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THROOP - Susquehanna took a pair of eight-point leads in the second half Friday night, but Mid Valley put together an immediate response each time.
The Spartans used touchdowns on the special teams and on defense to rally for a 35-22 victory in a meeting of likely Lackawanna Football Conference Division 3 contenders.
Both teams went 4-1 in non-league games before heading into the first of five straight divisional games Friday night.
Mid Valley put together a long drive, three short touchdown runs and the two returns to help take advantage of costly fumbles by the Sabers.
Susquehanna coach Dick Bagnall credited Mid Valley with playing well but also said the Sabers missed Greg Price, an inside linebacker who was out of the lineup.
“We take pride this year on that being the best part of our defense,” Bagnall said. “They ran it right up the gut on us and trapped us.
“I’m not knocking the kid who was in there and did the best he could, but we missed Greg.”
Susquehanna scored first on a 5-yard run by Nick Felter on fourth-and-goal for a 7-0 lead with 2:29 left in the first quarter.
The Sabers had a chance to add to the lead in the second quarter, but lost a fumble at the Mid Valley 1.
The Spartans drove 99 yards to produce a 4-yard touchdown run by Brandon Bradshaw, but missed the extra point with 3:32 left in the half and the Sabers took the lead into the locker room.
Jordan Aldrich’s 22-yard interception return for a touchdown gave Susquehanna a 14-6 lead less than a minute into the second half.
Mid Valley needed only 12 seconds to respond when Dennis O’Hara returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown and Gage Wormuth caught the two-point conversion pass to force a tie.
The game featured four returns for touchdowns, including Brad Weaver’s 58-yard run with a punt for a 22-14, third-quarter lead.
Mid Valley scored 21 points in a span of 3:14 to end the third and start the fourth quarter.
Chris Washo ran 1 yard for a touchdown and passed to Wormuth for a 22-22 tie with 3:06 left in the third.
Brett Howey forced and returned a fumble 28 yards for another score with 1:19 left.
Bradshaw then ran 5 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter.
In another LFC game, unbeaten Dunmore ripped Montrose, 54-8, in Division 2.
Dunmore opened leads of 27-0 after one quarter and 40-0 at halftime.
Rob Volk threw a 60-yard pass to Zach Thorne in the third quarter for the only Montrose touchdown.
The Bucks are ranked second in the state in Class AA by the Harrisburg Patriot-News.
WEEK IN REVIEW
SCRANTON - Marywood University cross country coach Kevin Borrelli became the first person to repeat as overall champion of the Steamtown Marathon when he won Sunday’s 26.2-mile race from Forest City to Scranton in 2:25:42.
“It hurt so bad,” said Borrelli, who had a harder time near the finish than a year ago. “You can’t lose with that many people out there calling your name.”
Borrelli, a 27-year-old from Throop, won by 41 seconds over Exeter’s Jeffrey McCabe.
Yolanda Mercado, who qualified to represent Puerto Rico in the Beijing Olympics but did not compete, won the women’s race in 2:50:20.
Paul Leonard, who won the first Steamtown Marathon in 1996, won the Masters Division for runners 40 and over and was eighth overall in 2:36:33.
Jeffrey Hall, 52, from Jackson was the first Susquehanna County finisher in a time of 3:31:35 for 434th overall.
Among the other county finishers, with place, names, age, male or female, hometown and time, were: 435, Joseph Kelly, 27M, Union Dale, 3:30:44; 452, Erica Riecke, 25F, Great Bend, 3:32:41; 459, Ashley Tierney, 25F, Thompson, 3:32:10; 539, Larry Cassidy, 57M, Union Dale, 3:35:49; 967, Larissa Hall, 25F, Jackson, 3:57:10; 981, Dana Gilhool, 39F, Montrose, 3:56:41; 1097, Douglas Overfield, 52M, Montrose, 4:01:44; 1450, Mary Ann Hendrickson, 53F, Union Dale, 4:27:25; 1483, Bradley Janey, 45M, Union Dale, 4:29:57; 1498, Angela Rapisardi, 52F, Union Dale, 4:31:36; 1508, Francis Graytock, 61M, Forest City, 4:33:38; 1664, Kathryn Dewitt, 20F, Susquehanna, 4:54:32; 1842, Shannon Madden, 23F, Forest City, 5:44:02; 1843, Tim Madden, 26M, Forest City, 5:44:03.
In high school golf, Cole Wheaton shot 9-over-par, 81 at Elmhurst Country Club to fall one stroke short of the cut at the District 2 Tournament.
