With more than a dozen college coaches committing to attend the Scranton Lions Club hosted the inaugural Dream Game all-star football game on Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. at Athletic Park. The City seniors took on the County seniors with the contest raising money for the Lions Club blind fund. Bob Fitzke, who led Scranton Central to an 8-0-1 record, coached the City stars, while the County was guided by Bayard Neary from Carbondale. That first season, the County wore purple jerseys trimmed in white and the City wore white trimmed in purple. The game drew an estimated crowd of 4,000 despite cold weather and inclement weather. The County defeated the City, 12-0. Jack Munley, a Jessup product, and Harold Tallett, a Mayfield end, helped lead the County with touchdowns.
Jim Gatto, Dunmore, coached the City and Fiore Cesare, Scranton Tech, coached the County for the second event where players battled icy conditions on a frigid Dec. 5 afternoon at Athletic Park. The game drew only 2.000 fans due to the weather. The City all-stars earned a 6-0 win as Gene Moran, who played fullback at St. Paul’s, accepted a snap and threw a lateral to Scranton Tech running back Paul Amato, who then launched a pass to Bill Bradshaw, a running back from Scranton Tech, for the game’s only score in the fourth quarter. The City outgained the County, 141-66.
A wildly successful third clash between the City and County all-stars dropped the curtain on the high school football season. More than 12,000 fans packed into Athletic Park for the Dec. 4 contest. The City earned a 13-12 win. Scranton Tech star running back Edgar Jones intercepted a pass at the 2-yard line and sprinted 98 yards for a touchdown. Henry Weber of Scranton Tech also scored for the City. Jones, nicknamed “Special Delivery,” helped save the all-star game which drew only modest attendance because of poor weather. The future University of Pittsburgh All-American and Cleveland Browns player also added the extra-point in the 13-12 win. It’s a game and play that a panel of coaches, players and sports writers voted the best in the history of the Dream Game in a poll conducted by The Times-Tribune in 1999.
In a rapid surge of excitement and scoring, the City won, 13-0, its third straight Dream Game. Played in front of a crowd estimated at better than 11,000 at Athletic Park on Dec. 3, Joe Cippricani, a Scranton Tech senior, scored on an interception return and Oliver Evans of Scranton Central scored the other touchdown.
Scranton Tech senior Aldo Cenci hit high school teammate Harold Itzkowitz for the game’s only touchdown in the fifth annual event played Dec. 2 in front of an estimated crowd of 11,500 fans. Cenci converted a fourth-and-goal in the first quarter for the deciding points.
Once again, a big crowd turned out for the sixth Dream Game, which the City won 12-6 at Dunmore High School Stadium. Close to 7,000 came out for the game played in a slight drizzle of rain. Joe Chuprevich, a Dunmore senior, had a highlight for the County stars when he took the opening kickoff, that he bobbled, 85 yards for a score. Scranton Tech standout Joe Maroon helped spark a scoring drive for the City that he capped with a 1-yard run. Tom Reid, a Scranton Central senior, took a reverse and raced 50 yards for a touchdown.
The County ended its five-game losing streak in the series with a 12-0 win in the game played Dec. 6 at Athletic Park. It drew an estimated crowd of more than 8,000 fans. All of the scoring happened in the second quarter. Steve Havron found John Poslosky, a pair of Olyphant Greyhouds, for the first score. Blakely’s Roy Simpson found William Lesho, another Olyphant star, for the second for the County.
Scranton Central, the Eastern Conference champion, had 12 players on the City team that throttled the County, 18-0, on Dec. 12. The game drew more than 4,000 fans. Scranton Central’s Al Hazzouri scored the game’s first touchdown, Scranton Tech’s Jackie Jones scored the second on a trick play where Hazzouri sent a lateral to John Cox of Scranton Central, who hit Jones with a pass, and Scranton Central’s Tommy LeStrange hit Cox for the third touchdown on a 9-yard play.
On a frigid, snowy, Dec. 11 afternoon the City and the County battled to a scoreless tie in the all-star game played at Athletic Park. The winter conditions kept fans away as only an estimated 1,500 fans attended the contest that did have 3,000 tickets sold in advance. Standout players for the County were Clarks Summit’s Jack Driscole, Blakely’s Jackie Jones and Louis Armezzani of Jessup. A pair of Scranton Tech stars, Alex LaSorsa and Sam Bilancini paced the City.
As the game celebrated its 10th anniversary, the County defeated the City, 13-0, on Dec. 9 at Athletic Park in front of an estimated crowd of 4,500. Blakely coach John “Papa Bear” Henzes guided the County, which capitalized on a pair of blocked punts to earn the win. Carbondale’s Tom Gillen blocked a punt. Blakely quarterback Johnny Krochta hit Joe Jurkovic, an all-state receiver, to put the ball inside the City 10. A few players later Krochta bulled his way in for a 1-yard score. Blakely’s Gene Simpson blocked a punt in the third. Jessup’s Mike Hricay scored on a 2-yard run.
The end of year classic drew an estimated 10,000 fans and the County rolled to a 20-0 win in the game played Dec. 8 at Athletic Park. Taylor quarterback Andy Pollack found Dunmore end Frank Cantafio for the first score. Taylor’s Joe Novatka, who also had a key punt return that led to Pollack’s first score, set up another when he brought back the second-half kick to the City 48-yard line. Pollack found Guy Ardizoni for a touchdown. Pollack then had an interception and capped the ensuing drive with a 1-yard sneak.
