NEWTOWN SQUARE >> If there was any doubt Old Forge would be ready to play against Delco Christian in the District 1/2 Class A sub-regional after travelling from the Scranton area, the Blue Devils erased those misgivings early.
The Blue Devils (11-1) used a versatile and potent offensive attack to keep the Knights off-balance and secure a dominating 41-0 victory. Old Forge played and won with old-fashioned toughness and brute force.
The Blue Devils were simply dominant in every aspect of the game. Behind bruising running back Brendan Mozeleski, who became Old Forge’s career rushing leader in the game, the Blue Devils battered the Knights’ defense. Mozeleski tallied 190 yards on 25 carries, while scoring three touchdowns, including a backbreaking 62-yard third-quarter dash that trashed any comeback hopes after halftime that Delco Christian might have had.
“(Old Forge) is as good a team upfront as there is at this level in the state,” Knights coach Drew Pearson said. “They are extremely physical, they are extremely strong and they have great technique.”
When Mozeleski was not hammering Delco Christian, freshman quarterback Dante Lucarelli was using pinpoint accuracy to spread the ball throughout the Delco Christian (7-5) secondary.
Anthony Rios was Lucarelli’s primary target as he hauled in five catches for 85 yards and a touchdown. Lucarelli also hit Brett Wargo with a 19–yard scoring pass and found five different receivers in all during the game.
“They’re a good football team and they had some big boys on the line,” said Knights quarterback/linebacker Luke Gutowski, who had a busy night on both sides of the ball. “They’re a good all-around team. They had size and speed and we prepared all week for it, but they came out and executed well.”
By halftime, Old Forge led 27-0 and there was no looking back for the Blue Devils. It was not the result Pearson wanted, but the Knights were aware of just how explosive the Blue Devils could be.
“We knew what we were facing,” Pearson said. “They are an outstanding Cass A football team. They were able to do what they wanted to do and you have to give them just a ton of credit.”
Delco Christian’s typically strong running game and unconventional offense was bottled up by Old Forge and the Knights could not muster any consistency as the Blue Devils applied constant pressure. Gutowski was the focus of the Blue Devils defense and Old Forge kept the shifty senior bottled up. Gutowski finished with just five yards on 13 carries, which shows how dangerous the Blue Devils defense was in the game.
“We did a good job of bouncing back from last year and the seniors had a goal to win the district championship,” Pearson said. “People don’t understand how hard it is to play Class A football. For our guys to be able to say they were the best Class A program in our area is great for our program. I’m proud of our seniors. Luke Gutowski is as good of a Class A football player as there is in the state. Jalen Mitchell, Tyler VanEerden … just to see those guys not quit and want to be on the field at the end. I’m really proud of all of the seniors.”
To their credit, Gutowski and his Delco Christian teammates did continue to battle the Blue Devils, but could not keep pace with Old Forge, who out-gained Delco Christian 410-99 in total offense. Even with that, the Knights were not too deflated to take a step back and recognize the accomplishments they achieved over the course of the season.
“I’ve been here for two years and this is the best football team I’ve ever played for,” Gutowski said. “Our coaches are amazing. I love everyone one of these players. We won districts and it was a great season.”