The 15 players who shot 80 or better played an extra nine holes for the eight berths in the PIAA East Regional.
Wheaton’s tie for 16th was the best among six Montrose players who reached the tournament through league qualifying.
Montrose was one of five schools to have all six golfers in action.
Bill Stranburg was tied for 20th out of 84 players with an 82. Jordan Smith and Matt Meehan were part of the tie for 25th with 83s.
Lance Nealey was tied for 33rd with an 85.
Peter Maxey shot 90.
Forest City’s Dom Sparks shot 101.
Katie Zefran of Forest City was tied for ninth out of 22 players going for five regional spots in the girls’ tournament.
Montrose’s Katie Clark shot 121.
Scranton Prep’s Nicholas Reach won the boys’ tournament for the third time while North Pocono’s Ellen Ceresko won the girls’ title for the second time.
In boys’ cross country, Elk Lake survived a tiebreaker with Valley View after the Lackawanna League’s last two unbeaten teams scored 29 points each in a meet at Blue Ridge.
The defending state champions emerged as the league leader because of a better finish by their sixth runner.
Valley View had three of the top four finishers in the dual with Elk Lake, but the Warriors took the next five spots.
Mike Bedell led Elk Lake by finishing fifth overall in the six-team meet. After Valley View’s leaders, Will Bennett, Tyler Williams, Cody Butler, Bryan Grosvenor and Jeff Horvath followed for Elk Lake with Horvath’s finish deciding the tiebreaker.
Elk Lake went 3-0 on the day, beating North Pocono, 21-37, and Abington Heights, 22-38, in addition to Valley View, to improve to 15-0.
In girls’ cross country, Elk Lake also remained unbeaten by beating Abington Heights, 24-31; Valley View, 19-44, and North Pocono, 16-45.
Blue Ridge’s Allison Hall won by 19 seconds over Elk Lake’s Maria Trowbridge.
In girls’ tennis, Kayla Triebel and Courtney Hinds used an upset to advance to the quarterfinals before they were eliminated from the District 2 Class AA doubles tournament.
Triebel-Hinds received a first-round bye then defeated Kaitlyn Turi-Maria Fortese of Holy Cross, 6-3, 6-2.
After losing the first set and falling behind, 3-0, in the third set, Triebel-Hinds rallied to knock off seventh-seeded Emily Yarosheski-Kim Farrell of Valley View, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Wyoming Seminary’s second-seeded Alyssa Joanlanne-Caroline Meuser eliminated Triebel-Hinds in the quarterfinals.
Montrose’s other doubles team, Kristy Stankiewicz-Genna Bulger, lost in three sets to Wyoming Area’s Valerie Bott-Briana Platt.
Both Elk Lake teams lost in their first match.
Kimberly Caines, a freshman from Elk Lake, is a member of the women’s cross country team at Baptist Bible College.
Caines has been second or third on the team in each of the four invitationals that have made up the Baptist Bible schedule to date.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Montrose (0-3 in the division, 1-5 overall) is at Valley View (2-1, 2-4) Friday night in an LFC Division 2 game.
Susquehanna (0-1, 4-2) is home Saturday against Lackawanna Trail (0-1, 0-6) in Division 1.
Our high school football predictions were 9-2 (81.8 percent), bringing our season record to 61-16 (79.0 percent). This week’s predictions, with home teams in CAPS: VALLEY VIEW 35, Montrose 3; SUSQUEHANNA 47, Lackawanna Trail 9; North Pocono 23, SCRANTON 14; West Scranton 48, HONESDALE 15; Abington Heights 29, DELAWARE VALLEY 9; Wallenpaupack 22, WESTERN WAYNE 19; Lakeland 25, RIVERSIDE 17; Dunmore 32, SCRANTON PREP 18; MID VALLEY 34, Holy Cross 0; OLD FORGE 38, Carbondale 23.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
Johnson Wins California Shootout
By Gerald Hodges; The Racing Reporter
FONTANA, Cal. - Jimmie Johnson avoided a series of wrecks and won a three-lap shootout ahead of his teammate Jeff Gordon to take Sunday’s Pepsi 500 at California Speedway.
The last in a series of wrecks involving nine cars, came on lap 244 of the 250-lap race. After a red flag period which allowed the race officials to clean up the track, the race went green on lap 247. Johnson was the leader, followed by Gordon, Mark Martin, and Juan Montoya.
Johnson gained a clear lead over Gordon going into turn-1 and from then on, it was all Jimmie Johnson.
