Cru­saders clinch play­off berth


Gameface - - LFC PLAYOFF REPORT - By Jim Reeser Sports Ed­i­tor jreeser@cit­i­ 570-821-2065, @CVjim­reeser

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.

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