PALMYRA TWP. — Michael Pusateri had a big game on both sides of the ball and Abington Heights used a powerful rushing game to fight past the Wallenpaupack, 16-7, in a Lackawanna Football Conference Division I game.
The Comets (3-7) earned the No. 8 seed in the District 2 Class 4A playoffs and will face top-seeded Dallas (10-0) in Friday's quarterfinals.
Pusateri made five tackles for no gain or a loss for a Comets defense that held Wallenpaupack to just 106 yards on 28 rushing attempts.
Offensively, he was the thunder to Julian Blanco's lightning in the Abington Heights backfield. Pusateri ran for 96 yards on 16 carries, almost exclusively up the middle directly through the heart of the Buckhorns defense.
"He's resilient, relentless and plays with great energy," Comets head coach Joe Repshis said. "He's a great leader for us on both sides of the football. He has a nose for the football."
That helped open things up for Blanco, who carried 21 times for 165 yards and a score. The Comets finished with 279 yards and two scores on 46 rushes.
Wallenpaupack looked like the team that would feature the dominant run game at the start, marching 65 yards on nine plays on the game's first possession. Shadrak Agyei scored from 10 yards out, giving him 59 yards on six carries during the drive.
The Comets stuffed Agyei the rest of the night, however, allowing him to gain just 24 more yards on 10 carries the rest of the way. Wallenpaupack managed just 106 yards on 28 carries.
Abington Heights got on the board with a safety late in the first quarter when a punt snap by the Buckhorns sailed into the end zone where the punter fell on it. The Comets then went
54 yards with the ensuing possession, finishing with quarterback Robby Horvath's nine-yard touchdown run for a 9-7 lead.
Abington Heights then took the second-half kickoff and put together a nine-play drive that was capped by Blanco's five-yard score. His 47-yard scamper on third-and-10 from the Buckhorns 31 was the key play of the drive.
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