By Spencer Decker, NEPA Sports Nation Student Journalist
TAYLOR – Honesdale turned an exciting non-league battle at Riverside Friday night into a 32-15 victory by breaking away with the game’s final three touchdowns.
Max Mickel, Isaac Carmody and Kage Southerton scored for the Hornets after Riverside took its only lead, 15-11, early in the second half.
Honesdale received the second-half kickoff, leading, 11-9, but Riverside quickly forced a punt, then scored three plays later.
Ian Zagropski took a Casey O’Brien pass 46 yards for a touchdown on third-and-seven. The Vikings were unable to convert a two-point attempt, keeping the lead at four points.
Honesdale immediately responded with the go-ahead touchdown drive.
Kage Southerton’s 50-yard kickoff return, set up a six-play, 35-yard drive that resulted in Mickel’s go-ahead, 5-yard touchdown run for an 18-15 lead.
Honesdale added to the lead before the third quarter ended.
Dallas Gombita recovered a fumble at the Vikings 17 on the second play after the Hornets took the lead.
Honesdale was pushed back to third-and-18, but Aiden Collins responded with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Carmody for a 25-15 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Riverside gambled on fourth down deep in its own territory on the first play of the fourth.
Honesdale made the stop and took advantage, moving in from the 18 for the clinching score.
Collins again threw a touchdown pass on third down, hitting Southerton for a 15-yard score.
Riverside got behind when it had trouble snapping the ball on its first two drives.
A high punt snap led to a safety to open the scoring.
After Honesdale failed on a fourth-down attempt from the 5, Riverside yielded another safety on a high snap on second down.
The crazy start continued when back-to-back safeties were followed by Riverside recovering an on-side kick from its own 20.
Honesdale took the ball right back on the next play with Gombita intercepting a pass and returning it for a touchdown to complete the strong start for an 11-0 lead.
Riverside wasn’t ready to give up.
Quarterback Reese Gaughan ran for a 5-yard touchdown at the end of a nine-play drive.
The Vikings defense then forced a fumble, but the offense couldn’t convert when it failed on a fourth-down conversion attempt.
Honesdale’s early offensive struggles continued with a three-and-out and a punt back to Riverside.
Nicholas D’Amico made it a two-point game with a 27-yard field goal.
The Riverside defense remained active. Dominick DeAngelo intercepted a pass and, after running out of time, the Vikings made it to the half trailing, 11-9.
Both teams come out of the game with 2-2 records.
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