Keyed by a late-game goal-line stand, the County came away with its third straight shutout win in the series, handing the City a 6-0 setback on Dec. 14. The game had an attendance of more than 7,000. Blakely’s Norman Woodworth blocked a punt that set up the lone score. Jessup’s Frank Armezzani and Dunmore’s Owen Dougherty sparked the drive on the ground. Blakely’s Billy Krohto, who set a Lackawanna County record with 116 points during the season, finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown. The City thought it tied the game when Central’s Billy Morrell returned an interception for a score, however, officials ruled Dougherty down before he heaved the ball. In the waning moments, the City had a first-and-goal from the 1, but failed to score after four running plays.
The second stalemate in the series occured on Dec. 13 at Athletic Park in a game that drew an estimated 6,000 fans as the City and County locked at 7-7. Scranton Tech’s Kenny Rozelle scored for the City on a screen pass that he turned into a 45-hyard dash to the end zone. Blakely’s John Pirhalla scored for the County.
The City, which last posted a win in the 1942 game, upset the favored County, 6-0, in the Dec. 11 contest that had an estimated attendance of 8,000 at Athletic Park. West Scranton fullback John Borowski threw a 41-yard pass to Don Jordan for the game’s only score. Old Forge’s Joe Jerry had an outstanding game for the County.
In its 15th season, the Dream Game attracted more than 5,000 fans for its last clash at Athletic Park before moving to the new Scranton Memorial Stadium, the County earned a 21-12 win over the City on Dec. 10. Blakely back Pete Shopa and Old Forge lineman Joseph Preate, a pair of all-state players, led the County. The City struck first when Scranton Central’s James Brier intercepted a pitchout and dashed 47 yards for a touchdown. Shopa scored the County’s first touchdwn on a 9-yard run. Dunmore’s Leo O’Boyle scored on a 10-yard run for the County’s next score. Scranton Tech’s Steve Kornutiak scored for the City to tighten the game to 14-12, but O’Boyle, who had an outstanding game on both sides of the ball, closed out the scoring on a 10-yard, end-around run.
Rain and muddy conditions greeted the senior all-stars at the game’s new venue, Scranton Memorial Stadium. The players still put on an entertaining event for the estimated 8,000 fans and the County edged the City, 6-0, on Dec. 9. The County evened the series at 7-7 with two ties. Taylor’s Dick Thomas set up the game’s only score when he blocked a punt early in the third quarter. Clarks Summit senior Fritz Simms recovered the loose ball at the City 4. Blakely running back Joe Merli scored two plays later for the County.
The County and the City battled through a scoreless game for much of the 17th annual Dream Game at Scranton Memorial Stadium. But the crowd of 7,373 were treated to a thrilling finish as the County slipped by the City, 7-6, as both teams scored in the final 1 minute and 45 seconds of the game. The County marched 46 yards following a City punt. The drive featured runs by Jessup’s Ray Alberigi and Dunmore’s Nick Domnick, who scored after reversing his field and making a sharp cut through the center of the line. Jessup’s Joe Buckshon drilled the extra-point kick for a 7-0 lead. West Scranton’s Al Caporelli returned the ensuing kickoff 63 yards to the County 18 on a saving stop by Buckshon. Three plays later Caporelli scored to draw within 7-6, but the extra-point kick sailed wide-right of the upright.
Led by a group of outstanding players from Eastern Conference championship team Old Forge, the County earned a 6-0 win over the City on a chilly Dec. 13 at Scranton Memorial Stadium. The game drew 6,333 fans. Chester Symosh, Tom Cherundolo and Marty Farrell were the standout Blue Devils for the County. A pass interference call put the County in scoring position late in the first half. Dunmore’s Lou Costanzo scored on the next play, going 2 yards for the decisive points.
An all-day rain drenched the field and limited the crowd to 3,247 at Scranton Memorial Stadium and the City and County teams battled to a scoreless tie. The linemen stole the show as the standouts for the County included Blakely’s Sam Goyne and Ernie Mengoni, Old Forge’s Pete Brigido and Jessup’s Eugene Pitoniak, while the City stars were West Scranton guard Billy Bendowski, Central guard Jerry Thier and Scranton Tech end Ronnie Zychal.
Dunmore running back Jim Needham bolted 31 yards in the fourth quarter for the only score as the County defeated the City in the 20th edition of the Dream Game which was played on Dec. 11. Cold weather held back the fans as the game drew only 3,600 fans which prompted game organizers to consider moving the all-star classic to a summer date. In the first 20 years of the all-star classic, the Scranton Lions Club raised more than $40,000 that helped in producing more than 11,000 glasses and 134 artificial eyes for the Lackawanna Association for the Blind.
Still playing in December, an arctic blast created near-impossible conditions to manage for the 21st Dream Game at Scranton Memorial Stadium. A frozen field, a scoreless tie and a tiny crowd of 1,992 fans for the contest amped up the cries to move the game to a summer date to start the scholastic season, to no avail. County standouts were Clarks Summit-Abington’s Donnie Westmaas, Dunmore’s Donnie Donnie O’Hara, Blakely’s Floyd Celli and Archbald’s Francis Reno. Central’s Pete Martin and West Scranton’s Paul Farkaly led the City.
Another miserable weather day again kept fans at home for the Dream Game as 2,000 saw the City defeat the County, 13-0, at Scranton Memorial Stadium. Scranton Tech lineman Ed Dominick scooped up a fumble and rumbled 65 yards for a touchdown, while West Scranton quarterback Don Jonas hit Central’s Pat Fruehan for a 3-yard score in the third quarter for the City.
