Honesdale overcame an 18-point deficit to defeat Mid Valley ... but, no playoffs await.
With yet another electrifying comeback, Honesdale closed out its Lackawanna Football Conference season as the hottest team around.
Sadly, despite finishing up the campaign at 5-5 and riding a 4-game winning streak, the Hornets have been denied a playoff spot once again.
On Friday night before a big boisterous crowd in Throop, Honesdale rallied from an 18-0 second quarter deficit to deal Mid Valley a stunning 28-18 loss.
Seniors Kevin Miller and Kyle Carney led the way one last time. Miller passed for more than 200 yards and Carney rushed for 125 in helping the Hornets improve their Division Two record to 4-1.
Nevertheless, when the District Two and Eastern Conference pairings were announced, the Red & Black were nowhere to be found.
"I'm just disappointed for the kids Coach Jim Ludwig said. "They played their hearts out, especially during these last four weeks."
"We've been on a roll and I think the kids deserved a chance. But, it was out of our hands. We got a big win against Mid Valley and that's a great way to end the season."
Among eligible Class AAA teams, Honesdale wound up ranked sixth following the final weekend of D-2 action.
The Hornets accrued 580 playoff points, well behind Crestwood, which was the last team in.
Undefeated Berwick (10-0) piled up 1,520 points and nailed down the top spot in Class AAA. Scranton Prep also went unbeaten (10-0) and is seeded second.
Abington Heights (9-1) and Crestwood (9-1) are also in with 1,270 and 1,230 points, resectively.
On the Eastern Conference front, Coughlin (7-3) is the top seed and will open its gold medal quest against #4 Fleetwood (6-4).
Saucon Valley and Jim Thorpe will meet in the other semifinal. Both teams sport 7-3 records, but the Olympians earn the home game by virtue of a tiebreaker.p
All of these playoff games will be held this coming weekend.
Mid Valley raced out to a fast start in Friday night's LFC swan song.
The Spartans scored 18 straight points in the first half before Honesdale finally got on the board.
Tyler Gorton was the focal point of the home team's attack. The big senior back would rumble his way to an eye-popping 213 rushing yards on just 13 carries.
The highlight of Gorton's evening was a 95-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter. He would add scoring runs of 8 and 13 yards.
Trailing 18-0, Honesdale began its comeback bid as time ticked down in the first half.
Miller made sure the Hornets wouldn't go into the lockerroom empty-handed. Kevin hit Alex Evanitsky on a 3-yard touchdown pass with 19 seconds remaining.
The visitors came back onto the field after intermission amd utterly dominated the second half, scoring three more unanswered TDs en route to a double-digit win.
Carney cut Mid Valley's lead to 18-14 with a short scoring run at the 8:42 mark of the third period.
Kyle then made his biggest play of the game early in the fourth. Honesdale's lightning quick tailback took a hand-off from Miller, cut back against the grain and raced 47 yards to paydirt.
When TJ Knash split the uprights with his third conversion, the Hornets had their first lead of the night at 21-18.
Carney closed out the final game of his high school career with 125 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 21 carries. Kyle finished up the season with 1,227 yards and 17 TDs.
Miller also dazzled in his final varsity start. Kevin completed 16-of-21 pass attempts, good for 217 yards and two TDs.
His final touchdown toss of the season came to Kyle Canfield with just over three minutes remaining in regulation. It covered 16 yards and brought the final score to 28-18.
For the year, Miller notched 70 completions for 1,078 yards and eight TDs. He was intercepted seven times.
Score by Quarters...
HON (5-5) 0 7 7 14 - 28
MID (5-5) 6 12 0 0 - 18