Honesdale combined a balanced ground attack with its usual stingy defense Friday night to hand visiting Lackawanna Trail its first loss of the season, 14-12, in a non-league meeting of Lackawanna Football Conference members.
Max Mickel ran for 102 yards and two of his teammates produced touchdowns as the Hornets won the ground-based, defensive battle.
The game matched two of the four toughest teams to score upon among the 19 LFC members.
Bennett Fritz and C.J. Hinton led Honesdale’s defensive effort, finishing as the top two tacklers and combining on the game’s biggest play.
Lackawanna Trail went off left tackle on a game-tying, two-point conversion attempt midway through the fourth quarter, going with a very similar play call to what had produced its two short touchdown runs. Fritz and Hinton combined to stop Demetrius Douglas inches short of the goal line.
Fritz had three solo tackles and was in on eight others while Hinton had two solos and was part of six more.
Hinton was also part of Honesdale’s 254-yard ground game. He carried 17 times for 76 yards and the touchdown that put the Hornets up, 7-6, at halftime.
Lukas Gumble had scored on a 1-yard run earlier in the second quarter, but Lackawanna Trail missed the extra point, leading to the Lions being forced to go for the two-pointer in the fourth quarter.
The score remained at 7-6 until the fourth quarter when Mason Avery appeared to score for Honesdale on a 47-yard run. An illegal block late in the run, however, penalized the Hornets 10 yards back to the 19.
On third-and-nine from the 18, Avery ran off left tackle and scored for the eight-point lead.
Avery finished with 69 yards on 6 carries.
Gumble returned the ensuing kickoff 71 yards to the Hornets 5 and the Lions answered in less than a minute.
Douglas went in from the 3, setting up the two-point attempt.
Bryce Stone’s third-down sack helped Honesdale escape Lackawanna Trail’s last threat.