West wins UNICO game
BY STEVE BENNETT
WEST PITTSTON – The West was holding on to a seven-point advantage and the East was driving in the third quarter when Tunkhannock’s Josh Robinson intercepted a pass and the West’s offense was back in business.
In the shadow of his own end zone, West quarterback Ryan Zapoticky needed to take the offense 94 yards with the hopes of providing some separation between the two teams in the 62nd annual UNICO Game on Wednesday night at Wyoming Area.
After Berwick’s Jeff Steeber picked up 14 yards to get the ball to the 20, Zapoticky finally had some breathing room. On the next snap, he moved around the pocket and surveyed the field. He spotted a familiar target, Dallas teammate Jason Simonovich, open near the right sideline. Zapoticky fired a strike to Simonovich and the receiver did the rest of the work, taking the ball the distance for a touchdown and a 21-7 lead.
“He is a big-time receiver and he is going to have a great career,” Zapoticky said of Simonovich. “It is amazing to throw to the kid I have been throwing to the last two years.”
Zapoticky finished the game throwing for 205 yards and three touchdowns in the West’s 34-7 victory, which extended its winning streak to seven in the annual classic.
“This was a great experience. The guys were a fun bunch and it was nice to come together,” Zapoticky said. “It was great to have all-stars from around the league getting together and playing football.”
Zapoticky, who plans to major in pre-med and play football in college next year, said he is hearing from schools such as Princeton, Lafayette, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Robert Morris and UMass.
As an added bonus to the night’s events, Zapoticky found out just before the West took the field that he would also be kicking extra points. The last time he kicked an extra point was last season against Scranton Prep where things did not go as well as planned. He did finish the UNICO game making four of his five attempts.
“Right before the game, about 15 minutes before we took the field, they were like, ‘Zap, you’re kicking,’” Zapoticky said. “Last year against Scranton Prep I kicked one and it hit the crossbar and bounced into the end zone.”
Tunkhannock’s Robinson finished off the game with two carries for 16 yards and also had a reception for 31 yards.
Tiger Josh Colley had one reception for three yards and a touchdown.