Dream Game organizers made the move to the summer with rosters filled with graduated players who battled in the December clash. The game was played on Aug. 23 and the County defeated the City, 13-2, in the contest that saw an increase in attendance as 7,542 paid took in the game. Dunmore’s Sam Incavido, who missed most of his senior year because of an injury, had a big game for the County including a 70-yard scoring run and an 8-yard touchdown, as did Old Forge end Dick Gurz, who missed the Dec. game with an injury. Standout linemen for the County included future Lakeland coach Gerry Wasilchak, who played for Jessup.
Linemen dominated the Dream Game which was held on June 27 at Scranton Memorial Stadium. The clash drew a crowd estimated at close to 7,000 and the City posted a 6-0 win over the County. Scranton Central’s John Chisdak returned a punt for a touchdown, thanks to outstanding blocks by Central’s John Kane and Scranton Tech’s Bob Theis, Central’s Moe Barber and West Scranton’s Willard Davis.
Heavy rain forced the first postponment of the Dream Game. The 25th anniversary of the all-star game was moved from June 26th to June 29th. The County held on for a 2-0 win over the City played in front of close to 4,000 fans at Scranton Memorial Stadium. A heat wave caused players to struggle on the field in the defensive battle. Archbald lineman Paul Munley recovered a fumble and earned the most valuable player award. The County recorded the only points on a safety when City quarterback Bernie Coslett was sacked in the end zone by Clarks Summit-Abington’s Bob Parry, Archbald’s Jerry LoCotta, Dunmore’s Phil Forgione and Blakely’s Tom Krempasky.
The game was won in the trenches and the City all-stars had a spirited effort from its group that featured University of Pittsburgh recruit Central’s Bob Chisdak, West Scranton’s Ed Koczwara, West Scranton’s Bob Chmieliewski, South Catholic’s Dave Pekar, West Scranton’s Bill Lezinski, Central’s Tom Kenny and Charlie Harte and West Scranton’s Bill Williams on the way to an 18-2 win over the County in front of 8,018 fans at Memorial Stadium. Scranton Tech’s Bob Yarros and Ronnie Russo and West Scranton’s Joe Drumsta had touchdowns for the City.
The City used two tough defensive stands late to preserve a 13-6 win over the County in a game that drew more than 10,000 fans to Memorial Stadium. Scranton Tech quarterback Nick Forsette, who was selected as game most valuable player, scored the first touchdown for the City, while West Scranton’s Cosmo Iacavazzi scored the deciding points on an 11-yard run. Old Forge’s Tony DiMattia hit Blakely’s Ray Angeli for the County’s touchdown. Future coach and Dream Game player-coach liasion Jerry Preschutti, Blakely, played in the game, but was injured.
Old Forge standout John Scavo ran for 81 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown to lead the County to a 7-0 win over the City. The game set an attendance record for the charity all-star classic with an estimated 13,000 fans at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
The County rolled to a convincing 29-0 win over the City in a record-setting effort for points in a game and margin of victory. It was the final coaching game for Scranton Tech’s Pete Doyle. For the first time in its history, players from Dunmore were selected to the City roster. In a report in The Scranton Times, to date, the Scranton Lions Club raised $56,415 for the Lackawanna Blind Association. Old Forge’s Walt Marciniak and Pat Genell, who scored twice, and Blakely’s Erv Brong had touchdowns for the County.
An 18-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter earned the County a 7-0 win over the City in front of more than 12,000 fans at Memorial Stadium. The County used the running of Ron Dushney, Ken Creamer and Bob Fioretti to march down the field. Dushney, who finished with 56 yards rushing in the game, capped it with a 4-yard touchdown run. The game also featured a matchup of future Hall of Fame coaches as John “Papa Bear” Henzes guided the County and West Scranton’s Sam Donato led the City.
Heavy rain forced the postponment of the game, but once it kicked off the County proved unstoppable in a 26-7 win for its 16th win in the series. The game drew a crowd of more than 13,000. Jessup’s Jim Ruby returned a punt for a touchdown and Blakely’s Tom Capezio scored on a 1-yard dive and returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown, and Lakeland’s Ed Carrighan caught a touchdown pass from Blakely’s Bob Newhart for the County.
The City snapped a four-game losing streak with a 13-0 win over the County in front of more than 11,500 at Memorial Stadium. Running backs Augie Grant, West Scranton’s Paul Kraucheunas and Dunmore’s Eddie Dutkevitch led the way. Grant, from Scranton Tech, scored on a 2-yard run, while Dutkevitch added the second score in the third quarter.
Dunmore graduate Rich Revta, a standout guard and linebacker, converted to quarterback, ran for a touchdown and guided the City to a 14-0 win over the County. The game drew a paid crowd of 12,230. Revta received support from the backs, Central’s Joe Mesko, Scranton Tech’s Mike Zanghi and West Scranton’s Len Namlick. Mesko finished with 104 yards rushing on 15 carries and scored a touchdown.
Led by an outstanding defensive effort, the County got back on the winning track with a 7-2 win in front of paid crowd of 12,840 and an estimated 14,500 overall in attendance at Memorial Stadium. Lackawanna Trail linebacker Roy Tompkins, Old Forge’s Joe Giglio, Archbald’s Alex Dubee and North Pocono’s Don Mayeski were cited for their performances on the County defense. Abington Heights’ Larry Hoban scored the touchdown.
