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Montrose and Susquehanna each had trouble controlling potent passing games on the road this weekend while suffering high school football defeats.
Matt McGrath hit 16 of 20 passes for 247 yards and a touchdown Saturday afternoon at Scranton Memorial Stadium while leading Scranton Prep to a 35-7 victory over Montrose in a Lackawanna Football Conference Division II game.
Nathan Volkel recovered from having his first pass intercepted to go 10-for-13 for 186 yards and three touchdowns despite not having an attempt in the second half of Lake-Lehman’s 49-14 non-league romp over Susquehanna.
McGrath teamed with Robbie Evans to lead a Scranton Prep attack that produced 450 yards and 23 first downs on 64 plays.
“We gave up some big plays on defense,” Montrose coach Jack Keihl said. “We knew they would be a little bigger and a little more athletic.
“We tried to guess at times. About half the time, we held them to two yards, but obviously those big plays hurt us.”
Evans carried 28 times for 135 yards and three touchdowns while catching five passes for 117 yards. He also caught a two-point conversion pass.
Montrose’s Robbie Volk also went over 200 yards passing. He was 9-for-20 for 203 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted four times.
“We had a tackle go down today, so we had to run a lot of max protection,” Keihl said. “We had a lot of two-man routes with four or five covering two. You’re going to have some of those picks.
“No one is negative. We played a good team and did our best.”
Volk threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Andy Burgh in the third quarter. Burgh finished with five catches for 163 yards.
Evans opened the scoring on a 3-yard run in the first quarter.
The Meteors drove into Prep territory three times while trailing by seven points.
Blown coverage on third-and-16 allowed McGrath to find Cody Barrasse for a 33-yard touchdown 1:24 before halftime to push the lead to 13-0.
Montrose again crossed midfield before time expired in the half.
Evans added a one-yard run on the first drive of the second half before Volk and Burgh responded with their 70-yard touchdown.
The Cavaliers drove 96 yards in 12 plays to add to their lead on a 12-yard run by Evans.
McGrath went 24 yards for the last touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Prep went 6-for-10 on third-down conversions and 2-for-3 in fourth-down situations. The third-down conversions included situations with 16, 14 and nine yards.
The Sabers had a repeat performance from a week ago – a respectable start against a tough Wyoming Valley Conference opponent before the game got away in a hurry against unbeaten Lake-Lehman.
Susquehanna drove into Lake-Lehman territory twice to start the game and held the Black Knights without a first down for two possessions. The Sabers were about to take over at midfield when they muffed a punt for the first of five turnovers setting up a series of scores by the Black Knights.
Lake-Lehman reached the Mercy Rule at halftime by scoring 35 points in 12:48 and extended that outburst to 49 points in 21:11 by returning the second-kickoff for a touchdown then scoring on its first offensive possession.
Dan Kempa had an early interception to put Susquehanna at the Lake-Lehman 6. The sophomore then scored by touchdowns for the Sabers on runs of 21 yards in the third quarter and 54 yards in the fourth quarter.
Kempa also passed to Jordan Aldrich for a two-point conversion.
Stephen Andujar led the Sabers with 81 yards on 13 carries while Kempa ran for 66 yards on 11 carries. Aldrich completed a 39-yard pass to Michael Lloyd to set up the first Susquehanna score.
“That’s the only time we’ll see the option,” Lake-Lehman coach Carl Kern said. “For as young as they are, they run it well.”
Cody Lamoreaux scored three touchdowns for Lake-Lehman. He caught four passes for 85 yards and two scores and returned a kickoff 82 yards for another.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Allison Hall finished her 2.8-mile home course in 19:09 to lead Blue Ridge to wins over Elk Lake, Montrose and four other teams in Lackawanna League girls’ cross country.
Blue Ridge improved to 13-0, remaining unbeaten along with Honesdale and Abington Heights, by beating the two contenders, who entered the day with one loss each. The Lady Raiders topped Elk Lake, 26-29, and Montrose, 21-34. Elk Lake beat Montrose, 23-32.
Elk Lake is 11-2 and Montrose is 10-3.
In girls’ soccer, Dallas Ely had a goal and an assist in Montrose’s 3-0 victory over Elk Lake.
In boys’ soccer, Grant Shelp had a hat trick in Montrose’s 5-0 victory over Holy Cross.
