Lackawanna stymies Salamanca, secures 14-0 quarterfinal shutout

By John Pullano | Special to The Press

Thanks to a potent rushing attack from Amir Douglass, who had 14 carries for 118 yards, and a stingy defense, the Lackawanna football team was able to knock off Salamanca, 14-0, in a Section 6 Class C quarterfinal at Veterans Memorial Park on Friday.

The game started slow, with a scoreless first half that contained a trio of three-and-outs, four punts on nine drives and a pair of interceptions from Salamanca.

Lackawanna finally opened the scoring with 35 seconds remaining in the third quarter, concluding a nine-play drive with William Gechell finding Matt Rodriguez on a fade pass to the right corner of the endzone. A pair of crossing patterns freed up Rodriguez and Gechell found him on the first read.

Salamanca countered with a nine-play drive of its own, reaching the 14-yard line before coughing up the football on the seven.

Lackawanna responded right away, however, driving 93 yards on six run plays topped off with a double reverse play leading to an Ashlin Alexander-Hall touchdown. Hall circled to the left side of the field, weaved through a trio of defenders, cut the middle and strutted into the endzone to put Lackawanna up 14-0. The score came with just three minutes remaining, sucking the last effort out of the Warriors.

“They are a really good team,” Salamanca coach Chad Bartoszek said. “I think they were able to get really creative with the play calling and, honestly, they played really well.

Offensively for the Warriors, they attempted to establish the run early, leaning on Jesse Stahlman for 18 carries in the first half for just 50 yards.

“We are normally able to spread our team and hit Jesse up the middle but, of course, we weren’t able to connect,” Bartoszek said.