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Issue Home October 22, 2008 Site Home

Local Sports Scene

Lewis, Taylor Lead Lady Eagles To North Division Soccer Title
By Tom Robinson

Erika Lewis scored two goals, including the game-winner, when Mountain View cleared its last major hurdle on the way to a Lackawanna League North Division girls’ soccer championship with a 4-1 victory over Montrose October 13.

The win over the third-place Lady Meteors clinched at least a tie for the title. Mountain View won the title outright two days later by beating winless Blue Ridge, 6-0, to finish 11-1 in division play.

Lewis scored the only goal of the first half, 12:10 into the Montrose game. Alix Taylor, who finished with a goal and two assists, set up the goal.

Montrose's Mimi DiPhillips tied the game 4:54 into the second half on an assist from Julia Koloski.

Lewis needed just 50 seconds to put Mountain View back in front to stay on another assist from Taylor.

Taylor and Alex Laske scored unassisted goals two minutes apart to break the game open.

Olivia Zick made six saves for the Lady Eagles.

Megan Walker and Lewis scored two goals each while Taylor had three assists in the win over Blue Ridge.

Montrose bounced back for a 3-0 shutout of Elk Lake in which freshman Dallas Ely scored all three goals.

The final division standings were: Mountain View, 11-1; Lakeland, 10-2; Montrose and Carbondale, 7-5; Elk Lake, 4-8; Forest City, 3-9; and Blue Ridge, 0-12.


Scores on the opening possession proved to be of little significance in Lackawanna Football Conference games involving Susquehanna County teams.

Susquehanna celebrated Homecoming by moving above the .500 mark in Division 3 of the Lackawanna Football Conference by posting its second straight victory with a 55-7 rout over Holy Cross.

North Pocono used a pair of interception returns for touchdowns to break the game open on the way to a 48-7 romp over Montrose.

Holy Cross and Montrose had early 7-0 leads in the games.

Both were essentially over by halftime.

Sophomore quarterback Dan Kempa ran for four straight first-half touchdowns after Stephen Andujar had tied the game for Susquehanna.

Kempa scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 34-yard run in the first quarter then scored from 60, 7 and 30 yards in the second quarter for a 34-7 halftime lead.

Kempa threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Aldrich and a two-point conversion pass to Brad Allen to make the lead 49-7 by the midway point in the third quarter. He finished with 164 yards rushing on just six carries.

Andujar led a Susquehanna attack that averaged 11.5 yards per carry. He ran 15 times for 170 yards and two touchdowns.

James Norton scored the final Sabers touchdown on a 14-yard run.

Kyle Bonnice scored on a 7-yard run for Montrose, but the Trojans responded for their first win of the season.

Mike Rihl carried 25 times for 99 yards for the Meteors.

Nick Raven completed 10 of 14 passes for 244 yards and three touchdowns and Matt Smith had the interception returns for touchdowns to lead North Pocono.

In cross country, the Elk Lake boys went 21-1 and the Blue Ridge girls went 20-2 to finish as the top Class AA teams in the Lackawanna League.

The complete, final league boys’ cross country standings were: Scranton Prep, 22-0; Elk Lake, 21-1; Abington Heights, 20-2; North Pocono, 19-3; Holy Cross, Valley View and West Scranton, 16-6; Honesdale and Mid Valley, 15-7; Scranton, 14-8; Riverside, 12-10; Dunmore and Lakeland, 10-12; Montrose, 9-13; Wallenpaupack, 8-14; Delaware Valley, 7-15; Lackawanna Trail, 6-16; Western Wayne, 5-17; Forest City and Mountain View, 4-18; Susquehanna, 1-21; and Blue Ridge and Carbondale, 0-22.

The final girls’ cross country standings were: Abington Heights, 22-0; Honesdale and Blue Ridge, 20-2; Scranton Prep, 19-3; Elk Lake and North Pocono, 18-4; Delaware Valley and Montrose, 17-5; Western Wayne, 14-8; Wallenpaupack and Scranton, 12-10; Mid Valley, 11-11; Valley View and Dunmore, 10-12; Holy Cross, 9-13; Lakeland, 7-15; West Scranton, 5-17; Forest City, Susquehanna and Lackawanna Trail, 3-19; Mountain View, 1-21; and Carbondale and Riverside, 0-22.

Elk Lake destroyed the Class AA girls’ field in the District 2 Junior High Cross Country Championships.

There were 12 full teams plus runners from seven other schools in the event, but Elk Lake had five of the top eight finishers, including five of the top seven from teams.

