After three frustrating weeks of heart-stopping near misses, Honesdale posted its first win of the Lackawanna Football Conference season Friday night.
The Hornets trekked deep into the wilds of Susquehanna County for a battle with Montrose and returned home with a solid 21-0 decision.
Kevin Miller and Kyle Carney once again led the way offensively, each rushing for more than 100 yards as the Red & Black improved their regular season record to 1-3-0.
"Getting out of here with a win was really important," Coach Jim Ludwig said.
"We started off a little bit slow, but then we buckled down and got the job done. It's definitely a monkey off our back, though.
Next up for Honesdale is a the annual revival of an ancient gridiron rivalry.
The Hornets will travel to the Pioneer City Friday for date with Carbondale Area. The Chargers are this year's surprise team, having begun the current campaign with four straight shutouts.
"They're riding high right now," Coach Ludwig said.
"Carbondale is playing with a lot of confidence, especially on defense. We're going to be in for a fight and we'd better be ready."
Opening kickoff for this Division II-III crossover contest is set for 7 p.m.
Honesdale ratcheted up its ground game right off the bat in this one.
The Hornets marched right down the field with their first possession, a drive capped by Miller's short touchdown run.
TJ Knash, a senior co-captain banged home the extra point and with just over five minutes left in the opening stanza, Honesdale had itself a 7-0 lead.
Page 2 of 3 - Montrose did its level best to respond, but the Meteors have struggled all season to mount any kind of consistent offense.
Junior tailback Billy Hewes turned in a solid all-round effort. Hewes amassed 115 yards on 24 carries, but wasn't able to cross Honesdale's goal line.
Through four weeks of action, Montrose has yet to tally a point. After Friday's loss, the Meteors are staring at a scoring deficit of 156-0.
Offense & Defense
Miller upped Honesdale's advantage late in the second quarter.
Kevin escaped the pocket and scrambled 19 yards to paydirt. The Hornets' veteran signal caller would finish up his evening with 100 yards rushing, 143 yards passing and two TDs.
"I think we took a step in the right direction with the passing game and Kevin obviously has a lot to do with that," Coach Ludwig said. "He made some nice throws and our receivers made some nice catches."
Knash split the uprights with his second conversion try, sending the game to halftime with the visitors leading 14-0.
Carney finally found his way to the Meteors endzone as time wound down in the third period.
Kyle broke loose for an 8-yard TD scamper with 4:52 remaining. The Hornets senior tailback closed out yet another big night with 123 yards on 19 carries. He added 60 more on two receptions.
"When Kyle decides he needs to get somewhere, it's really tough to stop him," said Coach Ludwig. "He can run with power or he can beat you with pure speed. He's a darned good running back."
Knash closed out a perfect night kicking with his third PAT.
Josh LoBasso had himself a busy game on both sides of the ball. Honesdale's junior "jack-of-all-trades" threw two passes, caught one and intercepted another.
Page 3 of 3 - Tyler Canfield and AJ Meyer chipped in with one reception apiece.
Natty Martin and Alex Evanitsky each contributed positive yards rushing.
Coach Ludwig also handed out high marks to defensive lineman Evan Pelitier. A junior who splits his time between nose and tackle, Pelitier helped to emphatically shut down the Meteors ground game.
"I'm very pleased with how Evan played," he said.
"He was hustling all over the field. Evan gave us 100 percent on every play and, as a coach, that's pretty much all you can ask."
Score by Quarters...
HON (1-3) 7 7 7 0 - 21
MTR (0-4) 0 0 0 0 - 0