In high school golf, the Lackawanna League North Division regular season came to an end with Honesdale in first place at 11-0 and Montrose in second at 10-1. The rest of the division was: Western Wayne 8-2-1, Wallenpaupack 7-4, Forest City 6-4-1, Lackawanna Trail 5-5-1, Carbondale 5-6, Lakeland 4-7, Susquehanna 3-7-1, Mountain View 3-8, Elk Lake 2-9 and Blue Ridge 0-11.
In professional hockey, Nino Musitelli and Elgin Reid scored Friday night when the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins edged the host Binghamton Senators, 2-1, in the American Hockey League exhibition opener for both teams.
Adam Berkhoel stopped all 14 shots he faced while playing the first two periods in goal for the Penguins.
Two former Lackawanna League division all-stars from Susquehanna County schools have helped Misericordia University to a strong start in men’s soccer.
Misericordia scored 18 goals while shutting out three straight opponents to improve to 6-2.
Joey Scanlon, a sophomore forward/midfielder from Mountain View, started all eight games and ranked third on the team in scoring with three goals and three assists. Scanlon was a second-team Pennsylvania Athletic Conference all-star as a freshman.
Stan Vitzakovitch, a freshman forward from Forest City, has appeared in two games.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Susquehanna (1-4) will use the portable lights again Friday night when it opens Lackawanna Football Conference Division III play against Mid Valley (3-2).
Montrose (1-1 in division, 3-2 overall) is at Dunmore (2-0, 5-0) the same night in an LFC Division II game.
Our football predictions were 11-2 (84.6 percent) last week to bring our season record to 53-12 (81.5 percent). This week’s predictions with home team in CAPS are: Mid Valley 38, SUSQUEHANNA 19; DUNMORE 44, Montrose 13; Carbondale 20, LACKAWANNA TRAIL 7; OLD FORGE 42, Holy Cross 6; RIVERSIDE 34, Scranton Prep 10; Valley View 35, WESTERN WAYNE 12; Lakeland 23, MEYERS 6; Delaware Valley 32, HONESDALE 6; SCRANTON 27, Wallenpaupack 12; BERWICK 27, WEST SCRANTON 9; ABINGTON HEIGHTS 48, North Pocono 6.
In girls’ soccer, Lakeland is at Mountain View Wednesday in a meeting between teams that entered the week sharing the Lackawanna League North Division lead with 6-1 records.
The District 2 fall sports championships get started Thursday and Friday with the girls’ tennis singles tournament.
The district golf championships are scheduled for Monday, October 6 at Fox Hill Country Club. The girls’ tennis doubles tournament is scheduled for October 6-7.
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
Johnson Edges Edwards At Kansas, Kansas City, KS – Carl Edwards gave it all he had, but his best effort wasn’t quite good enough to keep Jimmie Johnson from winning Sunday’s Sprint Cup Camping World RV 400 at Kansas Speedway.
Jimmie Johnson, winner of Sunday's Kansas Cup race.
“Man, I thought I had him (Edwards) under control, and suddenly he was there,” said Johnson. “I saw the slide job coming and dodged it and got the win.
“That last pit stop where the team got me out first and I could get that clean air was the difference. The 99 was probably better on the long runs, but that pit stop is what did it.”
Johnson’s win moved him into the number one spot in the Chase.
Johnson was leading as the laps wound down in the 267 lap race, while Edwards was a close second. Johnson was running a high groove, with Edwards running a lower line. Edwards shot underneath Johnson as the two leaders came out of turn four and headed to the checkered flag.
Edwards temporarily gained the lead, but his No. 99 Office Depot Ford lost its grip and went up, brushing the wall. Edwards was able to regain control of his car, but Johnson maintained his line and beat Edwards to the finish line for his fifth win of the season by about 100 feet.
“I drove the car as hard as I could,” said Edwards. “I planned on hitting the wall as I went up, but I didn’t plan on the wall slowing me down that much. I played a lot of video games where you can run it into the wall and still hold it wide open. That’s what I did, but it didn’t work out quite the same.
“I really, really wanted to win this race and I feel bad for the guys back in the shop for tearing up their race car. That’s as hard as I could go there at the end. I just wish I could have won that race.”
Edwards lost the Chase lead and now trails Johnson by 10 points.
Greg Biffle, who finished third, now has four top-5 finishes in the last five races. He was able to nip Jeff Gordon at the finish line.
“We were just trying everything there in those last few laps,” said Biffle. “We tried everything in the book to get that car to go a little bit better. I just fought it all day, tight in the center and loose on the gas.
“It was a hard fought battle there at the end with Jeff Gordon. It seemed like Dover all over again, but I’m glad we got him at the end.”
Biffle remains third in the points.
