Old Forge safety Jake Manetti fights off a Montrose tackler after he intercepted a pass during the Blue Devils 45-6 victory.photo by jessica Kovalcin
Above left, Jorden Sekol (34) sacks the Montrose quarterback during the Blue Devils victory on Friday night. At left, Warren Welsh (11) makes a stop for Old Forge. Above, Lou Febbo (33) runs for big yardage against the Meteors.photos by jessica kovalcin
It took just 15 plays for the Old Forge offense to take control of its Lackawanna Football Conference Division III opener with Montrose on Friday night at Meteors Stadium. It took just one for the Warren Welsh and the Blue Devils defense to put the game out of reach.
Welsh returned an interception for Old Forge’s fourth touchdown of the opening quarter as the Blue Devils rolled over Montrose, 45-6, to keep the Meteors winless and move atop the division standings.
The Blue Devils scored on just its third play from scrimmage as Brian “Bubba” Tomasetti sprinted 19 yards to the pylon for a 6-0 lead just 1:13 into the game. The score was set up by a 22-yard strike from quarterback Colin Carey to wideout Dave Argust on first down, and a bruising 12-yard run by tailback Lou Febbo as Old Forge (1-0 LFC, 4-2 overall) picked up first downs on its first three snaps.
The defense did not waste any time getting in gear either, as sophomore middle linebacker Jorden Sekol made stops on first and second down before the Blue Devils front four forced an incompletion on third down. Sekol led the Big Blue Wrecking Crew with seven tackles on the night, including four for a loss and a sack. All told, Old Forge recorded 13 TFLs on the night against the inept Montrose offense.
Pressure on the ensuing Montrose punt forced just a 5-yard punt, and Old Forge took over on the Meteors 34 with 8:59 on the first-quarter clock. Three plays later, Febbo started right, cut back left, and sprinted to the endzone for a 21-yard touchdown. Carey hit sophomore tight end Shane Schuback for the two-point conversion, and Old Forge led 14-0 with 7:58 left in the first.
Another three-and-out series by Montrose resulted in a 9-yard punt, and once again Old Forge had outstanding field position to begin its third drive of the night.
The Blue Devils gained two first downs to the Montrose 13, but the Meteors stopped Febbo for a 4-yard loss before sacking Carey for a 13-yard loss to set up third-and-27 from the Montrose 30.
But Old Forge proved its metal as Carey scrambled out of the pocket before jetting down the Blue Devils sideline all the way to the endzone for the third touchdown of the game. Matt Mancuso’s kick was short, but Old Forge was in command, 20-0, with 3:12 on the clock.
Montrose gained its first, first down in its ensuing possession, but after Sekol and Tony DeSando stopped Montrose running back Nick Ely on first down for no gain, Welsh picked off Jordan Dibble’s pass in the flat off a deflection and followed some key blocks to paydirt for the 49-yard touchdown return. Mancuso’s kick was true, and the Blue Devils led 27-0 with 38 seconds left in the opening stanza.
The defensive domination continued as Montrose netted minus-4 yards on its next possession as Sekol and crew harassed the Meteors in the backfield on first and third down.
Old Forge took over at the Montrose 42, and after a 7-yard completion from Carey to Elijah Wilson, Febbo ripped off a 33-yard run on a short sweep before being knocked out at the 1. The Blue Devils called Febbo’s number again on the next play, and the senior plowed into the endzone for the score. Carey found Schuback again on the two-point pass, and Old Forge led 35-0 with 9:02 left in the second quarter.
The Blue Devils would hold the Meteors to just nine more plays from scrimmage in the first half with five of those plays going for negative yardage as Cory Stuart registered two tackles for losses, and Joey Ciucco and Tyler Clark sacked Dibble on back-to-back plays.
Old Forge added to its first-half total on a 23-yard field goal by Mancuso after a 11-yard Sekol touchdown was nullified by a holding penalty. Mancuso’s kick gave the Blue Devils a 38-0 lead heading into halftime.
Montrose got on the board to start the fourth quarter, but Old Forge added one more score when backup quarterback Brendan Wahl scrambled six yards on fourth down for the score. Mancuso nailed the PAT for the 45-6 lead.
Febbo finished with 98 yards on 13 carries, and Tomasetti added 83 yards on nine carries.
Schuback also turned in a big game defensively, recording three tackles, including two sacks.
The victory puts Old Forge in a first-place tie after the first week of divisional play with Mid Valley and Susquehanna. The Spartans upset previously unbeaten Lackawanna Trail on Friday night, and the Sabers beat Holy Cross on Saturday afternoon. The Blue Devils host the Lions on Friday night.