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MONTROSE - Terrible weather conditions, such as Friday night’s brisk wind and steady rain, can threaten the ball-handling necessary for Susquehanna to run its veer option at full efficiency.
Defense and special teams took the pressure off of the offense right from the start, allowing a simplified offensive approach to be plenty enough to carry the Sabers to a 35-0 victory over Montrose in the annual meeting between Susquehanna County’s only two high school football programs.
The Sabers threw just one pass. They never pitched the ball and seldom even considered it while relying on an inside, ball-control running attack after jumping to a 14-0 lead in the first 4:41.
Susquehanna’s kicking game pinned the Montrose offense and the Sabers defense never let the Meteors out.
Eric Onyon averaged 36.5 yards per punt and Montrose was unable to handle Susquehanna’s kickoffs, causing it to open the game from its 24 and 8.
A special teams error and turnover on those possessions meant the Sabers needed to go just 18 yards total while scoring on two of their first three offensive plays.
The Meteors lost just one more turnover the rest of the way, but field position remained a factor.
Montrose started the average drive from inside its 29. Susquehanna started half of its 10 possessions in Montrose territory, taking over, on average, inside the Meteors 47.
Linebackers Nick Marco and Jesse Pruitt led the Susquehanna defense which held Montrose to two first downs - just one in the first three quarters. The Sabers also limited the Meteors to less than a yard per play with just 38 yards total offense on 42 plays, including 40 runs and two passes.
Marco had eight tackles and five assists. One of the tackles was for an eight-yard loss and another was for a four-yard loss.
Pruitt made three tackles, assisted on seven others and recovered a fumble.
A punt snap got away on Montrose’s first possession, allowing Susquehanna to take over on the 5.
Greg Price scored from there and Dan Kempa added the first of three extra-point kicks for a 7-0 lead with 9:24 left in the first quarter.
Pruitt’s fumble recovery two plays later put the Sabers back in control at the Meteors 12.
Kempa kept to the left side for 13 yards and a touchdown on the second play. The Sabers led, 14-0, with 7:19 left in the first quarter.
Susquehanna moved 58 yards in a second-quarter drive that featured nine plays and five penalties. The Sabers appeared to score on a 41-yard scramble by Kempa, but a personal foul on an unnecessary block behind the play wiped out that score. They kept going and, after consecutive 12- and 22-yard runs by Price, scored on Marco’s 11-yard run with 2:03 left in the half.
Montrose’s Mason Griffiths blocked the extra point, keeping Susquehanna’s lead at 20-0 going into halftime.
Price, who finished with 131 yards on 10 carries, broke a 75-yard run for a touchdown on Susquehanna’s first offensive play of the second half.
When Montrose could not convert on a fourth down to open the fourth quarter, Susquehanna went 37 yards in three plays to put the game into the Mercy Rule with 7:47 left.
Kempa ran 31 yards for the touchdown, then added the two-point conversion necessary to create the 35-point margin and speed up the remainder of the game. The senior quarterback finished with 68 yards on 11 carries and scored 17 points.
Josh Oliver led the Montrose defensive effort with four tackles and two assists.
Susquehanna's defense allowed Montrose to cross midfield just once. When the Sabers could not handle the second-half kickoff, the Meteors took over at their 48. They moved just three yards to the Susquehanna 49 before punting and the Meteors never came any closer to scoring.
The Sabers improved to 2-0 in Division 3 of the Lackawanna Football Conference and 6-1 overall. They share first place with Old Forge, a 25-6 winner over Lackawanna Trail.
Montrose fell to 0-2 and 0-7 with its 15th straight loss.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Lakeland ended Forest City’s four-year run as Lackawanna League Division 3 boys’ soccer champion with a 3-2 overtime victory.
The Chiefs improved to 11-0-2 with one game remaining. Forest City is 10-3.
In girls’ soccer, Mountain View used a 1-0 victory over Forest City to take sole possession of the Lackawanna Division 2 lead.
The Lady Eagles are 7-1-1. The Lady Foresters are 6-2-1.
In girls’ tennis, Division 2 of the Lackawanna League finally completed play in its rain-delayed season.
Scranton Prep won the division at 12-0, followed by Valley View at 10-2, Montrose at 10-4, Mid Valley at 5-7 and Western Wayne at 0-12.
