The Old Forge Blue Devils set themselves up for one more challenge within the District 2 Class A football playoff race by manhandling visiting Montrose, 49-7, Friday night, Oct. 5, in their Lackawanna Football Conference Division 3 opener.
Old Forge has already beaten fellow state-ranked team Dunmore, one of two teams that share the second spot in the district playoff points standings behind the Blue Devils. It will meet the other Friday night when it travels to Lackawanna Trail.
"We're all looking forward to playing in another playoff atmosphere up there at Tunnel Hill," Old Forge coach Mike Schuback said in a telephone interview.
Lackawanna Trail is the last team on the Old Forge regular-season schedule that has a winning record. Although three more weeks will still remain, the game will likely determine if Old Forge can successfully defend its LFC Division 3 title.
"They kind of held our offense in check last season," Schuback said.
Old Forge ripped Lackawanna Trail, 37-6, in the regular season, but needed a fourth-quarter touchdown to pull out a 10-7 victory in the semifinals on the way to its District 2 Class A title.
Lackawanna Trail bounced back from its only loss of this season to defeat Carbondale, 27-7, in its division opener Friday.
Old Forge had no trouble with Montrose, which has suffered 34 straight losses. The win was the 11th straight in the regular season.
The Blue Devils opened a 42-0 halftime lead and added to it by scoring on the first possession of the second half.
Brenden Wahl ran for two touchdowns and passed for another while engineering Old Forge's offense, which leads District 2 with 272 points (a 45.3 average).
Brian Tomasetti added 175 yards and two touchdowns rushing.
Old Forge opened a 28-0 lead in the first quarter.
Wahl scored on his first touchdown run then found Michael Vieira for a 42-yard touchdown pass. Wahl finished 5-for-8 passing for 85 yards.
Tomasetti then scored on runs of 10 and 38 yards.
Wahl added another touchdown run in the second quarter before linebacker Shane Schuback returned an interception 40 yards for the 42-0 advantage.
Schuback, the coach's son, led the defense. He also made seven tackles, including two for losses. On offense, he caught a pair of passes.
The big lead allowed Old Forge to work on its power running game in a methodical drive to open the second half, which was played under the Mercy Rule.
Tyler Salerno took over for Tomasetti during the drive and the first-year senior capped the scoring on Parents Night with a short touchdown run.
"He's a kid who works hard and plays every position on the scout team," said coach Schuback, who said he was encouraged by Salerno's senior teammates to give him a shot at the score.
Matt Mancuso made all seven extra-point kicks for the Blue Devils.
Montrose broke the shutout in the fourth quarter.