HAWLEY — Wallenpaupack Area's youth football program celebrated its 2012 Homecoming this past weekend with a full slate of ACCJFL games against Dunmore.
Hundreds of fans turned out to join in the festivities, which took place on a picture-perfect autumn afternoon at the high school field.
The highlight of the day was an outstanding performance by the B-Team, which posted a 25-13 victory over the Oilers. With this win, Coach Frank Ingulli's squad upped its record to a perfect 6-0.
Paupack is all alone atop the National Conference standings, having scored 163 points and allowed only 50. Next up for the Jr. Bucks is a road trip to Valley View for a Week Seven showdown.
First up on the Homecoming agenda Sunday was a solid showing by the I-Team.
Under the direction of Coach Brian Kapulka, the youngest Bucks once again showed improvement.
"We did a bunch of good things today on offense and defense," Coach Kapulka said. "We moved the ball pretty well when we had it and contained them when they had it."
Paupack didn't manage to score any points in this one, but several Bucks played well.
Defensively, Coach Kapulka was thrilled with the play of his linebackers, Aiden Pierson and John Kauffman. He also singled out a pair of linemen, Matt Boo and Rocco Annunziato, for hard-nosed play up front.
Offensively, quarterback Tommy Ferrara, fullback Evan Peppiatt, tailbacks Josh Mattys, Brayden Kapulka and Andrew Bromberger all received high marks.
"I'm really happy with how things are progressing this season," Coach Kapulka said. "Since that first week of practice to now, we've made some huge improvements."
Paupack and Dunmore took the crowd on a wild ride in the C-Team game before the Oilers finally escaped with a 25-19 win.
"We played very well," Coach Dave Phillips said. "I was really impressed with our offensive line. They got off the ball hard and got after people. That's the best they've blocked all year."
Leading the charge on the O-Line were Charles Washburn, Joey Ferrara, Nicholas Kuhn, Dakota Quinn and Christian Rivera. These hard-working young men opened enormous holes for tailback Alex Gardsy, who shredded Dunmore's front seven.
Gardsy exploded for more than 150 yards rushing. He also scored all three Paupack touchdowns.
"When our kids block the way they did today and Alex hits the hole hard, he's one of the best backs in the whole league," Coach Phillips said. "Alex is very hard to bring down."
On the defensive side of the ball, Cole Egli made a huge impact all game long. Egli normally starts at outside backer, but was moved to end against Dunmore. He responded with three tackles for loss, a sack and fumble recovery.
Page 2 of 2 - "Cole really got after it today," said Coach Phillips said with a chuckle. "He's a little animal out there. Cole loves to put the pads to somebody."
Jakob Baeza battled injuries at the start of the season, but is getting back near 100 percent. On Sunday afternoon, Baeza finished up with eight tackles and two sacks.
"He's been working so hard to make weight and stay healthy," Coach Phillips said. "When Jakob is out there, he does a fantastic job. He played awesome today."
On paper, the B-Team game between Paupack and Dunmore shouldn't have been close.
The Junior Bucks (6-0) are in first place and the Oilers (2-4) are trapped in the cellar. However, Coach Frank Ingulli wasn't buying that argument.
"We're not taking anyone or any team for granted," he said just prior to the opening kickoff. "I've seen Dunmore play twice this year I think that record is a little bit deceiving."
The Oilers made Ingulli look prophetic by playing an inspired first half. Led by the trio of Ralph Tully, Eric Kolodziej and Steve Borgia, Dunmore battled its host to a 13-all stalemate at intermission.
However, the Jr. Bucks dominated the second half en route to a 25-13 win.
Paupack took the opening kickoff and marched right downfield for the score. Quarterback Joe Ingulli rolled around left end, cut back and raced 43 yards to paydirt.
Ingulli also ran in the conversion, giving the Jr. Bucks a quick 7-0 lead.
With less than a minute remaining before the break, Paupack scored again.
Ingulli set up this score as well, scrambling 25 yards to the Dunmore three. From there, fullback Ty Wesenyak rumbled into the endzone.
The game remained tied into the fourth quarter, but Paupack's superior talent and offensive versatility carried the day.
Eddie Torres broke off two long runs as the clock ticked down. The Jr. Bucks' wingback jitterbugged his way to a 30-yard run off a counter play, which set up Ingulli's 4-yard touchdown run with 4:20 left in regulation.
Shawn Sura quashed any hopes Dunmore fans had of a comeback when he recovered a fumble at the Paupack 45. On the very next play, Torres sprinted down the home sideline for an electrifying 55-yard TD at the 2:42 mark.
The PAT try was no good, making the final score 25-13.