The Dream Game celebrated its 35th anniversary with a bang. Considered one of the most exciting clashes in the series, the City defeated the County, 23-12, in front of a record audience of 14,377 at Memorial Stadium. The game started with the City running a double reverse on the opening kickoff and it kept a fast pace throughout. Tunkhannock quarterback Jim Valvano led the County with 119 yards passing. The City jumped out to a 17-0 lead on a field goal by Wyoming Area’s Dan Lorenzini, a 1-yard touchdown by Scranton Tech’s Rawling Smith and a 1-yard run by Wyoming Area’s Nick Marianacci. The County scored on a 38 yard pass from Valvano to Blakely’s Lee Thomas, but the City responded on a scoring run by Ed Brennan. Riverside’s Gene Niemiec scored on a 7-yard reception to close the final margin of victory.
Growing in popularity, the Dream Game drew a record paid attendance of 15,512 to Memorial Stadium and the County dominated with a 35-14 win. The County set a record for points in a game and the combined point total also set a mark. Abington Heights quarterback Gerard Hoban had an outstanding game completing 15 of 24 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for another in one of the best single-game performances in the history of the series. Valley View teammates Dan Case and Tom Kozlosky, who went on to coach at Lakeland, were lauded for their efforts, as well.
A pair of Dunmore stars, running back Dom DiCindio and tackle Mike Mashurak, led the Coty to a 6-0 win over the County before a paid crowd of 12,186 at Memorial Stadium. DiCindio followed a key block from Mashurak to score the only touchdown in the first quarter. Lackawanna Trail running back Grey Seamans, playing for the City, had 50 yards rushing in the game.
Dunmore’s Joe Marciano hauled in the deciding touchdown from quarterback Tony Donato to lead the City to a 22-15 win over the County at Memorial Stadium. The paid attendance came in at 10,290. The City built a 14-0 lead only to see the County roar back for a 15-14 lead. Central’s Bruce Morris scored with 4:45 left in the first quarter and Marciano hit Lackawanna Trail’s Frank Radle for a 6-yard score. The Riverside passing combination of quarterback Jack Robochik to Dave Zumbach sparked the rally by the County with two scoring plays. But, Marciano hit Donato for the winner with 7 minutes to play. City head coach Sam Donato won for the fifth time in the all-star classic series.
Rain dampened the crowd as 7,141 took in the contest where the County defense dominated in an 18-0 win over the City at Memorial Stadium. Three running backs also had standout games for the County, including Valley View’s Rick Kovack, Mid Valley’s Al Fiume and Riverside’s Mike Neary helped the team gain 218 yards. Kovack and Fiume each scored touchdowns on the ground and Riverside’s Frank Chisdock added one receiving.
Valley View running back Lou Mariani turned in the best individual rushing effort and sparked a record-setting performace by the County, coached by Jerry Preschutti, in a 48-15 victory in the 40th anniversary of the Dream Game. Mariani gained 184 yards rushing on 17 carries and dazzled the fans with three scoring runs, that included a 54-yard sprint, a 39-yard run and a 10-yard run. Abington Heights’ George DeGilio hauled in a 14-yard scoring pass, Abington Heights’ John Nubani had a 1-yard touchdown, Abington Heights’ Larry Corbett had a 20-yard touchdown reception and Old Forge’s Lou Pugliano returned an interception for a score to pace the County. Interestingly, the County all-stars played the UNICO East all-stars from the Wyoming Valley Conference the following week in the Champions for Charities Classic at Memorial Stadium, but lost 13-6. Again, Mariani stole the show with 162 yards on 22 carries.
The game came down to one play. Trailing for much of the game, the County rallied late in the fourth quarter, but a 2-point conversion attempt that would have tied the game failed and the City posted a 20-18 win in front of 6,803 fans at Memorial Stadium. West Scranton’s Lou DePalma, who finished with 145 yards on 19 carries, ripped off a 52-yard scoring dash that gave the Citya 7-6 lead. He added a second touchdown on a 35-yard run and the lead grew. Then Frank Yanik pushed the lead to 20-6 on a 3-yard scoring run. The County came back on the strength of Mid Valley quarterback George Pachucy. He threw for 151 yards and three touchdowns. Pachucy’s first touchdown pass went to Carbondale Area’s Frank Galko for a 6-0 lead. In the fourth quarter, Mike Addesa hauled in a scoring pass, and Galko caught the final score with 1:10 remaining in the game. However, a pass for the 2-pointer sailed incomplete. A week later the UNICO East all-stars thumped the City, 34-14, in the Champions for Charities Classic in Wilkes-Barre. The game was marred with fights and ended the Charities Classic.
Under scrutiny because of declining attendance and a battle with rain and a couple of postponments, the Dream Game endured. Thanks in large part to an exciting finish as the County rallied for a 14-12 victory over the City in a game that drew 7,067 to Memorial Stadium. Dunmore’s Bob Mesko scored the first touchdown for the City on a 10-yard run and Dunmore teammate Cory Meade added a 2-yard score in the third quarter. Old Forge’s Paul Papi scored on a 4-yard run in the fourth quarter and with less than 3 minutes to play Paul Kern recovered a fumble for the County. Papi scored his second touchdown and Valley View’s Ray O’Kon made his second extra-point kick.