In cross country, Elk Lake took perfect records in both boys’ and girls’ competition into the final week of the regular season in an attempt to duplicate last year’s perfect season.
Rob Volk, a freshman from Montrose, is a quarterback on the roster at Sacred Heart.
Volk has not played yet.
Sacred Heart is 0-4 in the Northeast Conference and has lost six straight since beating Marist in the opener.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Susquehanna and Montrose play in the LFC’s only two Saturday games this week.
Susquehanna is home against Lackawanna Trail (0-2 in Division 3, 2-5 overall). Montrose is at Holy Cross (1-1, 4-3).
Last week’s high school football predictions were 9-1 (90.0 percent), improving our season record to 64-24 (72.7 percent). This week’s predictions, with home teams in CAPS: SUSQUEHANNA 36, Lackawanna Trail 6; HOLY CROSS 31, Montrose 8; OLD FORGE 30, Mid Valley 0; Abington Heights 40, WEST SCRANTON 28; DELAWARE VALLEY 19, Scranton 9; NORTH POCONO 25, Wallenpaupack 13; Valley View 30, SCRANTON PREP 12; DUNMORE 28, Western Wayne 6; LAKELAND 51, Honesdale 0; RIVERSIDE 57, Carbondale 0.
In girls’ tennis, Montrose’s Courtney Hinds and Kayla Treibel are seeded third for the District 2 Class AA doubles tournament, which is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in Wilkes-Barre.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
McMurray Night At Charlotte
CONCORD, N.C. - The night belonged to Jamie McMurray.
Jamie McMurray drove by Kyle Busch with 21 laps to go after a restart on lap 314 of the 335-lap Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Saturday night, and went on to win his third Cup race of the season.
“It was just our night,” McMurray said. “Our car was unbelievable those last 25 or 30 laps. It was effortless to drive and had a lot of speed in it.”
Jamie McMurray wins at Charlotte.
Busch had dominated the event, leading a race-high 217 of 334 laps, but McMurray was closing in on Busch’s rear bumper when the ninth and final caution waved on lap 310. When the race went green on lap 313, McMurray made his race-winning pass around Busch off Turn 2 and never looked back, crossing the finish line 1.866 seconds ahead of Busch.
“He was faster than me and he beat us. Nothing to it but that. Just didn’t quite have it at the end. I gave it up two nights in a row,” said Busch, who suffered another late-race disappointment when Brad Keselowski won Friday night’s Nationwide race at Charlotte.
Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin, both dodged trouble and finished third and fourth, respectively, to set up a showdown Oct. 24 at Martinsville, a short track the two drivers have dominated the past four years.
Greg Biffle finished fifth, and Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, David Reutimann and David Ragan completed the top-10.
Pole-sitter Jeff Gordon had his share of trouble. On Lap 191, one of Gordon's batteries failed, and he lost a lap while switching to a second battery. Gordon got a free pass back to the lead lap after the caution flew for Marcos Ambrose spin, but he struggled the rest of the way.
Last week’s winner, Tony Stewart came home 21st and lost touch with the championship battle. He and Kyle Busch are tied for fifth in the standings, 177 points behind Johnson.
Chase leaders after 31 of 36: 1. Johnson-5843, 2. Hamlin-5802, 3. Harvick-5766, 4. J. Gordon-5687, 5. Kyle Busch-5666, 6. Stewart-5666, 7. Edwards-5643, 8. Biffle-5618, 9. Kurt Busch-5606, 10. Burton-5604, 11. Kenseth-5587, 12. Bowyer-5543.
KESELOWSKI GETS CHARLOTTE NATIONWIDE WIN
Brad Keselowski picked up his first NASCAR Nationwide Series win at Charlotte, for his fifth victory of the season and the 11th of his career.
Martin Truex Jr. ran second, followed by Justin Allgaier, Joey Logano and polesitter Clint Bowyer, whose winning chances disappeared with a pit-road speeding penalty on his last stop. Kyle Busch, Reed Sorenson, Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick completed the top-10.
“I might be biased, but I thought that was the best race I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Keselowski, who has won two of the four races in the new NASCAR Nationwide car this year. “And I was driving the car, so I can imagine what the fans saw - that was awesome.
