CLARKS SUMMIT — Abington Heights managed just 59 yards of total offense, including 28 in the second half, but the Comets’ defense and special teams units made key plays to keep the team in the game. Late in the fourth quarter, the offense clicked for the winning score.
Trailing 7-0 with 11:48 remaining in the fourth quarter, Abington Heights sophomore Matthan Sherman recovered a punt, fumbled by Wallenpaupack’s Isaiah Ross, at the Buckhorns 8-yard line.
The Comets were unable to find the end zone, but Colin McCreary converted a 28-yard field goal to cut Abington Heights’ deficit to 7-3 with 9:48 left in the game.
“In the first half, our offense wasn’t really moving and we couldn’t get first downs,” McCreary said. “I thought our defense did a great job of holding them to seven points over the entire game.”
On the ensuing drive, Wallenpaupack advanced the ball to the Abington Heights 37-yard line. Facing a 4th-and-6 play, the Buckhorns opted to punt and Brandon Hardy took full advantage.
Hardy, a junior, fielded the ball on a bounce and returned it to the Wallenpaupack 8-yard line.
“Initially, I saw a little seam and once I went through it just opened up,” he said. “My teammates were making blocks down the field and I made a couple cuts.”
A false start penalty on the Comets moved the ball back to the 14-yard line, but quarterback Jordan Hollander eventually connected with McCreary for a 13-yard touchdown on fourth down.
“There was a lot of pressure on Jordan’s shoulders,” Hardy said. “For him to make that throw on (fourth)-and-long outside the 10, and find the seam between the defenders should give him a lot of confidence.”
McCreary added the extra point and Abington Heights held on for a 10-7 win over Wallenpaupack in a Lackawanna League Division 1 contest.
“The team is resilient,” Abington Heights head coach Joe Repshis said. “They keep coming back from adversity. A couple big plays gave us an opportunity to put some points on the board and come out with a win. I’m extremely proud of every single player today. In different situations, different players contributed and made plays. It was a complete team effort, we were able to execute in all three phases of the game.”
The teams traded turnovers on the first two possessions of the game. First, Hardy recovered a fumble from Wallenpaupack’s Rashawn Battle on the first play of the game. Three plays later, Tyler Hertzog intercepted a Hollander pass.
Wallenpaupack (3-2, 1-2 Div. 1) drove the ball 86 yards down to the Comets 9-yard line with 8:47 remaining in the second quarter, but Battle was stopped short on fourth down.
The Buckhorns broke the scoreless tie with 5:27 left in the first half when Gavin Hiller connected with James Gentes for a 25-yard touchdown. Matt Vosburg converted the extra point.
“I thought we did great things out there today, but a couple things went their way and they capitalized on them,” Wallenpaupack head coach Mark Watson said.
Abington Heights (3-2, 1-1 Div. 1) will play Valley View in a Lackawanna League Division 1 game at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10 in PNC Field in Moosic.