Crusaders clinch playoff berth
FLASHBACK TO 1986
Coughlin entered Week 12 of the 1986 season controlling its own destiny.
On the line was a trip to the Eastern Conference Class A playoffs.
In order to earn that berth the Crusaders needed a win over Valley West or, at the least, to tie the Spartans.
“Our season is on the line,” Coughlin coach John Joseph said. “It’s nice to control your own destiny. We don’t have to worry about what other teams are doing.”
To complicate matters, the Spartans have had the Crusaders’ number. Jim Fennell’s Spartans have won four straight games over Coughlin (7-2-1).
“Those games didn’t have any bearing on whether or not we went to the playoffs or won a championship,” Joseph said. “This one certainly does Our kids know it.”
Tunkhannock would be the benefactor of a Coughlin loss. The Tigers would earn
the playoff berth with some help from the Spartans.
Wyoming Area’s playoff chances were a little more complicated. The Warriors entered the week with a shot at earning the EC Class A wildcard berth over Mount Carmel, but needed a lot to happen.
First, the Warriors needed to beat rival Pittston Area. The Warriors also needed at least three three of four teams — Meyers, Dallas, Valley West or Hanover Area— to win.
When the dust settled it as Coughlin (Class A) and GAR (Class B) heading to the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Coughlin earned a date with Williamsport and it second consecutive WVC Division 1 championship thanks to the play of quarterback Dave Olsakowski and fullback Tom O’Donnell.
The Crusaders rallied for a 21-6 win over the Spartans. O’Donnell finished with two rushing touchdowns and Olsakowski had a 29-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
“He was the catalyst to tonight’s victory,” Joseph said of Olsakowski. “He just does things so well out there. He ran the wishbone offense to perfection in the second half. And O’Donnell did a tremendous job when we switched to the wishbone.”
GAR earned a 20-6 win over rival Meyers to clinch the WVC Division 2 title and earn a date with Marian Catholic in the EC Class B semifinals.
“I’m so happy for this team right now,” GAR coach Charlie Fick said. “The backs and the line and the defense played sowell.”
Dave Maharty finished with 23 carries for 239 yards and two scores, while Leroy DeGraffenreid had 133 yards on 23 attempts.
Wyoming Area’s playoff chances were dashed when it fell to rival Pittston Area, 21-6.
Tom Musto threw for 120 yards and ran for a touchdown to lead the Patriots.
In other games
Dallas kept the Old Shoe with a 15-2 win over Lake-Lehman. Scott Francis threw two touchdowns in the win.
Joe Dougherty ran for 104 yards and a touchdownin Bishop Hoban’s 38-6win over Bishop O’Reilly.
Trailing 15-7, Tom Czy-czycki scooped up a fumble and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown as Nanticoke Area salvaged a tie with Hanover Area.