Abington Heights shuts out Wallenpaupack in Division 1 football opener

By Robert Tomkavage - rtomkavage@timesleader.com | October 18th, 2016 12:48 pm

CLARKS SUMMIT — Everything seemed to click for Abington Heights in a 38-0 win over Wallenpaupack in a Lackawanna Football Conference Division 1 game Saturday, Oct. 15.

The Comets scored points on five consecutive possessions and limited the Buckhorns to 60 rushing yards in the contest.

Abington Heights quarterback Colin McCreary, who rushed for 144 yards and threw for another 108, started the scoring by rolling out of the pocket and sprinting down the sideline for a 55-yard touchdown run with 4:19 left in the first quarter.

“I think we put all three phases of the game together today (offense, defense and special teams),” McCreary said. “We executed in all three areas. My teammates did a great job allowing me to make plays.”

McCreary added to the Comets lead with a 32-yard field goal to cap a 10-play, 67-yard drive with 11:14 remaining in the second quarter. The key play of the possession was a 32-yard pass from McCreary to Anthony Duboski, who finished with 120 total yards.

Abington Heights (5-3, 1-0 LFC Div. 1) struck again when McCreary capped an 8-play, 69-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run with 5:39 left to play in the second quarter. A 35-yard completion from McCreary to Brandon Hardy on third down helped set up the score.

An interception by linebacker Ryan Harvey allowed Abington Heights to find the end zone one more time before the break.

Tight end Nick Kerekes, who returned from an knee injury, hauled in a low pass from McCreary and made several defenders miss en route to a 23-yard touchdown with 12 seconds left in the first half.

“I’ve been out six weeks,” Kerekes said. “It felt great coming back and playing with my boys. I couldn’t wait. Standing around and watching the games was awful. I tested my knee a little bit on those cuts, but it felt good.”

Abington Heights outgained Wallenpaupack, 259-61, in the first half and 421-150 for the game.

“They were just more physical than we were,” Wallenpaupack head coach Mark Watson said of the Comets. “They did things like we expected, but I don’t think we were ready for their physicality.”

Wallenpaupack (3-5, 0-1) put together its best drive of the game to start the second half, but the possession ended in disappointment when Zach Maldackler misfired on a 40-yard field goal attempt.

The Comets wasted little time adding to their lead.

McCreary scored his third rushing touchdown of the game on a 66-yard run, aided by a block along the sideline from Nick Emmett.

“We work on that play quite a bit in practice,” McCreary said. “I have to give credit to our line, they did a good job blowing up the front and the wide receivers and tailbacks did a great job making blocks on the edge.”

Comets defensive back Tom Rothenberger added the final blow when he intercepted a pass from Buckhorns quarterback Tom McCormick and returned the ball 57 yards for a touchdown with 9:07 left in the fourth quarter.

“We had a great week of practice,” Rothenberger said. “Our coaches got us prepared for the plays they would run and we executed. It’s means a lot to get a win in our first league game, it gets us off on the right foot.”

Abington Heights’ defense forced its third turnover of the game when Quentin Nikl intercepted a pass from Buckhorns quarterback Ty Holbert with 4:47 remaining in the game.


By Robert Tomkavage


Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.