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Upset-minded Lackawanna Trail was keeping the game close and Susquehanna had just lost senior running back Nick Felter to a knee injury.
The Sabers needed a boost to stay on track for what is shaping up as their best season in a decade.
John Salinkas came through, running for 130 yards and three touchdowns to help Susquehanna pull away for a 42-13 Homecoming Day victory in a Lackawanna Football Conference Division 3 game Saturday.
“John is like our hidden hero,” Sabers coach Dick Bagnall said. “He takes a pounding, but he really makes our offense go.”
The 165-pound senior fullback had a bigger part of the option running attack while quarterback Dan Kempa and freshman back-up running back Cole Mallery also contributed to what turned out to be a 336-yard running attack.
“When Felter got hurt, we went from a split back to an I-formation and they had no answer for it,” Bagnall said.
After running 16 times for just 64 yards on the first four possessions, the Sabers averaged 13.6 yards per carry the rest of the game to take control.
Kempa pushed the lead to 22-6 at halftime when he ran 31 yards for a touchdown then ran for the two-point conversion.
The Sabers were pinned on their 7 for their first possession of the second half but needed just three plays to score on an 84-yard run by Salinkas.
Salinkas also had scoring runs of 1 yard in the last minute of the first quarter and 6 yards in the first minute of the second quarter for a 14-0 lead.
Kempa ran 15 yards for a touchdown on the second play of the fourth quarter. The quarterback finished with 95 yards on 14 carries and finished with 19 points, including five extra-point kicks.
Mallery ran for 73 yards on five carries. He also intercepted a pass and returned it 63 yards for a touchdown with 6:31 remaining to put the game into the Mercy Rule.
Justin Johnson had two sacks for 22 yards in losses, another tackle for a six-yard loss and a forced fumble.
One of Johnson’s sacks, combined with consecutive Jordan Aldrich tackles for 10 yards in losses and a penalty forced the Lions into a third-and-49 situation in the first quarter.
Susquehanna improved to 1-1 in the division and 5-2 overall while Lackawanna Trail remained winless.
In another LFC game, Valley View reached the Mercy Rule by halftime with 27 second-quarter points and a 39-point lead on the way to a 53-0 shutout of Montrose in Division 2.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Elk Lake won a head-to-head meeting of the final two Lackawanna League girls’ cross country unbeatens when it edged Honesdale, 27-28, in a meet run at Western Wayne.
The Elk Lake boys and girls each have to had to face the challenges of other unbeatens twice in the last three weeks to protect what are now the league’s only perfect records.
Blue Ridge’s Allison Hall was again the overall winner in the meet at Western Wayne. She was followed by Elk Lake’s Maria Trowbridge, who beat out the Honesdale combination of Summer Hill and Erin Craig to lead the Lady Warriors to the win.
In field hockey, Lila Weiss scored with 10:45 left in the second half to lift Montrose to its first victory of the season, 1-0, over visiting Elk Lake in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division III game.
In girls’ soccer, Montrose limited Forest City to three shots in a 1-0 victory that was goalie Katelyn Spellman’s sixth shutout of the season.
In professional hockey, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins won their first meeting of the year with American Hockey League rival Binghamton Senators, 6-3.
John Curry made 38 saves and Chris Conner had a goal and an assist in the Friday night game at the Broome County Arena.
Alissa Richardson, a freshman from Blue Ridge, and Leann Terpstra, a freshman from Susquehanna, are both members of the Misericordia University women’s volleyball team.
Richardson has appeared in three matches and a total of six games. She has 11 digs.
Terpstra has played in two matches.
Misericordia is 12-8.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Montrose and Susquehanna have their football seasons headed in opposite directions. That does not seem likely to change this week when the Meteors face arguably the hottest team in the league while the Sabers take on a team that has lost six straight and hasn’t beaten a Pennsylvania opponent in more than two years.
Montrose, which is in last place in Division 2 and 1-6 overall, plays at Division 1 co-leader North Pocono, which is 6-1, Friday night.
Susquehanna (1-1 and 5-2) plays at Holy Cross (0-2, 1-6) in a Division 3 game Saturday. The Sabers shut out Holy Cross, 34-0, in a non-league game earlier this year.
Our predictions were 11-0 last week, bringing our season record to 72-16 (81.8 percent). This week’s predictions, with home teams in CAPS: NORTH POCONO 48, Montrose 3; Susquehanna 37, HOLY CROSS 12; Old Forge 43, LACKAWANNA TRAIL 0; CARBONDALE 23, Mid Valley 17; Scranton Prep 23, LAKELAND 19; Delaware Valley 25, WEST SCRANTON 23; WALLENPAUPACK 49, Honesdale 9; WESTERN WAYNE 33, Riverside 22; DUNMORE 32, Valley View 7; ABINGTON HEIGHTS 40, Scranton 6.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
Johnson Wins Again At Charlotte
By Gerald Hodges; The Racing Reporter
CONCORD, N.C. - Jimmie Johnson is on the fast track to a fourth Sprint Cup championship. He now has a 90 point lead over teammate Mark Martin after his convincing win Saturday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
It was almost the perfect weekend for Johnson. He won the pole, led every practice, led the most laps, and won the race, his 46th career win, now tying him with Buck Baker at 13th on the all-time list.
Jimmie Johnson wins again at Lowe's.
Photo courtesy of NASCAR
It was Johnson's sixth win at Lowe's Motor Speedway and put him another step closer to a fourth consecutive championship, which would be a first in NASCAR history.
“We’re only halfway through this thing,” Johnson said. “So much can happen. It’s a nice points lead, but there’s no need for anybody to get too excited yet. There’s still a lot of danger out there, and we’ve just got to be smart.
