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Berwick starts Playoffs strong with win over North Pocono

Tagged under: District 2, Gameday Hub, News, Playoffs

| November 4, 2022

 

After 10 weeks that, as always, went by so quickly, we enter the PIAA playoffs. The thrill of the playoffs is knowing when walking into the stadium one team’s season will be ended, and the other’s will live another week. Of course, that was the case tonight at historic Crispin Field.

On the Visiting North Pocono side, the roller-coaster of a regular season came to a close at a mediocre 4-6. This season had the highs, close wins to Wyoming Valley West and Western Wayne to get them to start out at 2-0. And eventually the lows, losing by 30+ in 5 of their last 8. The 4-6 record brought them the #5 seed in the PIAA district 2 4A playoffs, in a matchup against #4 Berwick.

Likewise to North Pocono, the Dawgs recapped their season at a somewhat disappointing 4-6. Berwick had gotten blown out the previous three weeks to solid teams like Crestwood, Danville and Hazleton. In two of those three games, the offense failed to score any points.

But what makes the playoffs so great, is that whatever you did in the regular season does not matter. A clean slate has been drawn and any team can win on any week. In the District 2 4A playoffs, this optimism to the underdogs was not taken well as all 4 of the favored teams won by more than 10 points.

So the stage is set, two 4 win teams looking to keep fighting and keep their dreams of a District title alive. On a beautiful 65 degree night at Crispin field, we were ready to play some Pennsylvania playoff high school football. When Berwick kicker Luke Peters put toe to leather, the playoffs at Crispin was officially underway.

Berwick’s Special Teams did not need to ease their way into the playoffs, on the opening kick, a North Pocono return man muffed the punt and the Bulldogs recovered giving them instant an instant goal to go opportunity. As what has turned into a trend for home games, Quarterback Matthew Lonczynski used his legs and big frame to power it in for 6. By the time just 60 seconds had passed, Berwick led 7-0.

Yet another special teams mishap for the North Pocono trojans, as this time a punt was badly snapped and once again Berwick got the ball into the redzone instantly. This time, Lonczynski used the air attack and found TE Rowan Slabinski for 6. By the time Luke Peters put the pigskin through the goal post, it was 14-0 Dawgs just 5 minutes in.

Defenses on both sides stiffened up and both teams walked into the locker room with the score remaining the same, 14-0. At this time word had gotten around that Crestwood was leading by over 50. So for both teams it was clear, win tonight and have a date with Crestwood next Friday night.

It is tough to put away a team that is fighting for their season, and it was tough to slay the Trojans in the 2nd half. Lonczynski fired a pass to a North Pocono defender and he took it the distance. The extra point doinked off the crossbar and our score was 14-6. Things got a little feisty after that.

As expected for a playoff atmosphere, the fans had an impact. After every “bad” call the fans at Crispin would let the refs know about. Things also got interesting on the field, multiple penalties after plays for unnecessary actions. And when QB Matthew Lonczynski had his helmet ripped off and no penalty was called, the boo birds from the fans at Crispin really started to pile on. It looked like we were headed towards a team brawl, but both teams kept their cool and the series of scuffles was put aside.

Spencer Kishbaugh took a catch down the sideline for 6, and Berwick got it back to a 2 score game. The Trojans came marching back though, the pass game started to connect. This TD and successful 2PT Conversion made it a 7 point game with just 5 minutes remaining in the 4th.

North Pocono would not find the Endzone again , but Bo Sheptock did. The icing on the cake was this scamper from Bo Sheptock to make it a 28-14 game, it would stay that score to the final buzzer.

So for the North Pocono Trojans, the final record will read 4-7 and a first round exit in the PIAA Playoffs.

For Berwick, they get to 5-6 and the hopes still alive next week in the PIAA Playoffs.

What’s next for Mason? I will be in Crestwood for the PIAA District 2 4A Semifinals, be sure to follow me @Mason_PFN on twitter for Updates for that game.

BERWICK NEXT WEEK @ Crestwood 11/11 7PM 

BERWICK GOOD BAD UGLY

GOOD: Special teams play

Bad: Very few offensive plays

Ugly: Drives stalled out too many times

NORTH POCONO GOOD BAD UGLY 

GOOD: Second half pass game

BAD: Running game

UGLY: Special Teams Play

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