Jeff Gordon came in fourth and prior to the race, he said, “I have never been sicker in my life starting a race.” He was able to run the complete race, but his team had Brad Keselowski standing by in their pits in case he was needed.
Gordon moved up two Chase spots to sixth.
Matt Kenseth was spun out once, but still managed a fifth-place finish. He moved up to ninth in points.
Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, David Ragan, A. J. Allmendinger, and Elliott Sadler were the remaining top-10 finishers.
Jeff Burton remains fourth. His teammates, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer are fifth and seventh.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. continues to run in the middle of the pack. His 13th place finish moved him up one Chase position to eighth.
Denny Hamlin moved up from 11th to 10th, while his teammate Tony Stewart had all kinds of race problems and is now mired back in 11th position.
Kyle Busch finished 28th, one lap down and is now the 12th and last Chase driver. He is 311 points out of first.
Chase contenders after 29 of 36: 1. Johnson-5575, 2. Edwards-5565, 3. Biffle-5545, 4. Burton-5454, 5. Harvick-5439, 6. J. Gordon-5432, 7. Bowyer-5411, 8. Earnhardt-5385, 9. Kenseth-5383, 10. Hamlin-5332, 11. Stewart-5320, 12. Kyle Busch-5264
Top-10 Nationwide Series leaders after 30 of 35: 1. Bowyer-4392, 2. Edwards-4196, 3. Keselowski-4124, 4. Bliss-3906, 5. Ragan-3886, 6. Reutimann-3791, 7. Kyle Busch-3736, 8. M. Wallace-3499, 9. Leffler-3490, 10. Ambrose-3456.
A Look At The 2009 Lineup – Some teams are set for the 2009 season, but others face the future with uncertainty. Those with sponsors already lined up are set to go, but the ones who aren’t sure of financial support are in trouble.
“We’re working on trying to give our sponsors value for their dollar because when they cut, we don’t want to be one of the things they cut,” owner Rick Hendrick told NASCAR Scene. “We want to be able to measure our success with them, what we brought to the table and what we’ve been able to generate.”
The big-five racing teams of Hendrick, Gibbs, Roush-Fenway, Gillett-Evernham, and Richard Childress are good.
For those who don’t have primary sponsors, then consolidation with another team might be the only way out for them.
No brand new primary sponsors have been announced. Yes, there have been some big time switches. UPS, Office Depot, and Caterpillar will switch to new teams, but all those big companies have been involved with NASCAR for several years.
Only a handful of part-time Cup sponsors have increased their involvement with NASCAR teams.
But it hasn’t been enough to balance out companies like AAA, Dodge, and Texaco that are leaving at the end of 2008.
Why is this happening? Is it the energy problem or meltdown on Wall Street?
There a lot of companies who just don’t have the advertising budgets to spend $25 million and be a full-time sponsor. $6 million used to work, $10 million used to work… but not $25 million.
And also, sponsors want winning teams that are capable of running up front most of the time. A good example of this is Petty Enterprises. As of now they have no major sponsors for either of their two cars.
Here’s how the rest of the teams look: Yates Racing – two teams, no signed contract or major sponsor for either car; Stewart-Hass Racing – two teams, sponsorship O.K. for 2009; Dale Earnhardt Inc. – four teams, not enough sponsors for all teams; Hall of Fame racing – one team, no sponsor.
Penske Racing has full-time sponsors for two of it cars, but nothing lined up for the third one. Team Red Bull said they will run two teams. The Wood Brothers do not have a sponsor for their No. 21.
There is talk of Chip Ganassi merging with Michael Waltrip Racing. That would produce four teams with two full-time sponsors. Furniture Row has one team and should be able to run all year. Robby Gordon will somehow manage to keep his team together if he doesn’t merge with someone else.
If some of the teams close up shop, then that means fewer owners. With fewer owners, power is consolidated into a smaller group and there is less opportunity for new drivers and crewmen coming into the sport.
Tougher economic times are here, racing costs have gone through the roof, and many teams are having to look at some things differently in order to survive.
Next Week: Bobby Hamilton, Jr. And Team Rensi.
The Craftsman Trucks and Sprint Cup teams are at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway. The Nationwide teams have an off week.
Saturday, October 4: Craftsman Trucks Mountain Dew 250, 3:30 p.m. TV: Speed Channel.
Sunday, October 5: Sprint Cup AMP Energy 500, 1 p.m. TV: ABC.
Racing Trivia Question: Who does David Ragan drive for?
Last Week’s Question: Who are the three Richard Childress Cup drivers? Answer: Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, and Clint Bowyer.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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