Honesdale and Wallenpaupack Area set to square off in Friday night's Week Two LFC battle

The latest chapter in one of the region’s most intense high school rivalries will be written tonight when Honesdale hosts Wallenpaupack Area in Week Two Lackawanna Football Conference action.

The Hornets and Buckhorns both suffered a lopsided loss on Opening Night and each will be looking for redemption under the Friday night lights.

Coach Mike Jurkowski’s squad traveled to Lakeland last week and came out on the short end of a 28-8 final.

“The effort was definitely there, but we’re a young team and we made a lot of youthful mistakes,” he said. “The good thing is that those mistakes are correctable. I’m confident that we can get those things ironed out.”

The situation was similar for Dr. Mark Watson’s team.

Paupack played fairly well defensively against talented Valley View. However, a young and inexperienced offensive unit struggled all night. The result was a 41-10 shellacking.

“Hey, Valley View is a very good team,” Dr. Watson said. “They’re ranked seventh in the state for a reason. They were really poised and executed extremely well. We just don’t have the kind of big game experience they do and it showed.”

This sets the stage for a fascinating match-up and that rarest of things: A meaningful game in Week Two.

Opening kick-off for Friday night’s LFC showdown is set for 7 p.m. at the Daniel J. O’Neill Sports Complex.

On the Field

Honesdale played Lakeland tough in the first half of last Friday’s game.

The Hornets trailed just 15-8 at intermission, but the bigger and more physical Chiefs slowly took control … thanks largely to the play of tailback Giovanni Spataro and quarterback CJ Dippre.

Spataro powered his way to an eye-popping 179 yards on 16 carries. The highlights of his night were touchdown runs of three and 77 yards.

Dippre, a cannon-armed junior who’s already fielding Division I scholarship offers, completed four passes including a 17-yard scoring strike in the first quarter.
Honesdale tallied its first touchdown of the season late in the second quarter.

Junior quarterback Pete West hooked up with senior wideout Ethan Parker on a 27-yard score 3:35 before halftime.

“Ethan made a great catch,” said Coach Jurkowski. “He elevated above the defense and made a big play. Ethan is the kind of kid who gives 100 percent all the time. He’s a very hard worker and a really good athlete.”

Sophomore running back Jacob Orrick powered his way in for the two-point conversion, cutting the Lakeland lead to just seven points.

Sadly for local fans, that’s as close as the Red & Black ever got.

“This was the first time playing under the bright lights on a Friday night for a lot of our kids,” Coach Jurkowski said. “They were a little nervous and it showed. I’m not overly concerned though because they definitely learned from the experience.”

Jimmy Ludwig paced the offensive assault. The senior tailback carried the ball 14 times for 59 yards. Ludwig also caught a pair of passes for 26 yards before exiting the game with cramps.

“Jimmy is a tough kid,” Coach Jurkowski said. “He runs hard and really hits the hole. Jimmy brings a lot to the table. He gets five or six yards at a clip running the ball and he’s also a big part of what we do defensively.”

Showdown

Honesdale dealt Paupack a shocking loss last year on the shores of The Big Lake.

The Buckhorns went on to win an LFC divisional title, then tacked on both the district and subregional crowns.

Dr. Watson’s squad was hard hit by graduation and is searching for its identity following a lopsided Week One loss.

“That obviously wasn’t the result we were looking for,” he said. “But, I saw a ton of positive things against Valley View and I’m optimistic we can get things going in the right direction.”

For his part, Mike Jurkowski isn’t taking anything for granted.

“Oh they’re definitely going to be ready for us,” he said. “I’m sure they remember what happened at their place last year, so I’m just happy we’re playing this one at our place.”