Keselowski widened his lead in the NASCAR Nationwide standings to 450 points over 13th-place finisher Carl Edwards.
Top-10 leaders after 31 of 36: 1. Keselowski-4954, 2. Edwards-4504, 3. Kyle Busch-4439, 4. Allgaier-4103, 5. Menard-3929, 6. Harvick-3902, 7. Logano-3557, 8. Bayne-3503, 9. Leffler-3433, 10. S. Wallace-3427.
Top-10 Camping World Truck Series leaders after 20 of 25: 1. Bodine-3196, 2. Almirola-2934, 3. Sauter-2896, 4. Dillon-2808, 5. Peters-2773, 6. Crafton-2773, 7. Hornaday-2687, 8. Skinner-2549, 9. Starr-2504, 10. Lofton-2379.
2011 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
NASCAR announced last week that the second class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Lee Petty, Ned Jarrett, and Bud Moore.
Also receiving votes were Dale Inman, Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip.
Here were the 25 nominees for induction into the 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame class: Bobby Allison, Buck Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, Richie Evans, Tim Flock, Rick Hendrick, Jack Ingram, Dale Inman, Ned Jarrett, Fred Lorenzen, Bud Moore, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, David Pearson, Lee Petty, Fireball Roberts, T. Wayne Robertson, Herb Thomas, Curtis Turner, Darrell Waltrip, Joe Weatherly, Glen Wood and Cale Yarborough.
The Class of 2011 will be officially inducted in a ceremony in May 2011 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.
Class of 2011:
Bobby Allison: Allison, winner of the 1983 NASCAR premier series championship, ended his career with 84 victories, tied for third on the all-time list. In 1972, he won 10 races, had 12 second-place finishes and was the NASCAR premier series runner-up (to Richard Petty). Allison captured the NASCAR Modified Special Division championship in 1962 and ‘63 and then went on to win the Modified Division the following two years. In 1998, Allison was named one of NASCAR’s “50 Greatest Drivers.”
Ned Jarrett: Jarrett was a two-time NASCAR champion (1961 and 1965) and two-time Sportsman Division champion (1957 and ‘58). Through his career he totaled 50 premier series wins, tied for 11th all-time. In 1998 he was named one of NASCAR’s “50 Greatest Drivers.” After retiring in 1966, Jarrett helped grow the sport through his second career as a broadcaster.
Bud Moore: A decorated World War II infantryman, Bud Moore became a successful NASCAR Sprint Cup owner almost immediately upon fielding a team in 1961. Moore won back-to-back championships in 1962-63 with Joe Weatherly. Earlier, in 1957, Moore - who referred to himself as “a country mechanic” - was crew chief for champion Buck Baker.
David Pearson: Pearson is a three-time NASCAR champion whose career total of 105 victories is second on the all-time list. Pearson won his titles in 1966, ’68 and ’69. He also won the sport’s biggest event, the Daytona 500 in 1976. In 1998 he was named one of NASCAR’s “50 Greatest Drivers.”
Lee Petty: Petty became the sports first three-time series champion after winning titles in 1954, ’58 and ’59. He was also the winner of the first Daytona 500 in 1959. His 54 career victories stands ninth on the all-time list and he never finished lower than fourth in points from 1949-1959. In 1998, he was named one of NASCAR’s “50 Greatest Drivers.” Petty is the founder of Petty Enterprises and as an owner had more than 2,000 starts and 268 wins.
Weekend Racing: The Sprint Cup and Camping World truck teams are at Martinsville Speedway, the smallest track (.52-mile) on the NASCAR circuit, while the Nationwide Series will be at Gateway Speedway, just across the river from St. Louis.
Sat., Oct. 23, Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200, race 21 of 25; Starting time: 12:30 p.m. ET; TV: Speed Channel.
Sat., Oct. 23, Nationwide Series Gateway 250, race 32 of 35; Starting time: 3 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN2.
Sun., Oct. 24, Cup Series Tums 500, race 32 of 36; Starting time: 1 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN.
Racing Trivia Question: Why did the U. S. Government ban automobile racing in July, 1942?
Last Week’s Question: How many Cup wins did Earnhardt Sr. have? Answer. He had 76 wins and 676 starts.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: email@example.com.
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