Elk Lake had 21 points, way in front of second-place Hanover Area with 97. The Lady Warriors had all seven of their runners in the top 14.

If they ran the meet as a dual against the best of the rest of the entire district, Elk Lake would have won, 26-29.

Susquehanna was sixth with 174 points, just ahead of Blue Ridge in seventh with 175.

Kirsten Hollister was second overall with a finish of 11:44 to lead Elk Lake. Elizabeth Trowbridge was third in 12:06, Lainey Bedell was sixth in 12:16, Alayna Doolittle was seventh in 12:18 and Kati Van Etten was eighth in 12:20.

Blue Ridge’s Sara Schmidt was 11th, Elk Lake’s Abbie Zdan was 14th, Montrose’s Samantha Bennici was 14th, Susquehanna’s Emily Carmody was 15th and Elk Lake’s Kellie Grosvenor was 16th.

Elk Lake finished second in the boys’ race, trailing Holy Cross, 49-67.

Blue Ridge was 8th with 188 points, Montrose was 14th with 390 and Susquehanna was 15th out of 17 with 420. Forest City was among the three schools that had runners but not full teams.

Three of the top five boys were from the county.

Jacob Hinkley and Mike Robbs of Blue Ridge finished third and fourth, followed by Luke Jones of Elk Lake. Elk Lake’s Seth Carney was 11th.

In boys’ soccer, Forest City completed league play as the unbeaten champion of Division 3 of the Lackawanna League.

The final Division 3 standings: Forest City, 12-0; Blue Ridge, 9-3; Dunmore, 7-5; Lakeland, 6-6; Carbondale, 5-7; Old Forge, 3-9; and Mid Valley, 0-12.

The final Division 1 standings were: Abington Heights and Delaware Valley, 12-1-1; Scranton Prep, 8-5-1; Mountain View, 8-6; North Pocono, 7-6-1; Wallenpaupack, 4-10; Scranton, 2-12; and Honesdale, 1-13.

The final Division 2 standings were: Valley View, 11-1; Western Wayne, 9-2-1; St. Gregory’s, 8-3-1; Montrose, 4-7-1; West Scranton, 3-8-1; Elk Lake, 3-9; and Holy Cross, 2-10.

Abington Heights defeated Delaware Valley, 3-1, in a playoff to determine the Division 1 title. Justin Passetti, who has family in Susquehanna, played goalie in the second half when Abington Heights held Delaware Valley scoreless.

In field hockey, the final Wyoming Valley Conference Division 3 standings were: Northwest, 14-0; Wilkes-Barre Meyers, 12-2; Hanover Area, 8-5-1; Tunkhannock, 7-5-2; Berwick, 6-7-1; Wilkes-Barre GAR, 5-9; Montrose 2-12; and Elk Lake, 0-14.

The final Division 2 standings were: Abington Heights, 6-7-2; Nanticoke, 6-9-0; Honesdale, 5-10-0; Hazleton Area, 4-11-0; Wyoming Area, 3-11-1; Wallenpaupack, 2-12-1; Holy Redeemer, 1-14-1; and Pittston Area, 0-15-0.

Jillian Pagnotti and Bridgette Robinson, who also have family in Susquehanna, were captains of the championship Abington Heights field hockey team.

Division 2 teams played more than half of their schedule against Division 1 teams. The Division 1 title came down to a playoff in which Wyoming Seminary defeated Lackawanna Trail, 3-0, Thursday to avenge a loss which knocked the unbeaten Blue Knights out of the number-one national ranking, according to Kelsey Kolojejchick returned from a trip to Mexico City where she helped Team USA win the Junior Pan American Games to score all three goals for Wyoming Seminary.

In professional hockey, the Binghamton Senators dropped their home opener, 3-2, in a shootout Friday night against the record-setting Syracuse Crunch.

Syracuse set an American Hockey League record with its 18th straight regular-season win. The Crunch won their last 15 games of last season and first three of this season.

Ilya Zubov and Zack Smith gave the Senators a 2-0 lead heading into the third period.


Blue Ridge graduate and former Susquehanna football player Anthony Dorunda scored his first college touchdown October 4 when he caught a 29-yard pass with less than two minutes left to bring Wilkes University within a score in its 28-21 loss to Lebanon Valley.

Dorunda, a sophomore tight end/quarterback, played in four of the first five games for Wilkes. He caught two passes for 41 yards and ran twice for six yards.


The District 2 cross country championships are scheduled for Wednesday at Scranton Municipal Golf Course.

