By Tom Robinson, NEPASportsNation.com
Mario Samony was part of a four-headed receiving attack going into what turned out to be the final game of a championship Old Forge football season.
Playing in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class A state quarterfinals, Samony took over as the game’s most effective offensive weapon.
Samony caught 8 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown during a 20-14, overtime loss to Canton. He also had two tackles, two assists and a broken-up pass on defense.
That effort makes Samony the Center City Print District 2 Athlete of the Week for the period of Nov. 22-28.
“The routes that I ran just happened to be open this week,” said Samony, who finished with 19 catches for 350 yards and 5 touchdowns for the Lackawanna Football Conference Division 4 and District 2 Class A champions who were unbeaten going into the Canton game.
Samony said his job was to be a lock-down corner on defense and one of “four great receiving options” in the passing game.
“Any time I got the ball in my hands, I just wanted to make something happen,” he said.
Samony did just that on what was the game’s biggest play until Canton scored three touchdowns combined in the last 7:03 of regulation and the one series each team got in overtime.
On his fifth catch of the day, with 13.7 seconds left in the half, Samony caught a pass back to him deep down the left side, then put a move on a defender around the 17 to go in for a 45-yard touchdown and 14-0 lead.
James Sobol rolled to the right hashmark and threw back to Samony near the left hash.
“It wasn’t designed, but I realized that all the defenders vacated me, so I just stood still,” Samony said. “James was running around and spotted me, then a made a nice move and scored.
“I saw him coming, so I knew what I was going to do.”
Samony has started in a state basketball semifinal and state football quarterfinal in this calendar year. Joining up with the basketball squad, which had already started official practices helped ease the sting of the loss.
“We were all sad,” said Samony, the only returning starter on the basketball team. “People were crying.
“But, after a couple days, guys are already back in the weightroom and I’m playing basketball, so it’s already kind of over. You can’t change it.”
Samony said he has been able to be part of two special teams.
“In basketball, yeah, we were more of an underdog, but the feeling was the same,” he said. “We were really close as a team. Practices were so much fun. We played like we were the better team, so in our hearts we felt like we were the best team on the court and the best team on the field.”
Samony plays football, basketball and is a utility player on the baseball team, meaning offseason workouts for each sport are minimal.
“I rarely get to play anything else,” he said. “The only thing I get to do is whatever sport I’m in.”
Mario is the son of Carl and Michele Samony from Old Forge.
CENTER CITY PRINT DISTRICT 2 ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Nov. 8-14: Ella Barbacci, Wyoming Seminary field hockey. https://nepasportsnation.com/state-hat-tricks-result-in-honor/.
Nov. 1-7: Cecelia Isenberg, Berwick girls volleyball. https://nepasportsnation.com/isenberg-leads-berwick-repeat-by-berwick-girls-volleyball/.
Oct. 25-31: Caleb Kenyon, North Pocono boys cross country. https://nepasportsnation.com/personal-team-success-for-kenyon/.
Oct. 18-24: Karissa Ghigiarelli, Riverside girls tennis. https://nepasportsnation.com/ghigiarelli-back-on-state-title-hunt/.
Oct. 11-17: Molly DeMarzo, Crestwood cross country. https://nepasportsnation.com/demarzo-completes-four-years-of-wvc-regular-season-perfection/.
Oct. 4-10: Ilana Rosenthal, Wyoming Seminary girls tennis. https://nepasportsnation.com/rosenthal-blanked-wvc-opponents/.
Sept. 27-Oct. 3: Logan Paczewski, Dallas boys golf. https://nepasportsnation.com/paczewskis-eagle-launched-rally/.
Sept. 20-26: Emma Watchilla, Wyoming Seminary field hockey. https://nepasportsnation.com/virginia-commit-has-sem-rolling/.
Sept. 13-19: Krista Jones, Elk Lake girls cross country. https://nepasportsnation.com/jones-runs-alternate-paths-to-success/.
Sept. 6-12: Ron Prislupski, Holy Cross boys soccer. https://nepasportsnation.com/prislupski-doubles-up-on-hat-tricks/.
Aug. 30-Sept. 5: London Montgomery, Scranton Prep football. https://nepasportsnation.com/montgomery-sprints-to-award/.
Aug. 19-29: Chloe Sipe, Elk Lake girls golf. https://nepasportsnation.com/preparation-paid-off-for-sipe/.
OTHER WEEKLY HONOREES
Key Contributors: https://nepasportsnation.com/key-contributors-14/.