NEPA Sports Nation

NATION NOSTALGIA: Iacavazzi scored winner in ’61 Dream Game

College Football Hall of Famer Cosmo Iacavazzi helped the Dream Game solidify the transition from late fall to summer.

The West Scranton graduate was the primary ballcarrier on the drive to the winning touchdown, which he scored by taking a hit as he completed an 11-yard run in the City’s 13-6 victory over the County in the 1961 game.

Iacavazzi, who went on to lead the nation in scoring at Princeton in 1963 and finish ninth in Heisman Trophy voting in 1964, was one of the standouts that helped draw a large crowd to Scranton Memorial Stadium. The fifth summer game in the series, which is now deep into its ninth decade, was the first of many summer games to draw a crowd in excess of 10,000.

The turnout was so large that kickoff had to be delayed to allow time to manage the massive traffic jams surrounding the stadium.

All of the game’s scoring took place in the second quarter.

In addition to his play at fullback, Iacavazzi, one of the last of the full-time, two-way standouts in college, was part of a defensive stop on a County fourth-down gamble to set up the first City touchdown.

That touchdown was scored by Scranton Tech quarterback Nick Forsette, who earned the game’s Outstanding Player award.

Tony DiMattia from Old Forge threw a touchdown pass to Ray Angeli from Blakely to allow the County to tie the game before Iacavazzi led the drive to put up the winning points prior to halftime.

Future Lackawanna County high school head coaches Joe DeAntona (West Scranton), Jerry Preschutti (Mid Valley), Hank Butcher (Riverside) and Paul Flowers (Old Forge) were all part of the game. Preschutti, who went on to play and serve as an assistant coach at Temple before returning to the area, has served for decades as the player-coach liaison of the Dream Game for the sponsoring Scranton Lions Club.

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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