BY TOM ARENS
After a sluggish start, Old Forge found its rhythm late in the second quarter and carried it over into the second half for a 53-16 victory over Montrose in a Lackawanna League Division III football game Friday night.
“I don’t know if it was a hangover from last week (36-7 loss to rival Riverside) or what not, but we can’t come out flat like that,” Old Forge coach Mike Schuback said. “We were fortunate to turn things around a bit late in the first half and then I think we made some good halftime adjustments.
“I’m happy with the end results, we really turned things on there at the ends of each half.”
Trailing 8-3 with just over two minutes left in the first half, the Blue Devils took the lead on a 2-yard plunge by Colin Carey.
After a three-and-out by Montrose, Old Forge got the ball back with less than a minute left in the half and struck quickly when quarterback Mike Mancuso found a streaking Michael Tagliaferri down the sideline for a 61-yard touchdown and an 18-8 halftime lead.
Old Forge took the second-half kickoff and Mancuso picked up where he left off, this time connecting with receiver Connor Fultz on a 28-yard touchdown.
Mancuso finished with 169 passing yards to go with his two touchdown strikes.
The Old Forge offense then exploded in the fourth quarter with four more touchdowns – all on the ground – in just seven offensive plays.
Running back Louis Febbo accounted for two of those scores and finished with 109 rushing yards.
Montrose didn’t have too much trouble moving the ball, pounding the bend-but-don’t-break Old Forge defense for 285 rushing yards. However, two of its long drives into Blue Devil territory ended up in interceptions.
Montrose running back Ethan Jones was the workhorse carrying the ball 22 times for 152 yards and a touchdown.
Montrose 0 8 0 8 – 16
Old Forge 0 18 7 28 – 53
First Downs 13 17
Rushing-Yards 57-285 30-309
Comp-Att-Int 0-3-2 9-16-0
Passing Yards 0 169
Total Yards 285 478
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 5-22 1-5
Rushing: MON – E. Jones 22-152, 1 TD; N. Clark 12-71, 1 TD; J. Lawson 7-23; W. Ely 3-17; D. Harder 6-15; D. Zapolski 3-10; B. Johnson 3-(-1); T. Wilson 1-(-2).
Passing: MON –B. Johnson 0-3-2, 0.