Coaldale High School marched 87 yards in the final four minutes last evening to upend Kulpmont 12-6 in a thrilling contest played on the losers' gridiron.
The Tigers were an inspired ball club after trailing 6-0 at halftime, roared back to knot the contest in the third quarter, then achieved victory in the final seconds when Don Popik took a lateral from Ed Kassak for the tally.
Coaldale won the toss and elected to receive with Evie Evans returning Bob Domaleski’s kick to the Tigers’ 29 yard stripe. Three plays failed to gain, but on fourth down Kulpmont was detected holding and the Orange and Black had a first down at midfield.
Kassak took a reverse on the next play and stepped back, hitting Larry Trubilla with a perfect toss for 28 yards. Kassak moved for five more but Kulpmont scooped up a fumble on the next play to halt the drive.
With Joe Apichella and Frank Miriello carrying, the Wildcats moved the pigskin to their own 45-yard marker where Richie Duval pounced on the fumble for the Tigers. Another exchange of fumbles occurred before Moe Burns intercepted an aerial to give Coaldale possession at midfield. Joe Terry lost 12 yards on the next play and two passes fell incomplete. Bob Heisler had his punt blocked on his own 35-yard line as the first period came to a close.
Larry Trubilla intercepted an Apichella pass to open the second quarter and when hit, lateraled to Mike Panchura who carried to the Coaldale 43. Panchura and Terry failed to gain and a pass on third down was grounded. A bad pass from center on the punt was fumbled and Kulpmont had a scoring opportunity at Coaldale’s 30. Andy Bubnis picked up three yards and Coaldale was penalized five yards for offsides. On a fourth down and seven situation, with the ball resting on the 16-yard line, Bubnis fired a perfect strike to Miriello for the first score of the game. Miriello attempted an aerial for the extra point but the pass was overthrown and the Wildcats moved into the lead 6-0. The Tigers moved for a pair of first downs as the half came to a close.
TIGERS ROAR BACK
Joe Terry kicked to the 26-yard line to open the second half and the Orange and Black forward wall began to play a better brand of ball.
Three smashes at the line failed and Apichella punted to Kassak at the Tigers’ 36. Mike Danchak handed off to Kassak then took a lateral from the sophomore for eight yards. Terry gained three yards but a fumble in the backfield on third down forced Coaldale to punt to the Kulpmont 29.
Once again the Coaldale forward wall stiffened and when Apichella stepped back to punt, Rich Duval rushed in to block the boot and recover the pigskin on the Kulpmont 31. Kassak lost a couple of yards before scampering to the eight-yard line. Terry bolted off tackle without a hand being laid on him for the score. Jack Evans’ kick for point after touchdown was wide and the game was deadlocked.
A 15-yard penalty put the Wildcats in a hole following Terry’s boot but a quick kick placed the ball at midfield. Terry and Kassak alternated to the 40-yard marker and on a fake punt Terry scampered around right end to the 31-yard line of the host squad. Kassak ripped around end for 14 more yards as the third period came to a halt with the ball resting on Kulpmont’s 17-yard line.
Panchura picked up three but three passes fell incomplete and the Tigers’ hopes began to look mighty dim. Taking the ball on their own 14-yard line the Wildcats made a determined scoring bid on the ground. Running the clock out they moved to the Coaldale 33-yard line before being halted.
Apichella punted with the ball falling dead at the 13-yard line. Kassak moved for two yards as the officials signaled four minutes remaining in the ball game, with the Orange and Black still 85 yards from paydirt.
Kassak carried twice for a pair of eight-yard runs and Popik pulled a quarterback sneak for a first down at the 36. Danchak found Panchura open and nailed him with a perfect aerial good for 23 yards to the Kulpmont 41-yard stripe. Terry gained a yard then Danchak took to the air again and hit Jim Rajnic who moved to the 22-yard line with the clock ticking away.
Kassak moved for three yards and a pass fell incomplete. With the ball resting at the 19-yard marker Popik handed off to Terry, who in turn gave to Kassak. The hard-running sophomore hit off left tackle, moved outside and lateraled back to Popik who streaked the remaining 15 yards for the score.
Kassak’s run for the extra point failed but the Tigers were in command 12-6.
Terry kicked to the 18-yard line and the Wildcats completed a pass to the 26-yard stripe as the game came to an end with the Tigers gaining their fifth win of the 1960 campaign.
Ends Trubilla, R. Miller, Rajnic, Hedash
Tackles Heisler, Donovan, Zwiesdak
Guards W. Evans, Sopko, Duval
Backs Popik, Panchura, Terry, Kassak, Danchak, E. Evans, J. Evans
Ends Donalecki, White, Wydra, Paul
Tackles Marshalek, Dunich, Posca, Padula
Guards Swatski, Fodor, Kalinger
Backs Bubnis, Apichela, Miriello, Matzura, Pollock, Venna, Swatra