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Wild, Wild Mountain: Dallas outlasts Crestwood 42-35

Tagged under: District 2, Game Photos, Gameday Hub, News, pfn

| September 2, 2023


The Dallas Mountaineers came into this one off of a tight 3 point win at Abington Heights last week, while the Crestwood Comets entered this game from a narrow loss at Valley View.  Dallas and Crestwood have faced off several times in the last few years, and while the Comets did win the District 2 4A Championship last season, they did not face Dallas in the playoffs and longed for revenge for their last few losses to the Mountaineers.

Unfortunately, the Comets will have to wait a bit longer to get their revenge.

The Dallas Mountaineers took control in the 4th quarter of a wild game up on top of the mountain, and outlasted the host Crestwood Comets 42-35 on a game that came down to the last play.

Dallas took the opening kickoff and began as they usually do with a mix of runs by RB Dylan Geskey and QB Brady Zapoticky.  After Geskey ripped off a nice 56-yard run down to the Crestwood 21, the Comets got a little bit sloppy with 2 offsides penalties that gave Dallas new life.  Zapoticky capped the drive with a 1-yard TD run that gave the Mountaineers an early 7-0 lead with 8:40 left in the first quarter.

Crestwood would get a nice kick return to near midfield, and then QB Jaden Shedlock had a big 35-yard run to the Dallas 27.  The Comets would stumble however, with a fumbled handoff for a loss and some incomplete passes and would eventually turn the ball over on downs.  They would reverse their fortune quickly though, as DB Colin Lazo intercepted a Zapoticky pass and returned it to the Dallas 19.  A few plays later, the Comets would score when Shedlock hit WR Matthew Sklarosky for a 7-yard TD reception in the back corner of the end zone.  After an offsides penalty by Dallas on the PAT attempt, the Comets decide to go for 2 and converted, and they took the lead 8-7 with 3:05 left in the first quarter.

The next Mountaineer drive started with 3 runs by Geskey totalling 13 yards, but a 2nd interception thrown by Zapoticky gave the Comets the ball at the Dallas 44 yard line.  Shedlock then hit WR Osten Grigas for a nice 21-yard gain, and as the 1st quarter gave way to the 2nd quarter the Comets had a mix of runs by Shedlock and RB James Barrett that drove them down to the 18 yard line of Dallas.  Shedlock would then hit Sklarosky again for an 18-yard catch and run touchdown.  With 10:38 to go before the half, the Comets had a 15-7 lead.

Dallas got a nice kick return to their own 46 by DB Nate Mallarkey, but could do nothing with it afterwards and punted it away.  3 plays later it was Shedlock who broke an 82-yard touchdown run, but Dallas blocked the PAT attempt and with 7:32 before the half it was the Comets leading 21-7.  Dallas had another nice kick return on their next possession to their own 45 yard line, but again they were stymied by the Comet defense and had to punt it away. But, on the 2nd play of Crestwood’s next drive there was a contested ball that ended up as an interception for Dallas which put them at the Comet 18 yard line.  The Comets would stand tall however, and Dallas turned it over 4 plays later on downs at the 10 yard line of Crestwood.  The Comets would drive to the Dallas 39 as the half expired, and they still had the lead at 21-7.

Crestwood took the 2nd half kickoff and would drive to their own 48 before being forced to punt on a 4th and 8.  The Mounts special teams unit made the most of this opportunity, and blocked the punt by Barrett which was recovered by the Comet punter as he was tackled at their own 15 yard line.  This gave Dallas the momentum they were seeking, and after a holding penalty pushed the Mounts back to the 23, it was Zapoticky who broke a tackle and was off for a big 23-yard TD run.  With 9:12 left in the 3rd quarter, Dallas was back in it but still trailed 21-14.

The Comets started their next drive with nice runs by Shedlock and RB Jason Swank.  After a holding penalty on the Comets pushed them back to their own 25 yard line, a great individual effort by Dallas DB Lucas Tirpak resulted in an interception on a deep ball that was returned to the Dallas 40 yard line.  After Zapoticky had a nice 25-yard run, he hit WR Gavin Lewis for a 34-yard touchdown catch and run that tied the game at 21 with 5:26 to go in the 3rd quarter.

Crestwood came roaring back on their next drive, with a 16-yard run by Barrett followed by a Shedlock to Swank 45-yard pass that gave the Comets 1st and goal at the 9 of Dallas.  2 plays later, it was Shedlock with his 2nd TD run of the game, a 7-yard score that gave Crestwood the lead 28-21 with 3:56 left in the 3rd.  Dallas and Crestwood then traded possessions, and Dallas took over on their own 24.  The Mounts appeared to be in trouble until Zapoticky hit Paczewski for a big 3rd down conversion of 21 yards to the Dallas 45 as time expired in the 3rd quarter.

In the 4th, Dallas continued their drive, and 6 plays later it was Paczewski with a screen pass that turned into a 21-yard touchdown.  Dallas had tied the game at 28 with 10:15 to go.  On the next Comet drive, the Dallas defense had a big stop on 3rd down as they sacked Shedlock for a loss and forced another punt.  Paczewski had a nice punt-return to the Dallas 37, and after a 5-yard penalty on the Comets it would be Zapoticky hitting Paczewski for a 58-yard TD catch that gave Dallas the lead 35-28 with 5:58 left in the game.

Crestwood had a very determined drive thereafter as Shedlock ended up running for 6 of the 8 plays and gained 71 yards himself, the last of which was a 2-yard scamper that tied the game again at 35 with 3:11 to go.  Dallas would strike very quickly however, as another Zapoticky to Paczewski screen pass on 1st down turned into an 80-yard touchdown right down the Crestwood sideline to put the Mounts up 42-35 with 2:53 to go in the game.

The Comets then took their shot, and had a 10-play drive which got them down to the Dallas 35.  With only 6-tenths of a second on the clock, Shedlock threw towards the right side of the end zone and was intercepted by Paczewski at the 1-yard line to seal the win for Dallas.

Paczewski ended the night with 4 catches for 180 yards and 3 touchdowns, and spoke about the difference in the 2nd half: “We just came out, got a very good connection…we’re very tight…and we just knew we were going to have to come out here and get the job done.”

Dallas will host the Williamsport Millionaires next week, while Crestwood will go on the road to face the Wyoming Area Warriors.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery from this game by Sherryl Samuel:  https://pafootballnews.com/pfn/dallas-mountaineers-at-crestwood-comets-photo-gallery/

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