All the Susquehanna County schools compete on the Class AA level.

The Blue Ridge girls appear to be a serious title contender. Both Elk Lake teams and the Montrose girls could also be threats in the event where the top two teams and the next 10 individuals qualify for the state meet.

The Class AA girls’ race is scheduled for noon. The Class AA boys’ race is set for 1:30 p.m.

In girls’ soccer, Mountain View has a bye into Wednesday’s District 2 Class AA semifinals.

Montrose was scheduled to play Monday against Holy Cross, needing a win to reach a semifinal at Dunmore.

In boys’ soccer, the District 2 quarterfinals are tentatively set to get underway Thursday and Friday.

In Major League Baseball, when the Philadelphia Phillies open the World Series Wednesday, they will have a roster that features 12 former Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons – first baseman Ryan Howard, shortstop Jimmy Rollins, second baseman Chase Utley, outfielders Shane Victorino and Pat Burrell, catchers Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste, and pitchers Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Ryan Madson, J.A. Happ and Clay Condrey.

In football, Susquehanna and Montrose are both on the road in Lackawanna Football Conference divisional games Friday night.

Susquehanna (2-1 in the division and 3-5 overall) is at Carbondale (2-1, 4-4) in a Division 3 game. Montrose (1-3, 3-5) is at Riverside (4-0, 8-0) in Division 2.

Our football predictions were 8-2, bringing our season record to 82-14 (83.3 percent).

This week’s predictions, with home teams in CAPS: CARBONDALE 32, Susquehanna 23; RIVERSIDE 49, Montrose 6; DELAWARE VALLEY 17, Scranton 16; LAKELAND 34, Western Wayne 7; DUNMORE 42, Hanover Area 13; ABINGTON HEIGHTS 41, Tunkhannock 14; NORTH POCONO 34, Honesdale 24; LACKAWANNA TRAIL 36, Holy Cross 27; OLD FORGE 28, Mid Valley 20; WEST SCRANTON 17, Wallenpaupack 14; VALLEY VIEW 21, Scranton Prep 18.

TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at

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By Gerald Hodges

The Racing Reporter

Johnson Dominates At Martinsville, Martinsville, VA – Jimmie Johnson’s Sunday win at Martinsville has put him well on the way to a third consecutive Cup title.

Johnson completely dominated the 500-lap race, leading seven times for 339 laps for his sixth win of the season.

Jimmie Johnson, winner of Sunday's Martinsville Cup race.

“This track has been good to me,” said Johnson. “What a car we had today. We don’t want to think about winning the championship for another two or three races, but it’s getting closer.”

Johnson expanded his lead in the points to 149 over second-place driver Greg Biffle.

Jeff Burton, who entered the day second in the standings and 69 points behind Johnson, was in contention for a top-10 finish before a late penalty for pitting outside his box.

He was penalized a lap and fell to third in points, three behind Biffle.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had one of his best runs of the year by finishing second.

“It was a day when nothing seemed to bite us,” said Earnhardt. “We didn’t have any tires blow out, and I was able to stay out of trouble. We have some scrapes on the left side of the car, but the right side is clean.

“It was one of our best days. We didn’t have anything for Jimmie, but we still had a good race car.”

Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Casey Mears, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex, Jr., and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top 10 finishers.

Top 10 Chase contenders with four remaining races: 1. Johnson-6073, 2. Biffle-5924, 3. Burton-5921, 4. Edwards-5875, 5. Bowyer-5827, 6. Harvick-5817, 7. J. Gordon-5798, 8. Stewart-5735, 9. Earnhardt-5694, 10. Kenseth-5665.

Top 10 Craftsman Truck Series leaders after 21 of 25: 1. Benson-3178, 2. Hornaday-3113, 3. Crafton-2951, 4. Bodine-2946, 5. Skinner-2896, 6. Darnell-2877, 7. Crawford-2856, 8. Setzer-2694, 9. Sprague-2668, 10. Cook-2575.

What’s With Dale Jr.? – Great things were expected from Dale Earnhardt, Jr. this season.

“I’m not going to put a number on how many races we’re going to win, but I’d say four would be a good number,” said his crew chief Tony Eury, Jr. prior to the start of the 2008 season.

But after 31 races into the season, he has only one win and that came while he was leading the rain-shortened Lifelock 400 at Michigan.

Earnhardt Jr. has had even less success in the Chase, struggling after finishing fifth in the opening race at New Hampshire. Since then, he’s been 24th, 13th, 28th, and 36th after crashing at Charlotte.

