Western Wayne cruises to lopsided win over archrival Honesdale
An SRO crowd packed the stands at Sharkey Rosetti Memorial Stadium Friday night to witness the latest renewal of an ancient gridiron rivalry.
Western Wayne hosted Honesdale in this Week Three Lackawanna Football Conference contest, a game which also served as the 27th Annual Shrine Bowl Classic.
The Wildcats dominated this one right from the start, racing out to a big early lead then cruising to an impressive 60-21 victory.
Jack McCallister and Zane Janiszewski led the way, each earning an individual trophy for outstanding play from the Wayne-Pike Shrine Club.
“Nobody gave us much of a chance this year,” said Coach Randy Wolff.
“We were pretty much overlooked. But, don’t tell that to these kids. They’ve always believed in themselves. They work hard every day and just keep grinding. I’m very proud of them.”
With this win, Western Wayne improved its overall record to 3-0.
Next up for the ‘Cats is a Week Four encounter with Montrose. Opening kick-off is slated for 7 p.m. Friday night in Varden.
Western Wayne wasted no time in ratcheting up its high-octane offense against Honesdale.
Quarterback Matt Valanda capped a short drive by firing a 4-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Brungard.
Jake Shepherd banged home the PAT and with 6:53 left in the first quarter the Wildcats led 7-0.
After that, it was the Janiszewski Show as Zane terrorized the Hornets in every aspect of the game.
The junior linebacker intercepted a Pete West pass and sprinted 11 yards to paydirt. Janiszewski then added two offensive TDs in the second quarter, one on a 3-yard run and another via a perfectly executed screen pass that covered 71 yards.
Zane would finish the night with more than 250 yards of total offense and five scores.
For his efforts, members of the Wayne-Pike Shrine Club voted Janiszewski Most Valuable Player.
“Zane is just a playmaker,” Coach Wolff said. “When the ball’s in his hands, good things happen. Zane is a threat to score from anywhere on the field. He runs hard, cuts on a dime and makes really good decisions.”
McAllister anchored the offensive line that opened holes for Janiszewski and provided Valanda with plenty of time to throw.
As a result, the battle-tested senior was named Most Valuable Lineman of the Shrine Bowl Classic.
“Jack is just a bear in both sides of the ball,” Coach Wolff said. “He keeps coming at ya and never slows down. As the game wears on, Jack just seems to get stronger.
“Any time a team prepares for us, they have to account for number 55.”
Western Wayne powered its way to a to a 34-14 lead at intermission, thanks in part to an opportunistic defense.
Thomas Chernasky ended the second quarter with an interception, while Brungard stymied Honesdale’s initial third quarter drive with a pick of his own.
Janiszewski put the game out of reach with his final two touchdown runs of the night. The first came from 16 yards out at the 10:06 mark and the second covered 54 yards with 6:58 left in the third.
Junior running back JJ Murphy got into the act with a 16-yard scoring scamper early in the fourth quarter.
Brungard then closed things out with a scintillating 84-yard kick return with 4:10 left in regulation.
“I’m very pleased with how this team stepped up in a big situation,” said Coach Wolff. “We overcame a little bit of adversity at the beginning of the game, but the kids responded.
“It’s always an honor to play in the Shriners game. They do such a great job in the community and we’re excited to have that big trophy in our display case this year.”
While Honesdale dropped its third straight game to open the season, there were definitely some bright spots for Hornet fans.
Luke Bancroft paced the Red & Black aerial assault. The senior wideout caught a game-high eight passes for 109 yards and one TD.
Jimmy Ludwig turned in a stellar effort on both sides of the ball, earning his team’s MVP designation by the Shriners.
Kane Rogers took home Honesdale’s Most Valuable Lineman laurels.
Connor Schmitt brought the crowd to its feet with an 80-yard TD run midway through the second period.
Jacob Orrick rounded out Honesdale’s scoring via a 9-yard jaunt with 4:22 left in the game.
Next up for the Hornets is a non-league home game versus Tunkhannock.
Opening kick-off is set for 7 p.m. Friday.
Score by Quarters...
HON 0 14 0 7 - 21
WW 14 20 13 13 – 60