By Tom Robinson, NEPASportsNation.com
Ellio Domenick explained that he wasn’t a kicker after handling the job well enough to convert a harder-than-it-sounds, 18-yard field goal with 11 seconds left to lift the County to a 23-20 victory over the City in the 1990 Dream Game at Lackawanna County Stadium.
Valley View’s Rob Pazzaglia, who split quarterback duties with Riverside’s Domenick, had to handle a rolling snap.
Domenick hesitated slightly to time Pazzaglia’s placement of the ball on the tee while making the kick from a difficult angle on the left hash mark.
“Kicking soccer style, it would seem hard,” Domenick said in a postgame interview, “but I don’t really know, I’m not a kicker.”
The City had not kicked an extra point in the game, missing one early before going 1-for-2 on two-point conversion attempts while outscoring the County 17-0 to rally from a 20-6 halftime deficit.
Domenick went 4-for-5 as a passer in the second half, finishing 8-for-12 for 105 yards. He also scored the County’s only first-half touchdown on a 1-yard run.
The first half, however, was dominated by players from Dunmore’s 1989 state championship team.
Tom DePietro carried 11 times for 57 yards and 2 touchdowns in the half. Rorry Altmann ran for 31 yards and caught a two-point conversion pass from future Cornell quarterback and National Football League assistant coach Bill Lazor, a Scranton Central graduate, after Scranton Prep’s J.J. Perrone ran 15 yards for the other score.
Tim Ruddy, fresh off an appearance in the Big 33 Football Classic and headed for a career as a center at Notre Dame and with the Miami Dolphins, played tackle as part of an offensive line featuring the powerful combination that had fueled the state title run by the Bucks.
The City also had T.J. Jimmie at center, Tom Hopkins at guard, Tom Pavlowski at tackle and Shawn Colo at tight end while dominating up front in the first half. The City ran for 150 yards in the half.
County coach Frank Pazzaglia found some answers at halftime while improving his Dream Game coaching record to 3-1.
The County opened the second half with a seven-minute scoring drive, then contained the City ground game in the second half to get more chances to complete the comeback.
Rob Pazzaglia, Frank’s son, started the comeback with a 10-yard touchdown run.
Domenick hit Old Forge’s John Telesz with passes of 23 and 14 yards to set up the next score. Lakeland’s Keith Feduchak ran 4 yards for the touchdown and added the tying two-point conversion.
A fumble recovery by Riverside’s Mike Gaughan at the City 25 set up the winning score.
John Staretz from Riverside carried four times and Feduchak twice to advance the ball to the 1.
The County got a big boost from two players from Old Forge’s East Conference championship team.
Telesz had 3 catches for 57 yards. He also was the game’s leading tackler with six tackles, three assists and a broken-up pass.
Current Blue Devils coach Mike Schuback had four tackles and four assists and was a big part of slowing the City running game in the second half. The City had 39 second-half rushing yards.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The 87th annual Scranton Lions Club-sponsored Dream Game is scheduled for July 21 at Valley View’s John Henzes/Veterans Memorial Stadium in Peckville. 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.