Jimmie Johnson, California Cup winner.
“It was a solid day all along for us,” said Johnson. “It was an awesome car. Those cautions at the end really had me nervous. I didn’t know what to do on the restarts. The 24 would get me on some of them, the 42 was racy, and I knew if I could get three or four laps on them I would be okay. But there at the end I really didn’t have very many laps left, and I’m glad I got a good start and got going.”
Johnson is now the Chase points leader.
“We fought hard all day to get ourselves in that position at the end,” said Gordon. “We had a couple good restarts, but they (Johnson) are in another category. We’ve got to find out what we’re missing.”
Montoya led several laps but was no match for Johnson near the end.
“We were really good when it was cloudy,” said Montoya, who finished third. “I couldn’t really find the bottom groove and how much grip I needed. There at the end it cooled down, but it was too late.”
Mark Martin’s fourth-place finish dropped him from first to second in Chase points.
“We were real close,’ said Martin. “I had a great race car, great adjustments, and there were times when I could go out front. The team is great, and I’m just proud of them.”
Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, David Ragan, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, and Kevin Harvick were the remaining top-10 drivers.
Kasey Kahne was the victim of three different wrecks. The last one which came on lap 244 knocked him out of the race.
Reed Sorenson was also involved in the lap 244 crash.
“I remember seeing the back end of the 39 car (Ryan Newman) sliding, and the next thing I saw was the wall,” said Sorenson.
Top-12 Chase contenders after 4 of 10; 1. Johnson-5728, 2. Martin-5716, 3. Montoya-5670, 4. Stewart-5644, 5. J. Gordon-5623, 6. Kurt Busch-5607, 7. Biffle-5540, 8. Edwards-5536, 9. Hamlin-5509, 10. Newman-5505, 11. Kahne-5422, 12. Vickers-5377.
From a practical standpoint, the Chase is down to five drivers, Johnson, Martin, Montoya, Stewart, and Jeff Gordon.
LOGANO BATTLES BACK FOR NATIONWIDE WIN
FONTANA, Cal. - Joey Logano battled back after being squeezed into the wall by Greg Biffle to win Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at Fontana, CA. Carl Edwards finished third and is now just 153 points behind Kyle Busch, the leader, with five races to go.
Top-10: 1. Kyle Busch-4809, 2. Edwards-4654, 3. Keselowski-4582, 4. Leffler-3952, 5. Allgaier-3505, 6. S. Wallace-3471, 7. Keller-3383, 8. Bliss-3344, 9. Gaughan-3285, 10. McDowell-3091.
NASCAR UPDATE: This year Chase drivers are dominating the top-10. Nine of the top-10 finishers at Kansas on Sunday were Chase drivers. Eight of the top-10 in the first two playoff races were Chasers.
Does this mean the 12 Chase drivers are that much better than the other 31 drivers, or does it mean the non-Chase drivers might not be battling them as hard?
It appears as though NASCAR is favoring the Chase drivers to win. After NASCAR warned Brad Keselowski last weekend at Kansas to take it easy around some Chase drivers, fans e-mailed me and expressed their displeasure at NASCAR’s action.
“It’s reasonable for NASCAR to want a fair fight among those twelve (Chase) drivers, and they should be allowed every opportunity to race fair. But these drivers shouldn’t get more favor from the other drivers and from NASCAR.
“The other drivers shouldn’t be expected to take it easy around those in the Chase. To do so is hurting NASCAR, hurting the integrity of the competition and showing disrespect to the fans and sponsors of those non-Chase drivers.
“For a driver outside the Chase, running well in those final ten races could go a long way towards landing a sponsor for next season.” Said J. B. of Lexington, Kentucky.
Keselowski remains puzzled as to why NASCAR singled him out in the Kansas race.
“I thought it somewhat humorous because the Chase drivers around me were the ones who were racing aggressively,” he said. “I thought I was doing a normal deal.”
Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s Vice president of competition, said they often relay information to teams when they see something that concerns them on the track.
“When we see things going on around the track that could affect the outcome of innocent bystanders and drivers that don’t have a fight, we’ll take and call that driver on that. And that’s what we did,” said Pemberton.
You make the call. Was NASCAR right to single out Keselowski?
NASCAR will slow down the speeds of cars at Talladega by reducing the size of the restrictor plates used by Cup cars in hopes of making it safer for drivers.
Series director John Darby said the move will reduce horsepower and take a little bit of top-end speed off the cars.
