Old Forge advances in PIAA playoffs

Staff reports

SCRANTON – District 2 is down to its final two fall sports teams and, for the second time in three years, the Old Forge Blue Devils football team is one of those still in pursuit of a state title.

Cooper Califano scored three touchdowns and Brendan Mozeleski added what eventually became the game-winning score Friday night when Old Forge defeated Wellsboro, 28-21 in a Class A game at Scranton Memorial Stadium.

The Blue Devils had never won a state football tournament game until 2013 when they advanced all the way to the championship game before losing in overtime.

They are back in the quarterfinals against District 1 champion Wyncote Bishop McDevitt. Bishop McDevitt advanced with a 32-19 victory over Marian Catholic.

Old Forge was protecting a 21-14 lead when Mozeleski intercepted a pass and returned it 30 yards for a score with 2:07 left.

Quinn Henry drove the Hornets down the field and hit Parker Jones with a 10-yard touchdown pass with 49 seconds remaining.

When Old Forge successfully handled the on-side kick, it was able to kneel down and kill the remaining time off the clock.

Califano and quarterback Joey Gutowski led the offense against Friday.

Old Forge broke ties and took the lead three times, once in each of the first three quarters, on scores by Califano. He sandwiched runs of 7 and 22 yards around a 42-yard pass from Gutowski.

Califano finished with 24 carries for 115 yards and four catches for 62 yards. He is over 1,000 yards rushing on the season.

Gutowski, who has passed for more than 1,000 yards, went 9-for-10 for 119 yards.

Old Forge is three wins away from its third title of the season. The Blue Devils (12-1) already won their fifth straight Lackawanna Football Conference Division 3 title and third straight District 2 Class A title. They need three wins for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class A championship.

District 2 teams went 2-2 Friday night.

Dunmore, which played in last year’s state Class AA final, reached the quarterfinals with a 51-29 victory over Notre Dame-Green Pond at Northern Lehigh High School in Slatington.

The Bucks, coached by former Wyoming Area coach Jack Henzes, got five touchdowns and an interception from Garrett Murray.

Saucon Valley defeated Scranton Prep, 42-20, in Class AAA.

Parkland pounded Wyoming Valley West, 63-21, in the District 2-4-11 Class AAAA Subregional.

Staff reports

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.

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