Valley View’s Rick Merli scored a pair of touchdowns, including the game winner on a 68-yard punt return in the third quarter to lift the County to a 14-7 win over the City. The game had an attendance of close to 8,000. The City offense got hampered when Central star running back Joe McCarthy suffered an injured foot in the second quarter, but not before he gave the City a 7-0 advantage ona 1-yard run. Merli brought the County back with a Merli touchdown of 22 yards and a 2-point conversion.
Mid Valley quarterback Gary Yagelski threw a touchdown pass and ran for two others as the County defeated the City, 36-21, giving coach Jerry Preschutti another win in the summer classic before he retired. Attendance fell to only 3,600 on a rainy night in August. Yagelski completed eight passes for 105 yards and ran for 45 yards. His touchdown pass covered 29 yards and went to Old Forge’s P.J. Gutowski. Riverside fullback Mike Keppick added two touchdown runs for the County in the convincing win.
The County used a punishing running attack to post a 14-0 win over the City in the 45th annual event which drew a crowd of 6,128 to Memorial Stadium. The County, coached by Valley View’s Frank Pazzaglia, got a 16-yard scoring run from Mid Valley’s Tom Everett and Riverside quarterback Lou Oleksy hit Abington Heights’ Phil Dettore for a 14-yard touchdown.
Scranton Central’s Bill Grambo drilled an extra point and the City edged the County, 7-6. The game, played in front of a paid crowd of 5,742 fans, came down to Grambo hitting a 56-yard pass to Central’s Charlie Rader and then adding the point-after kick for the City in the second quarter. Abington Heights’ Dan Schultheis drew the County to within 7-6, but a try for a 2-point conversion failed when Central’s Bill Scott batted down a pass.
West Scranton star Jody Brunori ran for 54 yards on 18 carries and scored the only touchdown in a 7-0 win for the City over the County in front of 6,692 fans at Memorial Stadium. Brunori, the Big 11 rushing leader who set a record with 1,777 yards during the season, scored on a 8-yard run in the second quarter.
For the third consecutive season, the defenses dominated the Dream Game. The City forced four turnovers and had a goalline stand in a 7-6 win over the County in a game that drew 3,851 fans to Memorial Stadium. The City stars were led by Dunmore’s Bob Sweda, who had a fumble recovery, Dunmore’s Mike Higgins had an interception. Scranton Prep’s Pat Conaboy hit teammate Tom Hill for the game’s only touchdown. The County scored when Abington Heights’ Dave Wrobel ran in from the 3, but the try for 2 points failed when Shibley was sacked by Hill and Higgins.
The City kept rolling in the series when it pounded out a 29-15 win over the County in a game that attracted 4,060 at Memorial Stadium. Central running back Rick Hellard, Scranton Tech running back and state champion triple jumper Dennis Burley, quarterbacks Scranton Tech’s Wayne Williams and Dunmore’s Dave Lositski and receivers Walt Kalinowski of Scranton Prep and Scranton Tech’s David Bailey dominated the game for the City, which outgained the County, 312-155. It was the first win in the all-star game for coach Nick Donato.
The Dream Game celebrated 50 years of play and raising money for the Lackawanna County Blind Association. Abington Heights’ Steve Ellis returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for the first touchdown as the County posted a 12-0 win over the City in front of 3,510 fans at Memorial Stadium. With only 53 seconds left in the game, Old Forge quarterback Bob Graziano, who finished with 126 yards passing, hit Valley View’s Randy Castellani for a 20-yard touchdown pass to finish the scoring. The City managed only 42 yards of total offense and three first downs.
Because of thunderstorms, the 51st Dream Game got postponed. But once it got played, it certainly ended up being memorable. Mid Valley running back Rich Sakulich scored on a 4-yard run with 3:22 remaining to lift the County to a 15-13 comeback win over the City in the final high school game coached by Lakeland Hall of Famer Jerry Wasilchak. The game attracted 3,700 fans to Memorial Stadium. Abington Heights kicker Scott Perry put the County on the board with a 31-yard field goal. Dunmore’s Dave Lopatka hit North Pocono’s P.J. Kelly with a halfback option pass for the City’s first score. Valley View’s Jeff Sparks launched a 68-yard scoring pass to Valley View teammate Pat Zwanch for the County’s response. Scranton Tech quarterback Joe Vieira gave the City back the lead on a 1-yard run. Following Sakulich’s run that capped a 10-play drive, the City turned the ball over and the County ran out the clock.
Fueled by players from Eastern Conference champion Dunmore and runner-up West Scranton, the City dominated the County, 25-0, in front of 5,095 fans at Memorial Stadium. Dunmore’s Bob Ruddy, who fought back from major injuries suffered in an automobile accident that took the life of his twin brother, Billy, scored two touchdowns, while West Scranton’s Joe Spano, who ran for 80 yards on 14 carries, and Art Coyne each scored for the City.
The Dream Game had to be postponed because of rain, but it did not stop people from coming to the game as 8,352 came to Memorial Stadium. Valley View quarterback Gary Cruciani led the County to a 28-15 win over the City. Cruciani threw for 213 yards and three touchdowns in one of the top individual performances in the history of the game. Riverside’s Bill Ozark, who had 95 yards receiving, added a touchdown, as did Mid Valley’s Art Veno and Valley View tight end E.J. Weston on receptions and Abington Heights’ Dave Kimble on the ground. The event was marred by fights and enjections during and after the game.
