NEPA Sports Nation

Jewell, Kucharski lead Cougars

Pictured above: Taheed Jewell.

Taheed Jewell scored three touchdowns Friday night, including one while combining with A.J. Kucharski to lead a defensive effort that allowed visiting Valley View to dominate previously unbeaten Scranton, 41-7, in a game that decided the Lackawanna Football Conference Division 1 lead.

Jewell caught two touchdown passes from Adam Howanitz, who also ran for two scores. That passing combination opened the scoring and Jewell capped the scoring on an interception return.

A.J. Kucharski

Kucharski led a rush that disrupted Scranton’s passing game and allowed just 1 touchdown by a team that had been averaging 29.8 points and had scored 35 or more in 3 of the previous 4 games.

Valley View, which has won six straight, is 3-0 in the division while Scranton slips to 2-1. Both are 6-1 overall.

Kucharski, Jewell and Howanitz all figured into the first score.

After Kucharski’s rush and near block induced a 14-yard punt, Valley View took over at the Scranton 49.

Six plays later, Howanitz hit Jewell with a 22-yard touchdown pass. The conversion attempt failed.

Scranton was pushed backward on its first two drives, but, after holding Valley View on downs, the Knights struck quickly for the lead.

Matt Shilling took Billy Maloney’s screen pass 63 yards for a touchdown and 7-6 lead with 21 seconds left in the first quarter.

Valley View then scored the game’s final 35 points.

Jewell intercepted a pass to set up the first of two Howanitz touchdown runs in the second quarter.

The safety/wide receiver picked off two passes and made four tackles. He also led the team in receiving with 4 catches for 46 yards and the 2 touchdowns.

Howanitz scored from the 9 midway through the quarter and from the 4 in the last minute for a 19-7 halftime lead.

Scranton’s only first down on the half was on the scoring play and Valley View’s constant pressure led the Knights to have a combined net of minus-20 yards on all their other plays in the first two quarters.

Kucharski finished with three of the team’s six sacks and three of the other eight pass rushes that forced interceptions or incompletions. He also had a fourth tackle for a loss and one other tackle.

Valley View’s special teams then joined in the scoring on the second-half kickoff when Connor Hilling broke a 92-yard touchdown.

Jacob Casarin jumped on a teammate’s fumble in the end zone for a successful two-point conversion.

Howanitz hit Jewell for a 3-yard touchdown pass in the last minute of the third quarter, then Jewell returned a fourth-quarter interception 51 yards for the final score of the game. Nick Kucharski, A.J.’s younger brother, rushed Maloney into the interception on the pick six.

Hilling ran for 89 yards in the win while Howanitz passed for 77 and ran for 68 more.

Dylan Walsh had four tackles, including a sack, and four assists for Valley View. Gianni Marino had two sacks among his three tackles and five assists.

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