THE AML WINS 2ND ANNUAL FRANK VARISCHETTI ALL-STAR GAME
Written by: Phil Myers on Saturday, July 1st, 2017
The Allegheny Mountain League claimed bragging rights for the second year in a row by pulling away in the second half and beating the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference 38-10 Friday night at Frank Varischetti Field in Brockway. Big, physical, preparation, and coming together as a team were some of the thoughts players and coaches used in noting why the AML dominated as the game wore on.
The AML scored first 4 minutes into the contest when QB and AML Offensive MVP, Hunter Miller, travelled 17 yards to paydirt on a quarterback draw. Jarrett Esposito’s PAT made it 7-0. A few minutes later Kaiden Powers put the KSAC on the board with his all-time longest field goal in a game, a 47 yarder. “I was excited,” stated Powers, “The longest I’ve ever made was from 52 yards, but that was in practice.” By the way, Kaiden is listed as 5’5” and 143 lbs.
On the AML’s next drive they faked a punt from their 48 on a 4th and six situation. Up man Seth Drummond found Mitch Vleminckx for 34 yards setting up an Esposito 32 yard FG that increased the AML lead to 10-3. Following an Austin Labesky fumble recovery in their own territory, the AML went 63 yards in just 5 plays to go up 17-7. Hunter Miller scored his second rushing touchdown, this time going 22 yards.
Kaiden Powers recovered his first of 2 fumbles for the KSAC at the AML 34 with under four minutes left in the half. Moments later, after a Seth Ray to Ty Burford 30 yard pass, Mike Macefe tallied from 2 yards out. Then, Powers’ point after cut the AML lead to 17-10. Macefe was the KSAC Offensive MVP gaining some tough yardage against a very physical AML defense. The AML threatened before the half, but a fumble at the KSAC 15 probably cost them at least 3 points.
Todd Silfies, the head coach for the Allegheny Mountain League, thought the turning point came 35 seconds into half two. That is when Jake Gorham stepped in front of Seth Ray’s out pass and went about 28 yards for a pick six sending his team to a 14 point lead. Pretty much from that moment on, the AML took control and never let up. “Our physicality was a difference,” Silfies observed, “We took that approach all week in practice. Also, we put aside the rivalry thing between the high schools and came together as a team,” he stated.
Andrew Trunzo caught a 36 yard pass from Miller in the third, then Vleminckx had a nice 29 yard scoring jaunt in the fourth to round out the scoring.4
Hunter Miller hit on 11 of 18 passes for 164 yards and rushed for 95 yards on 13 carries to lead the AML. Seth Ray had 213 yards passing for the KSAC.
Powers was the KSAC Defensive MVP with at least 5 tackles and the fumble recoveries. Aaron Wolfinger claimed the AML Defensive Player with nine tackles, a sack, and a couple pass breakups. “I’m surprised I got the award,” he said, “My teammates did their job which allowed me to do mine. We were well prepared and I love everyone on this team!”
Local sponsors put up ten $1,000 scholarships that were announced at half time. The KSAC players who received scholarships were Kyle Patterson, Dana Logue IV, Jared Kespelher, Scott Toth, and Kaiden Powers. AML scholarship winners were Keaton Rounsville, Jared Braun, Aaron Wolfinger, Quade Lundberg, and Grant West. A large crowd was on hand to witness the contest between the two District Nine Leagues. Hats off to all those who made this game possible. It was well run.
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