NEPA Sports Nation

Field goal lifts Devils over Vikings

Pictured above: Old Forge’s Cael Krushnowski takes a handoff from James Sobol. (Tony Callaio Photo)

Sophomores Cael Krushnowski and Isaiah Rodriguez stepped into the spotlight Friday night to help a veteran Old Forge team extend its streak of Lackawanna Football Conference divisional titles.

Krushnowski’s running helped set up Rodriguez for a 26-yard field goal with four seconds left as host Old Forge clinched at least a share of its fifth straight LFC title by winning a battle with rival Riverside for first place in Division 3, 17-14.

Old Forge can take the title outright and finish a fifth straight perfect division season if it beats Carbondale next week.

Riverside had tied the game after trailing 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The Blue Devils made a fourth-down stop on the Vikings at midfield with two minutes left and went in for the winning score.

With season rushing leader Josh Spindler sidelined by an injury after scoring a touchdown early in the game, Krushnowski became the main Old Forge ballcarrier in the second half. He ran 13 times in the half for 75 yards, including a 15-yard run that combined with a Riverside penalty to put the Blue Devils in position for the Rodriguez field goal.

Both teams entered the game 3-0 in the division, 5-3 overall and ranked among the Small Schools in the Gaughan Auto Store Super Six Power Rankings, compiled by

Old Forge took its two-touchdown lead on an 11-yard run by Casey Holzman and a 3-yarder by Spindler less than three minutes apart late in the first quarter.

Riverside beat the clock with a long drive at the end of the first half to close within 14-7.

Chase Taddonio found Casey O’Brien for 20 yards and got the clock stopped with 11 seconds left at the Old Forge 29. He then threw into the end zone to Reese Gaughan for a touchdown with five seconds left.

Riverside reached into its bag of tricks to tie the game midway through the third quarter. Gaughan passed to Taddonio for a 14-yard touchdown.

The win was the fourth straight by Old Forge and broke a four-game winning streak by Riverside.

The Devils have won their last 18 divisional games. Since a loss to Dunmore in a 2017 season-ending meeting of 8-0 teams in the old Division 3 setup, Old Forge Old Forge won all 14 games while claiming four straight outright LFC Division 4 titles from 2018 through 2021.

The LFC went back to a different three-division set-up this season, putting rivals Old Forge and Riverside back in the same division and leading to Friday’s championship showdown.

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