“If we don’t have problems, I feel we have a very good chance to win this championship.”
Rounding out the top-10 finishers were Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, Casey Mears, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex and Kurt Busch.
Mark Martin had his worst night of the Chase thus far after getting into the rear of Juan Montoya's car on a restart. The accident ended Montoya's streak of top-five finishes at four, and relegated Martin to a 17th-place finish. Montoya didn't fare so well. He wound up 35th.
It was not a good night for other Chase drivers as well. Denny Hamlin ran with the leaders before losing an engine. Carl Edwards was the victim of an accident and his damaged car lost an engine when he returned to the track in an attempt to get as many points as possible. Edwards was 39th. Brian Vickers had another terrible run, finishing 34th.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. had mechanical issues with his car and finished 38th.
Top-12 Chase contenders after 5 of 10: 1. Johnson-5923, 2. Martin-5833, 3. J. Gordon-5788, 4. Stewart-5768, 5. Kurt Busch-5746, 6. Montoya-5728, 7. Biffle-5655, 8. Newman-5635, 9. Kahne-5592, 10. Edwards-5582, 11. Hamlin-5551, 12. Vickers-5438.
The Chase hopes for everyone except Johnson, Martin, and Gordon have come to an end. It’s going to be hard if not impossible for any drive to make up 150 points in five races. It looks very difficult, even for Gordon, who is 135 points behind.
KYLE BUSCH DOMINATES IN NATIONWIDE RACE
Kyle Busch ran away from the rest of the field to win Friday’s Nationwide Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, followed by Mike Bliss, Dave Blaney, Brian Vickers, and Carl Edwards. Top-10 points leaders after 31 of 35: 1. Kyle Busch-5004, 2. Edwards-4809, 3. Keselowski-4732, 4. Leffler-4019, 5. Allgaier-3632, 6. S. Wallace-3523, 7. Bliss-3514, 8. Keller-3495, 9. Gaughan-3403, 10. McDowell-3185.
Roush Racing won the 2000 Truck Series championship with Greg Biffle as the driver, but that will soon be in the past.
“The cost of finding adequate sponsors has simply gotten too high,” Jack Roush said.
“It’s been a happy time in the Truck series. It’s a worthwhile series. When Chrysler came in in the ‘90s and Toyota came in just after the turn of the century and brought their sponsorships, it discounted the sponsorships that other non-automotive affiliations would make.
“Dodge stepped into one of my sponsorship arrangements. When they came in and offered two trucks that [were] half the price for what was required to run one of my trucks, they basically discounted 75 percent.
“All that was created by NASCAR’s insistence that before these manufacturers came in and went into the Cup side that they had to spend so much time on the Truck side. Since they didn’t have sponsors, they had to pay for it themselves. That left the rest of us with a bill for paying the difference between what a sponsor would not pay and what the costs were, and they were just too big.”
Roush has entered over 700 truck races since 1995 and helped launch the careers of Sprint Cup drivers Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards.
Meanwhile Erik Darnell, Roush Fenway Racing’s last “Driver X,” appears to be without a ride in the organization for 2010.
Darnell won the team’s “Gong Show” competition in 2004, earning a seat in one of Roush’s trucks. But after running three full seasons in Trucks, Darnell was moved to part-time duty in the Nationwide Series for 2009. Still, he may not have a seat with the team next year.
“We’re open with Erik,” said Roush. “We’re open to do something with Erik, and I’d very much like to. But right now, I don’t have a sponsor to stand in line that has singled out Erik. I’m just not certain.”
NASCAR announced the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame that includes: Dale Earnhardt, Bill France Sr., Bill France Jr., Junior Johnson and Richard Petty.
Also receiving votes were David Pearson, Cale Yarborough and Bobby Allison.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, consisting of members of the Nominating Committee along with 29 others representing NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, major race track ownership groups, retired drivers, owners and crew chiefs along with motorsports media representatives, met in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C. to vote on the induction class of 2010.
As part of the inclusive voting process, more than 670,000 fans submitted votes online at NASCAR.COM as part of the fan voting process.
The nominees included many of the sport’s legendary names: Bobby Allison, Buck Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Dale Earnhardt, Richie Evans, Tim Flock, Bill France Jr., Bill France Sr., Rick Hendrick, Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, Bud Moore, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, David Pearson, Lee Petty, Richard Petty, Fireball Roberts, Herb Thomas, Curtis Turner, Darrell Waltrip, Joe Weatherly, Glen Wood and Cale Yarborough.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame broke ground in Charlotte on Jan. 25, 2007, and will open May 11, 2010. The facility honors the history and heritage of NASCAR and the many who have contributed to the success of NASCAR.
The Class of 2010 will be officially inducted in a ceremony on May 23, 2010, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.
Weekend Racing: The Camping World Trucks and Sprint Cup teams are at the .52-mile Martinsville Speedway, while the Nationwide series is at Memphis Motorsports Park.
Sat., Oct. 24, Camping World Trucks Martinsville 250, race 21 of 25; Starting time: 12:30 p.m. (EDT); TV: Speed Channel.
Sat., Oct. 24, Nationwide Series Kroger 250, race 32 of 35; Starting time: 3 p.m. (EDT); TV: ESPN2.
Sun., Oct. 25, Sprint Cup Tums 500, race 32 of 36; Starting time: 1 p.m. (EDT): TV: ABC.
Racing Trivia Question: Will two-time NASCAR champion Terry Labonte come out of retirement for the 2010 cup season?
Last Week’s Question: Will Michael Waltrip return as a driver in 2010? Answer: Waltrip has said he would like to run a full season in the Nationwide Series. Right now, he does not plan on racing in the Cup Series.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: email@example.com.
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