Inspired by a spirited week of coaching from West Scranton’s Joe DeAntona, the City pulled off what many consider the biggest upset in Dream Game history. A double-digit underdog, the stars from the City overwhelmed the County, 22-8, in front of nearly 7,000 fans. North Pocono’s Jeff Wolff set up the first score with an interception. West Scranton’s Jerry Kapp hauled in an 18-yard touchdown pass and added a second scoring reception to finish with 67 yards receiving. The City picked off three passes in the game as Dunmore’s Mike Kowalski and Scranton Prep’s Chris Bahara added one each. Dunmore’s Joe Talutto also scored a toucdown and West Scranton’s Donny Monacelli caught a 2-point conversion which produced the 1,000th point in the Dream Game.
Riverside’s Joe DeSimone made a juggling catch on a pass from Lakeland quarterback Blaine Fawcett with 2:03 remining in the game and Riverside’s Pat Corby added the extra point as the County defeated the City, 7-6, in what is one of the more memorable plays in Dream Game history. With the City leading 6-0, Riverside’s Mark Roscioli intercepted a pass at the 50 and returned it to the City 36. After three straight running plays put the County in a fourth-and-4, Fawcett found DeSimone, who tapped the aerial back along with City defender Greg Anelli and County receiver Brian Grzebin. DeSimone corralled the ball while getting hit by City defender Paul Magnotta that jarred the ball loose, but officials ruled he maintained possession long enough for the score.
For the third straight season, the Dream Game produced an exciting matchup between two talented all-star teams. Riverside’s Ellio Domenick, a quarterback, connected on an 18-yard field goal with only 11 seconds remaining to lead the County to a 23-20 win over the City in the first all-star game at the Lackawanna County Stadium. Playing in rainy conditions, the game drew 4,954 fans who witnessed the County outscore the City 17-0 in the second half. Valley View quarterback Rob Pazzaglia scored on a 10-yard run to start the County rally. Lakeland’s Keith Feduchak followed with a touchdown and 2-point conversion that tied the game. Valley View coach Frank Pazzaglia earned his third win in four Dream Games. Old Forge’s Michael Schuback led the County defense with four tackles.
All-star players Tony Parker and Chris Goetz helped their high school coach Bill Tonkin go out on a winning note. Tonkin, who coached at Scranton Tech and Scranton before not being rehired in a shakeup after the alignment of Scranton Tech and Scranton Central High Schools, guided the City to a 21-12 win in a game that drew 6,947 fans to Lackawanna County Stadium. Dunmore’s Tom Golden ran for 85 yards, West Scranton’s Donny Duffy added 67 and Scranton Prep’s Kurt Gillick scored the game’s first touchdown for the City.
Kelly Parker picked up the opening kickoff which he bobbled then sprinted 86 yards for a touchdown to set the tone for the 58th annual Dream Game. The City rolled from there to a 37-6 win at Lackawanna County Stadium in front of 5,482 fans. It was the second-largest margin of victory in the series. The City blew the game open with a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and stretched it 28-0 by the half. West Scranton’s Brian Fahey scored the City’s second touchdown, North Pocono’s Larry Shumbres added a first-quarter touchdown.
Scranton Prep defensive lineman Chris Ceccoli had a big game and made numerous goalline stops to help preserve a 12-0 win by the City over the County at Lackanna County Stadium. Despite being outgained 274-138, the City made the stops when it had to and received touchdowns from Bishop O’Hara’s Mike Barrett and North Pocono quarterback B.J. Gallis. Ceccoli, a Kent State recruit, was one of several players the game who were headed to Division I schools, including Valley View quarterback George Howanitz, who went to Bucknell, Gallis, who went to Lafayette, and Carbondale Area’s Mike Mancuso, who went to William & Mary before transferring to East Stroudsburg.
Stars from North Pocono shined brightly as the City rolled to a 28-0 win over the County in front of 5,187 fans who attended the 60th annual game which was played at Lackawanna County Stadium. Among the North Pocono contingent Jeff Laboranti and Jeff Nalevanko did the bulk of the ball carrying and Greg Snyder hit Vince Brier for a touchdown to kick-start the City. Snyder finished with two touchdowns in the game, Laboranti had 33 yards rushing and linebacker Randy Wolff led the defense with six tackles.
Valley View’s Mike Conaghan scored the only touchdown in a 6-0 win by the County over the City at Lackawanna County Stadium. Valley View teammate also contributed to the win for the County. He had 34 yards receiving, had a key 46-yard punt return, also broke up a pass in the end zone and halted a potential scoring opportunity with an interception at the County 2-yard line.
West Scranton’s Bill Ferrario, who went on to an outstanding career at the University of Wisconsin, made the defensive play of the game when he sacked Abington Heights quarterback Eric Miller to stop a late-game drive and preserve a 14-7 win by the City over the County at Lackawanna County Stadium in the first game played in July. Scranton Prep fullback Will McPartland, who played at the University of Miami, scored and Dunmore wide receiver Sean Gallagher had 61 yards receiving and a touchdown for the City. Lakeland’s Darrick Goodrich ran for 46 yards and a touchdown for the County.
A pair of District 2 champion sprinters from Lakeland sparked the County to a 29-16 win over the City at Lackawanna County Stadium. Dave Hilling scored a touchdown and teammate Jamie Machiesky returned a free kick after a safety for a 59-yard touchdown part of a 16-0 first-quarter outburst. Valley View’s Sean Fisher, who ran for more than 4,000 yards in his career, led the ground game with 91 yards for the County.
