By Spencer Decker, NEPASportsNation.com Student Journalist
TAYLOR – Riverside took the lead four times and kept the game close throughout on its home field Friday night, but Carbondale relied on the running combination of Vincent DePalma and Davon Reams to pull out a victory.
DePalma and Reams combined for 396 yards and 6 touchdowns for Carbondale, which rallied for a 42-34 triumph in the Lackawanna Football Conference Division 3 game.
Carbondale took a 35-34 lead into the fourth quarter.
One play after Logan Wormuth’s run converted a third-and-four, DePalma broke through the line for a 52-yard touchdown.
Carbondale’s defense shut down Riverside’s last threat, stopping a fourth-down pass from the Chargers 29 before the ground game produced the last three first downs needed to run out the clock.
DePalma carried 17 times for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns. Reams scored 4 touchdowns and picked up 191 yards on 18 carries.
The Chargers improved to 1-2 in the division and 4-4 overall. The Vikings are 0-3 and 2-6.
Riverside started out with the ball and Gary Mrozinski got them in great field position after returning the opening kickoff to the Carbondale 15. It only took three plays and Noah Parchinski ran in for a 7-yard touchdown, making it 7-0 only 1:49 into the game.
Carbondale immediately showed it would have some offense, too.
The Chargers got the Vikings to jump on a third-and-four, then converted a third-and-nine on a 12-yard pass from Guy Mushow to Reams.
DePalma ended the drive by breaking through the middle for a 54-yard touchdown and a 7-7 tie before the midway point in the quarter.
Riverside got the ball back and the scoring kept going.
The Vikings never got to third down in the drive, which ended with Parchinski’s second touchdown run for a 14-7 lead with 3:11 left in the first quarter.
Carbondale had a drive going until it got into the Red Zone and began to sputter. Forced into fourth-and-seven, the Chargers got seven yards from Reams, who then scored the tying touchdown from the 6.
Things got a little crazy in the last five minutes before halftime.
Carbondale started a drive in Riverside territory after a 10-yard punt.
Four plays later, Reams made it back-to-back touchdowns, scoring from the 16.
The Carbondale lead lasted 14 seconds.
Reese Gaughan weaved through the Carbondale coverage team for a 78-yard kickoff return for the tying touchdown.
The Vikings got the ball back by forcing a three-and-out, but were running out of time moving down the field on a drive hindered by two false starts.
Riverside aired it out from the 41 with five seconds left in the half and Mrozinski got behind the safety to pull in Parchinski’s pass for a touchdown, putting the Vikings back in the lead, 28-21, as the clock ran out.
Reams found a hole on the first play of the second half and went 67 yards, tying the game again.
Riverside struggled offensively coming out of halftime, but Carbondale was unable to connect when taking a risk and trying to pass on fourth-and-eight.
Miracle Okoroji allowed the Vikings to make the most of a fourth-and-five conversion by Parchinski, running 42 yards for a touchdown and 34-28 lead.
Carbondale went ahead to stay right before the third quarter ended.
Reams ran 22 yards for the touchdown and Colin Bailer made the fifth of his six straight extra-point kicks for the 35-34 lead.
After DePalma broke his 52-yard run, Reams returned from missing time with an injury to run 20 yards on third-and-15, allowing the Chargers to kill the clock.
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