Berwick knocks off Tigers
BY JOHN LUND
Wyoming County Press Examiner
An hour-long lighting storm delay was the only thing that seemed to derail Berwick Area’s offense as it ruined host Tunkhannock’s Homecoming, 57-3, Friday night.
Senior Dain Kowalski had three touchdowns on 126 yards and a 55-yard punt return for the Bulldogs, who remain undefeated at 6-0.
Both teams came out of the gate a bit tentative after the delay, but it didn’t take long for Berwick’s offense to strike. Kowalski put the Bulldogs on the board on a 23-yard touchdown scamper at the 6:38 mark. Bulldogs quarterback CJ Curry responded on the first play of their next drive with a 57-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Force that gave Berwick a 15-0 lead.
“The weather should have helped us, any disruption should help the underdog,” Tunkhannock head coach Rod Azar said. “We were ready to play, the weather was just a nuisance.”
Force finished the game with 96 yards receiving while Curry threw for 126 yards and two touchdowns.
“We didn’t play that well,” Berwick head coach George Curry said. “My idea of playing well is not letting them make first downs on third downs. Offensively we missed some protections but when we had protection we threw the ball well.”
Berwick continued to pour it on in the first quarter as Kowalski added his second touchdown on a 5-yard run with a little under a minute left to play.
“Dain is one tough kid on both sides of the ball,” Curry said. “His dad was a beast, too, and he’s just like him, maybe a little bit more athletic, but he’s tough.”
The Tigers’ defense settled down and slowed the Bulldogs offense for most of the second quarter until Curry found Paul Wiegand for a 25-yard touchdown that gave Berwick a 29-0 lead.
Tunkhannock’s Brian Beauchemin did a little bit of everything on both sides of the ball in the game, including a 29-yard field goal near the end of the quarter that cut the lead to 29-3 at halftime.
“The scoreboard doesn’t show it but we played a much better football game than we did last week,” Azar said. “The kids played their guts out tonight and it felt like a competitive football game in the first half.”
Beauchemin led the Tigers passing with 36 yards and ran for 80 yards on the ground, using several option plays to his advantage.
His usual partner on offense, Ryan Cywinski, suffered a hit in a drive after Berwick’s third touchdown near the end of the first quarter and left the game for a medical evaluation and didn’t return.
“Ryan’s one of our best players, it definitely hurt losing him but we had a couple of other kids play hard.”
But the Bulldogs offense continued to make big plays, capped by a 41-yard touchdown by Kowalski at the 4:14 mark in the third period, and followed by Kowalski’s 55-yard punt return on the next position that sealed the game and gave Berwick a 43-3 lead on yet another big play.
“That’s the way they are,” Curry said. “People don’t realize we have a young line and they’ll make mistakes every now and then.”
Tunkhannock’s schedule doesn’t get any easier, as they host Wyoming Valley West on senior night Friday.
“We need to get better at the things we do well,” Azar said. “We ran the read nicely, moved the ball well and threw the ball in the right situations, but we need to continue to improve in practice this week,”
Tunkhannock 0 3 0 0 – 3
Berwick 22 7 14 14 – 57
BER – Kowalski 23 run (Kowalski run), 6:38.
BER – Force 11 pass from Curry (Seely kick), 4:38.
BER – Kowalski 5 run (Seely kick), 0:55.
BER – Wiegand 25 pass from Curry (Seely kick), 1:43.
TUNK – 29 field goal by Beauchemin, 0:11.
BER – Kowalski 41 run (Seely kick), 4:14.
BER – Kowalski 55 punt return (Seely kick), 2:14.
BER – Talanca 48 run (Seely kick), 8:19.
BER Hellenthal 24 run (Seely kick), 2:55.
First downs 11 15
Rushing yards 173 267
Comp-Att-Int 7-13-1 5-11-0
Passing 41 126
Total Yards 214 393
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 5-35 2-10
Rushing: BER – D. Kowalski 11-126, 3 TDs; C. Curry 5-36; J. Stout 2-4; N. Talanca 2-51, 1 TD; M. Shannon 1-4; D. Hellenthal 4-46, 1 TD. TUNK – R. Cywinski 5-26; B. Beauchemin 15-80; S. Edmonson 4-4; J. Leon 12-43; B. Dailey 6-7; R. Ell 3-13.
Passing: BER – C. Curry 5-11-0, 2 TDs. TUNK – B. Beauchemin 6-12-1; R. Ell 1-5-0.
Receiving: BER – A. Force 3-96, 1 TD; P. Wiegand 1-25, 1 TD; D. Kowalski 1-5. TUNK – B. Stage 2-22; S. Edmonson 1-4; M. Markovitz 1-11; J. Leon 1-(-1); H. Hopkins 1-0; D. LoBuono 1-5.