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Turn The Page: The Book Closes On Storied Rivalry. @Meyers_Athletic @GARAthletics video recap/gallery

WILKES-BARRE- A new chapter will begin next season for those associated with high school football in the Wyoming Valley. The three high schools associated with the Wilkes-Barre Area School District will become one on the field beginning in 2019/20 fall season. Meyers, from the south end, G.A.R from “The Heights” and Coughlin on the north side will form the Wilkes-Barre Area Wolfpack while the new school in Plains is being built.

On a cold and rainy day on this last Saturday in October the last chapter in the 87 year old rivalry game was played at the famed turf at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium that sits behind the E.L. Meyers High School between G.A.R and Meyers was played. Before a sold-out crowd and several former legandary players such as Qadry “The Missle” Ismail, his brother Raghib “The Rocket” Ismail from Meyers and Greg Skrepenak from G.A.R among others watched as the Meyers Mohawks got the best of G.A.R in this “Final Brawl” by a score of 21-14.

Meyers came into this contest at 6-3 while G.A.R was 1-8, but as they say in these kind of games, you can throw the records out the window. Both teams played with pride, heart and conviction no one wanted to lose this game. After a scoreless first quarter, Meyers got the first points of the contest on a 78 yard jaunt by Darrian Tyson the PAT was blocked however.

Grenadiers quarterback Kam Taylor hooked up with Malachi Williams for a 6 yard score and with the point-after made it a 7-6 game as the teams made it to halftime.

The Mohawks then proceeded to put together a eight play 65 yard drive in the second half culminating in a four yard run by Kevin Dessoye. Meyers then on their next possession strung out an 11 play drive as Nazir Durnell punched it in from two yards out giving Meyers a 21-7 lead with 10:34 left in the contest.

Knowing the situation and the significance of this game, G.A.R dug deep down and produced a drive of their own with Williams scoring again this time on a 8 yard pass with about seven minutes to go making the score 21-14.

Meyers was driving towards the Grenadiers goal line on their possession after the Williams score, but a Mohawk fumble at the G.A.R 30 gave life back to the team from the Heights. However, they could not take advantage of the turnover and were forced to punt back to Meyers with about five and a half minutes left on the clock and the Mohawks starting at their own 25. Meyers kept the ball in Dessoye’s hands as he gained valuable yards and kept the clock and chains moving, his last three yard run gave Meyers another first down and allowed the Mohawks to take a knee as the student section stormed the field one last time as Mohawks. The G.A.R students also joined in and their were hugs and tears and this the longest played rivalry in the Wyoming Valley Conference drew its final curtain.

“We talked about playing for the ghosts of the past.” G.A. R coach Paul Weidrich Jr stated. “These kids left it all out there today. The played 48 minutes, we just came up a bit short.” He concluded.

Meyers coach Jeff Labatch said, “I couldn’t stop looking over at the stands all game. I tried to block it all out it was tough.” We just couldn’t put them away, it’s what you want out of a game like this. I don’t know what the future holds, I just don’t want to leave here, but I am glad we got the last trophy .” He concluded.

The season will continue for both teams in the post-season. G.A.R(1-9) will advance in District 2 3A playoffs as will Meyers(7-3) which means there is a snowballs chance these teams could meet again down the road.

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