TAYLOR ‚?? Old Forge has played high school football teams from Taylor 66 times since 1916.
The Blue Devils have never enjoyed a night quite like Friday against their biggest rival.
Brian Tomasetti ran for 223 yards and six touchdowns to lead unbeaten Old Forge to a 54-7 romp over host Riverside.
Riverside entered Friday night with a chance to even the series, dating back through its days as Taylor and Taylor-Moosic, at 31 wins each.
Instead, Old Forge opened the largest margin ever between the two teams.
In the last meeting between the teams, Old Forge rolled to the District 2 championship with a 47-6 blowout that matched a 50-year-old record for largest victory in the series. Old Forge had defeated Taylor-Moosic, 54-13, in 1961.
‚??They just came out and played physical football,‚?Ě Riverside coach Evan Prall said. ‚??They got off the football and made plays.‚?Ě
Tomasetti made many of them. He ran for two touchdowns in each of the first three quarters and intercepted a pass that he returned 52 yards.
‚??The bottom line is our kids answered the call,‚?Ě Old Forge coach Mike Schuback said after the Blue Devils backed up their number-five ranking among Class A teams in the state, according to the Harrisburg Patriot-News.
Old Forge scored on its first four possessions to break away after the Riverside offense also got off to a fast start.
Riverside drove to the Old Forge 23 on the game‚??s first possession before stalling.
Tomasetti then carried five times for 55 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown to lead the Blue Devils down the field.
Riverside came right back to force a 7-7 tie on a 71-yard pass from Nick Dranchak to Nico Munley.
Brenden Wahl‚??s 18-yard pass to Anthony Piccolini gave the Blue Devils a 13-7 lead.
Tomasetti started the process of breaking the game open with his interception on the next play.
‚??I thought we had started out so well,‚?Ě Prall said.
Tomasetti‚??s 3-yard run and two-point conversion made the Old Forge lead 21-7 with 1:50 still remaining in the first quarter.
One play after Wahl found Jake Manetti with a 40-yard pass on second-and-25, Tomasetti produced the first of his two 3-yard touchdown runs in the second quarter.
The Blue Devils added to their 34-7 halftime lead by scoring on the first three possessions of the second half.
Old Forge moved 58 yards in 11 plays following the second-half kickoff. The Blue Devils converted two third-downs before Tomasetti went the final 7 on fourth-and-one.
Tomasetti scored again from 29 yards to push the lead to 47-7 and put the game into the Mercy Rule with 3:37 left in the third quarter.
Brandon Yescavage took over on the next drive, carrying seven straight times, including a 2-yard touchdown with 2:58 left.
Riverside (3-2) will try to bounce back in its Lackawanna Football Conference Division 2 opener at Western Wayne (2-3).
‚?Ę Tomasetti has 20 touchdowns, 124 points and six interceptions on the season.
‚?Ę Old Forge led in first downs, 23-8; rushing yards, 333-108; passing yards, 148-104; total yards, 481-212; and time of possession, 30:12-19:48.
‚?Ę Yescavage ran for 85 yards on 12 carries.
‚?Ę Dave Sweetman led Riverside with 51 yards on nine carries.
‚?Ę Wahl went 7-for-11 for 148 yards. Piccolini caught three passes for 54 yards, Shane Schuback caught two for 50 and Manetti caught two for 44.
‚?Ę Riverside completed just six of 24 passes.
‚?Ę Dranchak was 5-for-21 for 101 yards.
‚?Ę Jim Tucker caught four passes for 30 yards.
‚?Ę Old Forge has scored a District 2-leading 223 points in five games.
‚?Ę Schuback and Tony DeSando led the Old Forge defense. Each had four tackles, including one for a loss, and one assist.
‚?Ę Dranchak had nine tackles and one assist. He also forced a fumble that the Vikings were unable to recover.
‚?Ę Ed Martz had five tackles and six assists and rushed the passer into one incompletion.