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Knights Sports

Scherle guides Scranton to 19-0 victory

Posted Monday, September 11, 2006 by Scott Walsh

The Scranton High senior threw for 217 yards and a touchdown and also ran for a score to lead the Knights to a 19-0 victory over Pittston Area on Friday night at Scranton Memorial Stadium.

"Al Karaffa was a great quarterback. I grew up watching him," Scherle said. "A.J. (Mc-Kenna) was great, too. He helped me out a ton. I'm enjoying picking up where they left off and, at the same time, try to leave my own mark."

Scherle certainly left his mark on Pittston Area. He completed 8 of 18 passes and none covered less than 11 yards. He was intercepted once and was not sacked, eluding the Patriots pass rush on several occasions.

"We didn't know what we were getting after having Al and A.J. for all those years," Scranton coach John Marichak said. "But his decision-making has been excellent. Even last week against Valley West when he didn't have much time, his passes were right on the money."

Scranton (1-1) struck immediately, taking the opening kickoff and covering 81 yards in six plays. The key play was a 55-yard completion from Scherle to Pete Dunford to the Pittston Area 16.

Three plays later, Kawon Shell scored on a 7-yard run, and Luigi Giordano kicked the extra point to give the Knights a 7-0 lead with 9:06 left in the first quarter.

"It was extremely important to score on that first drive," Scherle said. "It built confidence for our offense right off the bat."

In the second quarter, the Knights extended the lead with an eight-play, 62-yard drive.

Scherle hooked up with Mike Weeks for 23 yards on the first play of the drive to the Pittston Area 39. Four running plays, the last of which was a 21-yard gain by Shell, gave the Knights first-and-goal at the Patriots' 1.

Shell was stopped on first down, but Scherle scored on a quarterback sneak on second down. Giordano's kick was blocked and the Knights had a 13-0 lead with 8:30 left in the second quarter.

The margin could have been greater at halftime, as Scranton drove to the Patriots' 12 in the final two minutes of the half. However, the Pittston Area defense stiffened and forced the Knights to turn the ball over on downs.

"You have to give some credit to their defense," Scherle said. "But we definitely have to capitalize. We have to work on getting better at that."

Not that Scranton's lead was ever in jeopardy, thanks to its defense.

Pittston Area managed just 35 yards in the first half and 102 overall. The Knights sacked quarterbacks Broc Hazlet and Craig Champi five times. The Patriots never crossed midfield in the game; their deepest penetration was to their 48.

"We knew we weren't going to win if we didn't play hard D," Scranton senior defensive end Ryan Gilhooley said. "We did a lot of blitzing to stop their running game. Every time they got something going, we pushed them back whether it was a sack or a run for a loss. We just did what had to be done."

Said Pittston Area coach Lon Hazlet: "They just kept bringing the heat. They kept bringing the blitz and we couldn't pick it up.

"I thought our defense played super. But we can't continue to play the way we are offensively and expect our defense to keep us in ball games."

Scranton put the game away with 8:19 left in the fourth quarter when Scherle and Dunford hooked up on a 46-yard scoring strike.

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