Top, Old Forge tailback Lou Febbo runs around a Honesdale defender during the Blue Devils victory. At left, Brian Tomasetti (21) has an interception go through his hands in the pouring rain on Friday night in Honesdale. Above, quarterback Colin Carey follows the blocking of guard Anthony Trotta (63) during the first half of action.photos by angela ceccarelli
The first-half statistics showed Old Forge in total control of its Lackawanna Football Conference crossover matchup with Honesdale.
The scoreboard showed otherwise.
Still the Blue Devils were able to escape the rain-soaked Wayne Highlands with a 19-6 win over the winless Hornets on Friday night behind a dominating defense and the running of senior Lou Febbo.
Old Forge (3-1) ran 36 plays in the first half compared to 13 for Honesdale (0-4), and outgained the Hornets by 147 yards, holding their hosts to minus-20 yards total offense in the first half. Yet the Blue Devils led just 6-0 at intermission after two 15-play drives stalled inside the five. Old Forge also fumbled on first-and-goal from the 4 on its third possession of the game.
The Blue Devils opened the game with nine consecutive rushing plays before Colin Carey found Febbo on a screen pass for 15 yards on fourth-and-5 from the Honesdale 35. But six plays later, the Hornets stuffed Carey on fourth down from the 4 with 3:05 showing on the first quarter clock.
Old Forge held Honesdale on three downs and again stayed on the ground, rushing 15 times for 50 yards before Febbo was stopped on fourth-and-5 from the Hornets’ 8.
Brian Tomasetti caused a fumble on the next Honesdale possession which the Blue Devils recovered at the Hornets 15, but Old Forge gave the ball right back, fumbling four plays later.
Joey Ciuccio got the ball back for the Blue Devils when the senior defensive end ripped the ball loose from Honesdale quarterback Kevin Miller. Old Forge recovered on the Honesdale 7, and three plays later, Febbo finally hit paydirt with a 5-yard score with 31 seconds left in the first half. The PAT was missed, but Old Forge led 6-0.
Febbo rushed for 70 yards on 21 carries in the opening 24 minutes as the Blue Devils held the ball for 19:18 of the first half.
Honesdale moved into Old Forge territory on its first two drives of the second half, but both times Ciuccio and Tony DeSando made plays to stop the Hornets.
On third-and-17 from the Old Forge 44, Ciuccio sniffed out a screen pass, and along with Cory Stuart and Anthony Trotta made the stop after just a 4-yard gain to force a punt. Then on fourth-and-5 from the Old Forge 48, Ciuccio and DeSando stuffed tailback Kyle Carney in the backfield for a 5-yard loss.
Ciuccio and DeSando combined to finish with 12 tackles, including seven for a loss, three sacks and a forced fumble.
The Blue Devils stayed on the ground with Febbo and Tomasetti, and the latter scored from 5-yards out with 2:05 left in the third quarter to put Old Forge ahead, 12-0, after the two-point run failed.
A sack by DeSando on Honesdale’s next possession forced another Hornets punt which traveled just six yards to set up the Blue Devils next score.
Two plays after the punt, Febbo powered his way in for a 5-yard touchdown. Matt Mancuso drilled the extra-point, and Old Forge led 19-0.
Febbo finished with 131 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries while Tomasetti checked in with 40 yards and a TD on nine carries. Carey completed his only two passes of the night for 29 yards, including a 14-yarder in the second quarter to Shane Schuback for the sophomore’s first career catch.
The Old Forge defense held Honesdale to 93 yards rushing on 33 carries and 25 yards passing on a 3-for-11 night for Miller. The Hornets had scored a combined 82 points and thrown for seven touchdowns in its previous two games.
The Blue Devils host arch-rival Riverside on Friday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium.