Crestwood tops Tigers
BY PATRICK LEONARD
Wyoming County Press Examiner
Despite coming out to a 14-6 lead by halftime on Friday night, Tunkhannock saw a victory slip through its fingers as Crestwood’s Comets used a big second half to defeat the Tigers 27-20 at Memorial Stadium.
Tunkhannock coach Rod Azar attributed the Tiger success to a good week at practice.
“We were healthier and had a very good week of practice,” Azar said on Monday. “We’ve been telling our players they can compete with good football teams, and they believe it.”
Crestwood opened up the night’s scoring when Popson found Kishel for 68 yards down the left sideline with 1:15 left in the first quarter.
Tunkhannock responded strong in the second period. After Ryan Cywinski’s 51 yard run brought the ball inside the Crestwood 10, quarterback Brian Beauchemin sneaked his way in from a yard out. Colton Coolbaugh’s extra point put the home team up 7-6.
Tunkhannock stuck to the running game on their next possession. Cywinski, Beauchemin, Josh Robinson and Josh Colley ran through the heart of the Comet defense before Beauchemin hit Colley with a high arching pass from the 17. Colley sidestepped his defender and Tunkhannock had a 14-6 halftime lead.
“I thought we controlled the tempo and the line of scrimmage for much of the night,” Azar said. “But we gave up a couple big plays which ended up being the difference.”
Crestwood head coach Greg Myers may not have been particularly pleased with the way his team began its game against Tunkhannock but he had to have been pretty happy with the finish.
“I was not too happy with the way we played the first half,” Myers said after the game. “Before the game we talked about being focused but I don’t think we came in with the right mindset. The kids hung in there, though. We made adjustments at halftime and they kept fighting to the end.”
Crestwood started the second half with a bang when running back Evan Callahan turned on the speed and raced 66 yards to the end zone on the first play from scrimmage.
After both teams exchanged punts for much of the period, Popson once again found his favorite target and Kishel scored from 26 yards out. Callahan’s extra point made it 21-14.
After Tunkhannock fumbled on its own 19, Popson called his own number from one yard out to push the visitors’ lead to 27-14 with four minutes remaining.
Tunkhannock never said die, however. Two passes from Beauchemin to Colley netted 48 yards, and the duo hooked up one final time for 6 yards to close the Comets’ lead to 27-20 with only 23 seconds remaining.
Crestwood recovered the ensuing onside kick and Popson was able to take a knee to seal the Comet victory.
“Our offense is capable of big plays and we came up with them tonight when we needed them,” Myers said. “I give credit to Tunkhannock. They run a lot of misdirection and they are a tough offense to stop.”
Azar said that Colley had a big night on offense, and freshman Cywinski keeps improving.
“(Ryan) Cywinski is getting better every week running the ball,” Azar said. “On defense, linebacker Alex Bishop had his best night of the year.”
Looking ahead to their matchup with Berwick, Azar said it will be a challenge.
“Berwick’s one of the favorite to win AAA Districts, so we’ll need another great week of practice and preparation,” Azar said.
Crestwood 6 0 15 6—27
Tunkhannock 0 14 0 6—20
First Downs 11 10
Rushes-Yards 29-203 44-187
Comp-Att-Int 3-11-0 7-10-2
Passing 133 92
Total Yards 336 279
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-Yards 1-5 5-45
Rushing: Cre—Callaghan 11-76, 1 TD; Kishel 5-48; Cole 3-28; Aigeldinger 5-26; Popson 5-25. TA—Cywinski 13-76; Robinson 17-75; Colley 7-33; Beauchemin 7-3.
Passing: Cre—Popson 3-11-0, 133, 2 TDs. TA—Beauchemin 7-9-0, 92, 2 TDs; Colley 0-1-0, 0.
Receiving: Cre—Kishel 3-133, 2 TDs; TA—Colley 4-71, 2 TDs; Muckin 2-(-2); Robinson 1-16; Markovitz 1-7.
Examiner staff writer Kevin Woodruff also contributed to this story.