PECKVILLE – The leaders of Scranton Prep’s first state playoff football team were in the spotlight one more time July 20 at the 82nd annual Dream Game.
Kevin Holmes, Tyler Stafursky, Thor Balavage and David Horvath were in the starting lineup and among the top performers for the City’s 35-8 victory over the County. When they took a break at halftime, their coach, Nick Donato, was honored as the Scranton Lions Club Man of the Year.
Abington Heights and Lackawanna Trail players were part of the County team that could not keep up with a City roster led by graduates of Dunmore and Scranton Prep, which each won regular-season and playoff titles last season.
“It was great to play with them one last time,” said Holmes, a Catholic University-bound wide receiver, who scored the game’s first touchdown on a 24-yard pass reception with 3:19 left in the first quarter.
Holmes also threw a 42-yard pass to set up a touchdown, caught another pass for 10 yards and averaged 45.7 yards on three punts.
Stafursky and Balavage were selected as two of the City’s six captains. Stafursky started at middle linebacker and was the game’s top defensive player with eight tackles, three assists and a sack that forced a fumble. Balavage, a defensive end, made his first career interception and was also in on four tackles.
Horvath played in the secondary, joining them in the starting defense and making five tackles.
Will Mulligan gave the Lackawanna Football Conference Division 1 co-champions and District 2 Class AAA champions a fifth player in the game. He carried once for three yards.
Donato retired shortly after guiding the Cavaliers to their first district championship. The Clarks Summit resident has joined his late father, long-time West Scranton coach Sam Donato, this summer as both the Lions Club Man of the Year and a Pennsylvania High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame inductee.
As he addressed the crowd of 7,468 at John Henzes/Veterans Memorial Stadium, Donato thanked many people, including the players who helped him build a 174-94-2 career record at North Pocono and Scranton Prep.
“They made all of this a great experience for me,” he said.
All three Abington Heights players in the game wound up in the County starting lineup.
Jordan Hollander ran the County offense as quarterback, Anthony Kimble was selected as one of four team captains and Kyle Gerrity started at guard.
Passes by Hollander accounted for all the County points.
“It was exciting,” Hollander said. “It was nice to know you played with all the better players in the league.
“It was fun to play against them, but as a competitor, it was disappointing to come out with a loss.”
Hollander finished 5-for-11 for 112 yards passing, including a 23-yard touchdown to Western Wayne’s Brandon Tuite with 5:58 left in the third quarter. He also threw to Tuite for the two-point conversion.
Kimble made one tackle and assisted on three others. Hollander joined him on defense late in the game and also had a tackle and an assist.
Lackawanna Trail also had three players on the County.
Defensive end Trent Phillips made two tackles and assisted on another.
Tight end/linebacker Steven Scioscia and lineman Nick Rolka were the other Lions in the game.