCONO 21, Honesdale 17; WEST SCRANTON 14, Scranton 6; LAKELAND 28, Mid Valley 0; DUNMORE 49, Western Wayne 0; VALLEY VIEW 23, Wallenpaupack 20; Riverside 43, SCRANTON PREP 6; ABINGTON HEIGHTS 10, Delaware Valley 6.
In professional hockey, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins continue their tradition of serving as the AHL league opener when they host the rival Hershey Bears Wednesday. The Bears knocked the Penguins out of the playoffs each of the past two seasons.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached at RobbyTR@aol.com.
The Racing Reporter
Biffle Wins Bizarre Kansas Race, Kansas City, KS – Greg Biffle won one of the most bizarre and weirdest NASCAR Nextel Cup races in a long, long time.
Greg Biffle, winner of Sunday's bizarre Kansas Cup race.
Sunday’s scheduled 267-lap race at Kansas Motor Speedway had two red flag periods, totaling three hours and 12 cautions. After the second red flag period ended, NASCAR announced the race would be shortened to 225 laps. Later, they cut it even further to 210 laps.
NASCAR has a firm policy of not ending a race under yellow, but the 12th and final caution came out on lap 206, and officials allowed the final three and one-half laps to be run under yellow.
And the winning driver didn’t cross the finish line first.
“We reduced the number of laps for the safety of the drivers,” said NASCAR official Robin Pemberton. “There were several contributing factors, but it was getting too dark for the drivers to see well.”
The win was Biffle’s first victory since the season-ending race at Homestead, Florida, in November, 2006. He passed Kevin Harvick on lap 173, and held it until the race ended.
Early into the race, rain forced NASCAR to put out the red flag for forty-five minutes after a brief shower.
Green flag racing resumed until lap 148, when it was stopped again.
It appeared Tony Stewart would be the winner after the race was stopped for the second time. Buckets of rain came down, with considerable thunder and lightning, which emptied the grandstands.
Several drivers went to their motor coaches and showered, believing that was the end of the race. But after two hours and fifteen minutes the track was dry enough to continue racing.
Before the race went back green, NASCAR announced the race would end on lap 225. The leaders were Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
During lap 158 there was a multi-car pileup after Ken Schrader’s No. 21 Wood Bros. Ford got loose. The cars driven by Martin Truex, Jr., Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte, David Gilliland, and David Reutimann sustained heavy damage, while Stewart’s No. 20 had damage to the left front fender.
When racing resumed, the fender was rubbing the tire on Stewart’s No. 20. On lap 175, the tire went flat. He slowed and was rear-ended by Kurt Busch. Stewart’s car was shoved into the outside wall. Carl Edwards, who was running behind the two, got caught up in the wreck.
“I did every thing I could do to avoid Tony, but there was nowhere for me to go,” said Edwards. “I guess there are more important things in life, but this was pretty bad. I’m not going to let this get me down. I’m going to ride my motorcycle home to Columbia (Missouri), and next week, we’re going to run our best at Talladega.”
The 11th caution of the race came during lap 184 after Jamie McMurray and Denny Hamlin got together. When the race went back green on lap 189, the leaders were Biffle, Clint Bowyer, and Kevin Harvick.
During this caution period, NASCAR told teams the race would end on lap 210.
Jimmie Johnson, who qualified for the pole, had to start from the rear of the field after crashing his car in practice, and had to go to a backup car.
Johnson avoided all the wrecks and by lap 195, he was running third behind Biffle and Bowyer.
The race’s 12th and final caution came on lap 206 after Juan Montoya hit the wall.
Even though NASCAR said they would not end a race under caution, they decided to call it because of darkness.
The pace car picked up the field after lap 206. Greg Biffle did not maintain the pace car’s speed and coasted across the finish line behind Bowyer, Johnson, and several other drivers.
His No. 16 Roush Fenway Ford had run out of gas.
Because the caution had come out earlier and frozen the field, NASCAR said Biffle was the winner.