Scranton’s Willie Chandler, a basketball star, used his height and jumping ability to led the City to a 21-16 win over the County at Lackawanna County Stadium. The 6-foot-4 Chandler hauled in scoring passes of 52 and 39 yards for the City. Scranton Prep linebacker Dan Stofko led the City defense with a total of 22 tackles to help Dunmore coach Jack Henzes earn another coaching win in the series.
The Dream Game celebrated its 65th season and the County ran roughshod over the City in a 41-8 win in a game that drew 6,027 fans to Lackawanna County Stadium. Abington Heights’ Derek Hewlett and Valley View’s Ryan Castellani combined for 141 yards on 18 carries and each had a touchdown run of more than 30 yards. Riverside’s Mark Jones added a 48-yard punt return that led to a touchdown by Old Forge’s Russ Giglio that made the score 35-0 and it swelled to 41-8 after a Jones touchdown during a 27-point third quarter for the County.
West Scranton’s Tom Hughes did a little bit of everything in leading the City to an 8-7 win over the County at Lackawanna County Stadium. Hughes ran for 109 yards on 29 carries and scored his team’s lone touchdown, then added the 2-point conversion to secure the victory and he had two kick returns for 96 yards. Then, he ended the game with an interception. Lackawanna Trail’s Yogi Roth had 33 yards receiving and Mid Valley’s Bob Buchspics had a touchdown for the County.
Lackawanna Trail running back Richard Jackson proved he was one of the best running backs in the state when he had 148 yards on only five carries and scored two touchdowns in a rounding 27-7 win by the County over the City at Lackawanna County Stadium. Jackson displayed outstanding vision and speed on touchdown runs of 73 and 59 yards on his only two carries of the second half. Mid Valley quarterback Ryan Runco hit all-state receiver Chris Washko of Lakeland for a 32-yard score and Abington Heights’ Andrew Smith returned a fumble for a touchdown.
Lakeland record-setting quarterback Evan Kraky found a new favorite target in Riverside’s Ron Pavalonis as the County defeated the City, 27-14, in a game that attracted 6,594 fans to Lackawanna County Stadium. The Kraky-to-Pavalonis connection produced 123 yards and a pair of 33-yard touchdowns. Kraky, who at the time was Pennsylvania’s all-time leader in career passing yards and touchdowns, finished with 162 yards and three touchdowns, while Pavalonis had six catches for 170 yards and two scores. Abington Heights’ Billy Pasqualichio had two interceptions in the game.
West Scranton’s Angelo DeSarno and Kyle Gaidos sparked the City to a 27-10 win over the County before a crowd of 7,294 at Lackawanna County Stadium. DeSarno scored on runs of 7 and 2 yards and finished with 52 yards on 11 carries. Gaidos caught five passes for 77 yards anda touchdown. Delaware Valley quarterback threw for 113 yards, including 70 in the second half. Honesdale’s Ted Wallingford threw for 160 yards and scored a rushing touchdown for the County.
A couple of players who led Scranton to its best season also led the City to a 14-7 win over the County in the 70th Dream Game. Quarterback Al Karaffa, the Knights’ all-time passing leader, completed 14 of 19 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown. His Scranton teammate Nick Stanavitch finished with five catches for 62 yards and Scranton Prep’s Bob Adcroft had a touchdown reception.
In the game’s return to Scranton Memorial Stadium, Dunmore’s Corey Gilroy turned in the best defensive performance in the history of the series. He had four interceptions, two fumble recoveries, including one he returned for a touchdown and led the City to a 35-17 win over the County in front of 8,137 fans. Dunmore players dominated as Mike Gardier and Tom Carlucci each scored touchdowns and quarterback Rick Mancuso threw for 65 yards and two touchdowns. Scranton’s Shawn Gingerlowski also had an interception for the City. Lakeland’s Colin Striefsky had a 94-yard kickoff return for a score for the County.
North Pocono players stole the show as the City stormed to a 40-7 win over the County at Memorial Stadium in a game that drew 8,147 fans. North Pocono’s Billy Heard had two touchdowns including a 62-yard catch and run ona pass from Scranton’s A.J. McKenna. North Pocono’s Joe Richards had two interceptions and threw for a touchdown and Trojans’ teammate Claude O’Connor had 55 yards rushing and a touchdown. Bishop O’Hara’s Sean Madden led the running game with 80 yards and a touchdown. The series stood even at 34-34 with four ties.
Thirty-three years after Valley View star Lou Mariani had a memorable performance, Valley View’s Kyle Passeri conjured up memories of that effort. Passeri ran for 163 yards and a touchdown and had 21-yard screen play, and added two punt retirns for 26 yards as the County posted a 48-15 win over the City in front of 6,728 fans at Memorial Stadium. The County set records for points in a game and margin of victory. Mid Valley fullbach Kyle Chuff added a touchdown and Abington Heights’ fullback Russell Reeves had two scores for the County. Passeri’s cousin, C.J. Passeri, a receiver from West Scranton, had three catches for 59 yards and a touchdown for the City.
Scranton’s Tar Barrett caught a 35-yard touchdown and Dunmore back Kevin Spager had had 80 yards rushing as the City earned a 14-8 win over the County at Memorial Stadium. Dunmore defensive lineman Tony Trotta had five tackles and helped the City limit the County to 29 yards rushing. West Scranton’s Brian Irving and Brian Courtright each had interceptions, along with Scranton’s Sean Butler.
