NEPA Sports Nation

NATION NOSTALGIA: In 1949, Dream Game opened door

By Tom Robinson,

There was a time when December Dream Games served as a chance for Lackawanna County’s top high school players to show what they could do in front of college scouts.

Leo O’Boyle from Dunmore made the most of that attention in the 1949 game.

O’Boyle scored 13 points – two touchdowns on 10-yard, end-around plays and one point, according to rules at the time, for a conversion pass on an extra point – as the City defeated the County, 21-12, on an icy field.

At the time, the 33 combined points were the most in the history of the Scranton Lions Club-sponsored football all-star game.

And, O’Boyle’s 13 points were the biggest of his football career.

In an interview nearly four decades later, O’Boyle credited the Dream Game performance with landing him a scholarship to the University of Miami of Florida where he spent two years as a two-way starter at offensive tackle and defensive end and also played on the baseball team.

James Brier from Scranton Central intercepted a pitchout and ran 47 yards for a touchdown to open the scoring and give the City the early lead.

Pete Shopa from Blakely ran nine yards for a touchdown to put the County up, 7-6, and O’Boyle added the points necessary to keep the County in front.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The 87th annual Dream Game is scheduled for July 21 at Valley View’s John Henzes/Veterans Memorial Stadium in Peckville at 7 p.m. NATION NOSTALGIA will take a daily look at the game’s history between now and this year’s game, which is being presented by Northeast Rehab and Riverfront Sports.

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