By Tom Robinson, NEPASportsNation.com
PECKVILLE – The Dream Game, the Scranton Lions Club-sponsored football all-star game for recently graduated players, made it through 85 straight years before the pandemic caused a cancellation of the 86th game last summer.
The Dream Game returns Wednesday night with the County trying to continue cutting into the City lead in the series that, in its current form, features players from the Lackawanna Football Conference.
When the teams were last able to play in 2019, the County combined a dominant start with five City turnovers to produce a 14-7 victory that cut the City series lead to 42-39-4.
Kobe Sauter from Western Wayne made two interceptions, including one at the County 20 with 3:09 left to end the last City possession.
Honesdale quarterback Ethan Dunn led the fast start. Dunn, who finished 8-for-15 for 161 yards passing, ran for one touchdown and threw for another in the first quarter.
The County scored on two straight possessions sandwiched around a fumble recovery by Valley View’s Traon Jones.
The winners closed in on a third straight scoring, reaching the City 1 with eight minutes left in the half at a point when they had statistical advantages of 7-0 in first downs and 148-3 in total offense.
A penalty wiped out an apparent touchdown, then the County missed a field goal that would have still made it a three-score game.
The rest of the game was much more competitive, although the County used its strong start to still end up with leads of 16-6 in first downs and 300-156 in total offense.
Dunn ran 1 yard for the first score, then hit Valley View’s Jaden Duplessis with a 31-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.
The City got back in the game with a series of deep passes.
One, on the second play of the second half, turned into a 79-yard touchdown pass from North Pocono’s Donny Blaine to West Scranton’s Zakeem Vassell.
In addition to the turnovers, the City used ball control, maintaining possession for 30 of the 48 minutes, to hold on for the win.
Valley View’s Mason Kordish carried 11 times for 54 yards in the second half and 20 times for 79 yards in the game.
“They just kept battling, but we kept battling and we came out victorious,” Duplessis said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The 87th annual Scranton Lions Club-sponsored Dream Game is scheduled for Wednesday night at Valley View’s John Henzes/Veterans Memorial Stadium in Peckville at 7 p.m. NATION NOSTALGIA is taking 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.