After leading Riverside to an outstanding season, the graduated players led the County to a 29-7 win over the City in the 75th Dream Game. The event and celebration drew a crowd of 8,147 to Memorial Stadium. Riverside’s Ryan Chisdock had four catches in the first half for 81 yards which included a 39-yard touchdown, his teammate Joe Klebon had 120 yards rushing and two touchdowns, while defensive lineman Tom Bennie had three sacks and a forced fumble. Valley View’s Thomas Chesko recorded a safety for the County.
The one-two rushing combination of Dunmore’s Michael Perry and Wallenpaupack’s Joe DeFebo combined for 235 yards and three scores as the City defeated the County, 34-7, in front of 8,127 at Memorial Stadium. DeFebo led the way with 119 yards and two scores and Perry finished with 116 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown for the City. Dunmore kicker Shawn Dente had a pair of field goals for the City.
West Scranton quarterback Tyler Hughes, who had a record-setting senior year, threw for 118 yards and two touchdowns and added 61 yards rushing and a touchdown as the City defeated the County, 19-7, at Memorial Stadium, dazzling a crowd of 6,796. Wallenpaupack’s Isaiah Slutter had a fumble recovery for the City. Abington Heights’ James Fruehan had 58 yards rushing for the County.
The City made it three straight wins and pushed its overall lead in the series to 38-36-4. Wallenpaupack’s Pat Ingulli ran for 56 yards and scored two touchdowns in the City’s 41-20 win in a game that attracted 6,746 to Scranton Memorial Stadium. North Pocono running back J.P. Gething added 86 yards rushing and a touchdown and Susquehanna’s Austin Cowperthwait had a 61-yard touchdown reception. Old Forge quarterback Colin Carey had 146 yards passing and a score, and added 54 yards rushing for the County.
In one of the most thrilling games in the series, the City scored a 35-28 win over the County as Dunmore’s Austin Seamon ran for 84 yards and a touchdown and had a 58-yard kickoff return and a 55-yard gain off a lateral to highlight the contest in front of 6,897 fans at Memorial Stadium. Scranton Prep’s quarterback Griffin DiBileo had 150 yards passing and three scores and Scranton’s Karlon Quiller caught six passes for 54 yards and a score for the City. Seamon’s 50-yard touchdown gave the City a 35-21 cushion in the fourth quarter, but the County closed the gap when Mid Valley’s Ronny Tomasetti scored with 4 seconds remaining.
As the Dream Game celebrated its 80th season, it got back to the basics. Led by a gritty and punishing effort by all-stars from Old Forge who led the team to the PIAA Class 1A final, the County snapped a four-game losing streak by grinding out a 14-7 win at John Henzes/Veterans Memorial Stadium. The game drew 7,467 fans. Old Forge’s Brandon Yescavage ran for 87 yards rushing and teammate Jorden Sekol had five tackles and a sack. Abington Heights’ Quinn Karam scored a touchdown and Old Forge’s Jake Manetti had another.
Scranton Prep’s Kevin Sompel, who had 98 yards receiving, led the City to a 41-6 romp over the County on a sweltering July night at John Henzes/Veterans Memorial Stadium in a game that drew 7,298 fans. Dunmore’s Sal Marchese and Delaware Valley’s Lex Rosario had rushing touchdowns as the City built a 20-6 lead before the City closed with 21 points in the fourth quarter. Scranton Prep’s Justin Belardi had a touchdown reception and returned a fumble for a score, and North Pocono speedster Pat Monahan closed the scoring.
The City all-stars flexed their muscles again with a 35-8 win over the County at John Henzes/Veterans Memorial Stadium. Tim Blaine caught four passes for 91 yards in the first half and scored on a 26-yard reception only 16 seconds into the game. North Pocono teammate Matt Kelly caught a tipped pass for an interception and returned it 85 yards for a score drawing one final ovation from the 7,468 fans in attendance. The City forced five turnovers in the game and Susquehanna’s Zach Conrad and Evan Aldrich combined for nine tackles with two for loss.
One year after the back-to-back lopsided outcomes, the County came away with a 27-12 win over the City in a game that drew 7,347 fans to John Henzes/Veterans Memorial Stadium. Abington Heights quarterback Colin McCreary threw for 141 yards and three touchdowns to lead the County. Lakeland defensive end Rob Bomba had eight tackles, while Abington Heights’ Logan Hivner had five tackles with three for loss to lead the County defense.
Scranton quarterback Robbie McAndrew had a game he will never forget. He threw for 198 yards and three touchdowns and had 48 yards rushing and two touchdowns in a 49-20 win over the County at John Henzes/Veterans Memorial Stadium. West Scranton’s Andre Chollette ran for 48 yards and two touchdowns and Wallenpaupack’s Ty Holbert had 133 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Honesdale’s Ethan Dunn ran for a touchdown and helped pilot the County to a 14-7 win over the City in front of 7,522 fans at John Henzes/Veterans Memorial Stadium. Dunn hit Western Wayne’s Dylan Walck for 21 yards and Lakeland’s Thomas Pidgeon for 22 yards on key third down on the County’s first scoring drive that Dunn capped. Valley View’s Traon Jones forced a fumble and one play later, Valley View’s Jaden Duplessis hauled in a 31-yard scoring pass from Dunn. The City leads the series, however, 42-39-4.
Joby Fawcett has covered high school sports — including football, girls and boys volleyball, girls and boys tennis, girls and boys swimming, boys basketball, girls and boys track and field, and girls and boys lacrosse — for 22 years. The High School Sports Blog offers deeper insights plus statistical and historical information for fans and features photos, videos and graphics along with Top 5 polls for tennis and volleyball. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5367; @sportsTT