The Red & Black looked dominant in this pre-season tune-up
If this weekend’s performance is any indication, Honesdale football fans may have a lot to cheer about this fall.
The Hornets hosted Hanover Area Saturday morning in an exhibition contest and Coach Mike Jurkowski’s squad simply overpowered the Hawkeyes in all facets of the game.
Offensively, the Red & Black moved the ball at will on the ground and through the air. Defensively, the local lads completely shut down Hanover’s vaunted rushing attack.
The result was the kind of outing that leaves a head coach smiling.
“These kids have worked really hard during the off-season and I think that paid off here today,” Coach Jurkowski said. “I’m very proud of the effort I saw out there. We have a long way to go yet, but this was a nice start.”
Honesdale is set to open up its regular season Lackawanna Football Conference regular season slate Friday night.
The Hornets will host Lakeland in what promises to be a hard-hitting and entertaining contest.
Opening kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Daniel J. O’Neill Sports Complex.
Three battle-tested upperclassmen will serve as captains for the Hornets as they embark on their 2018 LFC campaign.
Ethan Dunn, Alex Atcavage and Cameron Baker each brings an unique skill set to the table.
Dunn is a senior and two year team captain. He will once again be Honesdale’s starting quarterback in Week One.
Dunn wasn’t asked to do a great deal in the scrimmage versus Hanover, but he still showed great poise and command of Butch Keller’s offense.
“Ethan has developed into an outstanding leader,” Coach Jurkowski said. “He takes control out there. His teammates look up to him and I have a lot of confidence in him.”
Atcavage is a junior who anchors a formidable offensive line. Alex will also serve as a team captain this fall while playing left guard.
“Alex’s motor is always running,” said Coach Jurkowski. “He’s got a big heart and he always gives 100 percent. Alex has put in a ton of work and it shows. I’m expecting him to have a big junior season.”
Baker turned in a stellar all-round effort on Saturday. Cameron flexed his muscles offensively at fullback and dazzled defensively at inside linebacker.
“The best thing about Cam is that he never takes a play off,” Coach Jurkowski said. “He sets a great example for the younger kids on and off the field.”
Honesdale wasted no time in setting the tone for Saturday's scrimmage.
The Hornets employed a no-frills offensive approach, powering the ball up and down the field against an overmatched Hanover front seven.
“We didn't do anything fancy,” Coach Keller said with a sly smile. “We kept it pretty basic. Don't want to give too much away before the season even starts.”
The Red & Black offensive line was nothing short of dominant in its first outing. Walker Kearney (LT), Alex Atcavage (LG), Jake Hodder (C), Jake Kabonick (RG), Sam Deron (RT) formed a solid and cohesive unit on Saturday.
These five young men owned the line of scrimmage versus Hanover, opening huge holes through which Andy Carroll could maneuver.
A senior who was on his way to a huge season in 2017, Carroll suffered a knee injury in Week four and was lost for the rest of the campaign.
Carroll showed no lingering after-effects against the Hawkeyes. He exploded through the holes, cut on a dime and finished each run strong.
“Andy's season was cut short by injury last year and I think he feels like he has a little something to prove,” Coach Jurkowski said. “Andy's totally healthy now and he wants to make a statement.”
Backfield mate Cameron Baker also turned in a solid offensive performance. Baker closed out the day with a short touchdown run right up the middle.
Honesdale will have its hands full Opening Night with what will undoubtedly be a slugfest versus Lakeland.
The Hornets and Chiefs are ancient gridiron rivals dating all the way back to the early days of the Suburban Conference.
Coach Jeff Wasilchak's squad has a reputation for its bruising ground game, but Honesdale isn't about to be intimidated.
“They're always well-coached and disciplined,” said Coach Jurkowski of his alma mater. “They're going to bring it every play and we have to be ready.
“We need to work on our conditioning a little bit and cut down on the turnovers. If we do those two things, then I think we'll be fine.”