Old Forge wins state game; Ivan Balavage leads Scranton Prep

By Tom Robinson - For Sunday Dispatch | November 11th, 2017 9:29 am

Brendan Mozeleski carried 25 times for 190 yards and three touchdowns while becoming Old Forge’s all-time leading rusher and leading the Blue Devils deeper into the state football playoffs with a 41-0 rout of Delaware County Christian Friday night in the District 1-2 Class A Subregional championship at Marple Newtown High School.

Mozeleski became the first Old Forge runner to compile more than 3,500 rushing yards in his career.

Old Forge (11-1) advances to play unbeaten Williams Valley, which won the District 11 championship game, 26-6, over Tri-Valley Friday. Williams Valley is ranked second in the state among Class A teams by the pafootballnews.com.

Mozeleski ran for touchdowns in each of the first three quarters. He ran 9 yards to open the scoring, added a 4-yard run in the second quarter and went 62 yards for the third-quarter score that sent the game into the Mercy Rule at 35-0.

Dante Lucarelli threw a pair of touchdown passes.

Lucarelli hit Brett Wargo for 18 yards and a 13-0 lead after one quarter. His 21-yard pass to Anthony Rios gave the Blue Devils a 27-0 halftime lead.

Kevin Pepsin ran 2 yards for the last score in the fourth quarter.


Ivan Balavage was the game’s leading tackler and was one of two players to score a pair of touchdowns Friday night when Scranton Prep routed Lake-Lehman, 54-7, for its third straight District 2 Class 3A championship.

The senior fullback/inside linebacker from Avoca helped Scranton Prep score the game’s final 51 points after trailing 7-3 until nearly the midway point of the second quarter.

Lake-Lehman drove 79 yards in 15 straight runs on its first possession, but Balavage led a defense that limited the Black Knights to one first down and 55 yards total offense the rest of the game. He finished with eight tackles, including two for five yards and losses, and five assists.

“We’re big up front and we’re bloodhounds for the ball,” Balavage said. “Once our line got ready and got warmed up, we were good to go.”

Balavage caught a pass in the left flat and turned it into a 16-yard touchdown for a 17-7 lead with 1:10 left in the half. It was the first of two scores in 13 seconds that allowed the unbeaten Lackawanna Football Conference Division 2 champions to break the game open.

The Cavaliers scored on four of five second-half possessions, including when Balavage used all three of his carries to move the team 60 yards in the fourth quarter. He scored on a 28-yard run to send the game into the Mercy Rule at 47-7 with 9:51 left.


The teams that eliminated Pittston Area and Wyoming Area met Friday night in a District 2 Class 4A semifinal.

Berwick avenged a loss in last year’s championship game by piling up all of its points in the first half of a 48-14 rout to avenge last year’s championship game loss to North Pocono.

The loss ends the title defense for the Trojans, who are coached by Wyoming Area graduate Greg Dolhon.

Three District 2 teams – each of the LFC divisional champions – remained unbeaten with Friday night playoff wins.

Delaware Valley and Dunmore joined Scranton Prep in that accomplishment.

Dunmore, under former Wyoming Area coach Jack Henzes, won its fourth straight District 2 Class 2A title, 35-8, over Carbondale.

Henzes, Dolhon’s father-in-law, is the state leader in wins among active coaches.

Delaware Valley beat Hazleton Area, 31-3, in the District 2-4 Class 6A Subregional.

Scranton Prep’s Ivan Balavage attempts to take down Lake-Lehman’s Nate O’Donnell during a game in Scranton Friday night.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/web1_CMYKHSFLehmanPrep1.jpgScranton Prep’s Ivan Balavage attempts to take down Lake-Lehman’s Nate O’Donnell during a game in Scranton Friday night.

By Tom Robinson

For Sunday Dispatch

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.