The frustrations of crew chief Tony Eury, Jr. could be heard over the team’s radios just after Earnhardt Jr. drilled the wall off Turn 2 last week at Charlotte.

“Unbelievable,” Eury Jr. said. “The things that have happened to us.”

His chances at the 2008 Sprint Cup championship after Charlotte went from slim to none, as he is 10th in points, 354 behind the leader, going to Martinsville.

During the New Hampshire race, Earnhardt threw what some writers in the media center called a temper tantrum, and began a profanity-laced tirade on his radio, after getting a bad set of tires.

As Earnhardt Jr. exploded, his team owner Rick Hendrick attempted to calm him down. It was the third consecutive week Hendrick was on Earnhardt Jr.’s radio trying to tell him everything will work out OK.

“Once I’m on the edge, it’s hard to get me off of it,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “I like getting riled up. It motivates me. I drive better when I’m ticked off.”

As NASCAR’s most popular driver and the son of a seven-time Cup champion, there will always be pressure to perform and win races and live up to the expectations of his legions of supporters.

“You can never live up to those,” he said. “I wouldn’t expect to. But I expect to be able to lead. I’m not a follower.

“We’ve had so much pressure this year. At the start of the season, it was really hard to concentrate. Things kind of cooled off and everything mellowed a little bit.

“I don’t feel like we’re underestimated. We know we got work to do. We definitely don’t have an argument that we’re as strong as the top three guys, but we got the tools, we’ve got the ability to be there.

“There’s a lot of pressure on all of us and I don’t think it’s probably any different for anybody else, and it’s just how good you handle it,” he said. “If you allow it to become a bigger problem than it truly is in reality, then that’s not going to help you any.

“I wouldn’t change it, I love it. I love the pressure. That means I’m in the middle of it.”

Now this.

When your name is Dale Earnhardt, Jr., everything you do is magnified. Your wins. Your losses. Your on track performance. Your off track performance.

When Earnhardt changed teams last year, the announcement was carried live on national television. Everything he does is major news. A lot of fans think he is too preoccupied with his business interests, including his new Whiskey River nightclub.

But let’s focus on the positive. Earnhardt Jr. has 18 career Cup victories. In all of NASCAR history, only 38 drivers have more.

There are some fans that feel he’s been much more competitive with Hendrick than he was with DEI, particularly during his last season with the team.

But there are some loyal to Earnhardt Jr. who feel he has come up short with Hendrick. They feel he should have won more than one points race and one pole so far this season. He should have been able to run more aggressively, win more races and even rise to No. 1 in points.

This year decidedly has not been a good one for Earnhardt Jr. Despite engine failures and several tire blowouts, Earnhardt remains upbeat. Most of his fans, like Connie C. of Colorado, also remain positive.

“From the very beginning, starting at Speedweek, he had a great momentum going,” she said. “Right out of the gate he was proving to himself, Hendricks, and the world he was ready to get that championship. There is no question that he knows how to see "the air" just like his daddy did.

“A combination of luck, equipment, pit strategy, and consistency is needed to win this championship. I believe the bad luck and the tire blowouts are stopping this from happening. I heard Tony Jr. say he thinks it’s impossible for them to get it this year. I do think he is the right crew chief for Dale, even though others might disagree. He's come so close, so many times. It is nice that Dale's confidence was so high this year.”

Racing has changed since Dale Sr. won his seventh championship. It is more of a team effort than driver achievement. I don’t see what has happened to Earnhardt’s team as being entirely his fault. Things have occurred both on and off the track that weren’t of his making.

Dale Jr. is a good driver. Hendrick Motorsports is one of the best teams in NASCAR. With Rick Hendrick, he has one of the best mentors in the business. Sooner or later, his luck is going to turn around. That’s the nature of racing.

Let’s cut him a little slack and see what next year brings.

Next Week: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not.


The Craftsman Trucks and Sprint Cup teams head to Atlanta Motor Speedway, the fastest track on the circuit. The Nationwide teams are at Memphis, TN.

Saturday, Oct. 25: Craftsman Trucks Atlanta 200, 1 p.m. TV: Speed.

Saturday, Oct. 25: Nationwide Series Kroger 250, 3 p.m. TV: ESPN2.

Sunday, Oct. 26: Sprint Cup Pep Boys Auto 500, 1 p.m. TV: ABC.

Racing Trivia Question: How many Cup championships did Darrell Waltrip win?

Last Week’s Question: Where is Jeff Burton’s hometown? Answer: South Boston, Virginia.

You may contact the Racing Reporter at:

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