Jimmie Johnson disputed that decision, saying, “He was clearly out of gas. You’ve got to maintain pace car speed, and it was clear to everyone he couldn’t. If he could have, he would have stayed on the bumper of the pace car to the finish line. Therefore, I finished second behind the 07 car.”
NASCAR didn’t see it Johnson’s way and Biffle celebrated in victory lane.
Seven Chase drivers; Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, and Denny Hamlin were involved in major accidents that impacted their Chase standings.
Top-10 finishers of Sunday’s LifeLock 400: 1. Greg Biffle, 2. Clint Bowyer, 3. Jimmie Johnson, 4. Casey Mears, 5. Jeff Gordon, 6. Kevin Harvick, 7. Reed Sorenson, 8. Elliott Sadler, 9. Kasey Kahne, 10. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Top-10 Chase leaders after three of ten: 1. Johnson-5506, 2. J. Gordon-5500, 3. Bowyer-5497, 4. Stewart-5389, 5. Harvick-5380, 6. Kyle Busch-5370, 7. Edwards-5364, 8. Truex-5348, 9. Kurt Busch-5329, 10. J. Burton-5320, 11. Kenseth-5287, 12. Hamlin-5258.
Top-10 Busch Series leaders: 1. Edwards-4207, 2. Reutimann-3511, 3. Harvick-3389, 4. Leffler-3345, 5. Ragan-3149, 6. Hamilton Jr.-3149, 7. Biffle-3058, 8. Ambrose-2944, 9. Leicht-2937, 10. Kenseth-2911.
2008 Cup Schedule Is Released
The 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule includes a 36-race slate that kicks off with the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 17 at Daytona International Speedway.
Following the “Great American Race” the series travels to Southern California, then to the glitz of Las Vegas before returning to the southeast for races at Atlanta and Bristol. The first scheduled off date for the series will be in March during the Easter holiday.
Following the race in Martinsville, the series makes another swing to the southwest, racing at Texas and Phoenix in early April. The second scheduled off weekend occurs in mid-April.
“By running five consecutive points events before the first scheduled break in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the 2008 schedule is designed to be even more fan friendly,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France.
Another adjustment to the 2008 schedule is that the Chicago race will be run Saturday night.
Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 43 Petty Racing Dodge gives his views on the schedule: “I don’t think it has caught anyone by surprise. There was already some talk about eliminating that off weekend early in the year. It probably makes sense to keep our momentum going when we start the season.
“The Daytona 500 has such a huge buildup to start the year, that hopefully we can continue all excitement through California and Las Vegas. It’s going to be a bit challenging to race California and Las Vegas back-to-back, but everyone will be in the same situation.
“The Chicago date is a good move. I don’t think you find too many people who argue about racing on Saturday night. It gives us an extra day at home and allows us more time with our families. It’s going to be pretty fun, too.
“It’s important to keep the fans happy. They want to see us race every weekend, but that’s tough on the teams. It’s a good balance right now, and the Chicagoland change is good for both fans and the teams.”
The Nextel Cup cars and Craftsman Trucks are at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway. The Busch Series has the weekend off.
Saturday, October 6, Craftsman Trucks 250, race 20 of 25, 94 laps, 3:30 p.m. TV: Speed Channel.
Sunday, October 7, UAW-Ford 500, race 30 of 36, 188 laps, 1 p.m. TV: ABC.
Racing Trivia Question: How many years has Denny Hamlin driven in the Nextel Cup?
Last Week’s Question: Which Cup team does David Ragan drive for? Answer: He drives the No. 6 Roush Fenway Ford.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sunday, September 9, Ryan J. Krupovich, West Clifford (pictured) won first place at the 1000 Islands Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series Tournament in the riders division. Reeling in three fish totaling 12.45 lbs., Ryan also caught the lunker bass of the day at 5.63 lbs., winning a total earnings of $1,100. Ryan is a 1997 graduate of Mountain View High School and a 2001 graduate of Arizona State University. He currently lives in Philadelphia, PA, and tournament fishes on the weekends in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.
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