The track announced earlier this week it is raising the fence at the 2.66-mile oval from 14 to 22 feet following a safety analysis after Carl Edward’s last-lap crash during the spring race sent him flying into the fence.
David Stremme, driver of Roger Penske’s No. 12 Dodge in the Cup Series still does not have a 2010 ride. Stremme will be replaced in the No. 12 at the end of the year by Brad Keselowski.
“When you look at the teams that are going away and don't have sponsors, I think there is going to be so much change for our sport with the teams,” Stremme said. “We are talking to some people. I don't have nothing solid. I can't even say, ‘hey, I feel good about stuff.' Our sport is going through a lot of changes and the thing is, if I've got to run Nationwide, Truck, whatever it is, I'm willing to do it. Last year, I had a lot of fun driving for Rusty (Wallace) in the Nationwide. It was a blast and I'd do it again.”
Online voting is under way for the Most Popular Driver of the Year Award in the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series. Fans can visit www.nascar.com and vote for their favorite driver.
Weekend Racing: The Nationwide and Sprint teams return to Charlotte for night racing. The Camping World Trucks do not race again until Oct. 24.
Fri., Oct. 16, Nationwide Dollar General 300, race 31 of 35; Starting time: 7:30 p.m. (EDT); TV: ESPN2.
Sat., Oct. 17, Sprint Cup Bank of America 500, race 31 of 36; Starting time: 7 p.m. (EDT); TV: ABC.
Racing Trivia Question: Will Michael Waltrip return as a driver in 2010?
Last Week’s Question Which Cup team does Paul Menard drive for? Answer. He drives the No. 98 Yates Ford.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Susquehanna Sabers were trapped at their 3 with a lead to protect in the final minute of the half.
Most football teams would have tried to find a way to protect the ball, get to the locker room and wait for another chance.
With Dan Kempa at quarterback of the veer offense, the Sabers have other options.
The junior quarterback turned an option keeper into a 97-yard touchdown that helped carry Susquehanna to a 20-14 victory over defending Wyoming Valley Conference Class AA Division champion Wilkes-Barre GAR.
The win over GAR was the highlight of a 3-1 month and 4-1 start that has given Susquehanna its most football victories since Dick Bagnall returned to take over a struggling program in 2004.
“He’s such a good athlete and he’s running the offense so well,” Bagnall said of Kempa, who has been selected as the Susquehanna County Transcript Athlete of the Month for September.
Kempa led an offense that averaged more than 30 points over the final eight weeks last year to go 3-5 after an 0-2 start.
“We knew we were going to get better,” Kempa said. “I don’t know if we thought we would get so far this fast.”
The victory over GAR was the program’s most impressive win in about a decade.
The Sabers already had a 7-0 lead when they stopped the Grenadiers inside the 5, setting up Kempa’s long touchdown.
“I just tried to get us out away from the end zone,” he said. “It was an option. I just read them, made the fake and there was a big hole there.”
Kempa also moved into the defensive lineup last year and is now the starting free safety on an improved unit that has allowed the fourth-highest scoring offense out of 20 Lackawanna Football Conference teams more opportunities to shine.
“The defense is pretty much getting the offense back on the field,” said Kempa, who intercepted a pass and broke up two others.
Kempa carried 69 times for 518 yards and five touchdowns in September before opening October with a 305-yard, six-touchdown outburst in a 61-26 rout of Lake-Lehman. He also passed for 202 yards in the first four games.
Dan is the son of Joe and Charlene Kempa of Jackson. He plays football at Susquehanna on a cooperative sponsorship with Blue Ridge where he plays basketball and runs track and field.
Dallas, PA -Joe Scanlon, a Mountain View graduate ofHarford, PA, has been named the Misericordia University Wendy’s Male Athlete of the Month for September.
Scanlon, a junior, led the men’s soccer team to a 4-3-2 month, including a win over nationally-ranked John Carroll. He is third on the team in scoring with nine points.
There were few good chances for either team against #24 John Carroll, but Scanlon made his count. After taking in a great pass from senior midfielder Cody Harman, Scanlon held off a defender and slotted into the corner 17 minutes into the second half.
Scanlon also scored as Misericordia battled to a 1-1 tie in double overtime at the University of Scranton.
The Cougars got on the scoreboard first, as Scanlonheaded in a ball served up from the right sideline by Bryan Kulbacki in the 14th-minute.
The Wendy’s Misericordia University Athlete of the Month program is in its 11th year and is sponsored by Quality Served Fast (QSF), Misericordia’s local Wendy’s franchise organization.
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