On This Date: UNICO All-Star Football Game got a little heated in 2002

East quarterback Chris Barnic is sacked by the West’s Gaise Lacek, left, and Shawn Bella during the 2002 UNICO All-Star Football Game at Spartan Stadium in Kingston.
                                 Times Leader file photo

			
				                                East quarterback Chris Barnic is sacked by the West’s Gaise Lacek, left, and Shawn Bella during the 2002 UNICO All-Star Football Game at Spartan Stadium in Kingston.
                                 Times Leader file photo

East quarterback Chris Barnic is sacked by the West’s Gaise Lacek, left, and Shawn Bella during the 2002 UNICO All-Star Football Game at Spartan Stadium in Kingston.

Times Leader file photo

The annual UNICO All-Star Football Game started with a bang in 2002 and ended up with a brawl in the fourth quarter.

The East defeated the West 28-21 at Spartan Stadium in Kingston, holding off a late West rally attempt.

The East scored on the opening kickoff when GAR’s Andrew Jefferson scored on a 90-yard return. Jefferson later turned a short pass from Pittston Area’s Chris Barnic into a 44-yard touchdown. Barnic also hooked up with high school teammate Tim Cotter for a 70-yard touchdown.

Things were going along somewhat well until the fourth quarter when there was a bench-clearing brawl as well as six ejections.

The brawl, the second in two years, happened with 7:19 left in the fourth quarter. The West’s Grant Marshman, of Berwick, took exception to being hit well after an incomplete pass where he was the intended target. He retaliated and players rushed the field, starting a punching and pushing melee.

Four players were ejected. Two more got the heave-ho on the next play.

“I had no chance at the ball … and three seconds later the kid comes up and hits me in the back,” Marshman said. “I guess I fought back. I guess my emotions took over. I’m going to stick up for myself.”

When order was restored, the West cut the deficit to 28-21 when Dallas’ Chuck Suppon threw a 35-yard TD pass to Wyoming Area’s Andy Castanaro with 1:25 remaining. The onside kick failed and the East ran out the clock.

This year’s game was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The only other cancellation came in 1972 because of the Agnes Flood.

1929

Coughlin graduate John Weis landed a starting spot on the University of Pennsylvania rowing team when a teammate suffered heat exhaustion at the river regatta on the Hudson River.

Dental issues, though, seemed to be more of a problem, as one team lost a rower to a tooth extraction and another lost a rower to a tooth infection.

1965

Art Brunn and Chet Woodring won the better-ball tournament at the Berwick Country Club. They defeated Ed and Bob Gonsky, 5-4.

1971

Walter Markowski Sr. and Edward Markowski combined to shoot a 4-under 61 to win the father-son, member-guest golf tournament at Hollenback Park.

1972

Dave Detweiler threw a two-hitter and struck out five as White Haven defeated Wright Township 4-2 to win the first-half title in the Mountain Top Teener League.

Bill Flanagan had a double and single for White Haven. Ellery Powell and Chris Day had two hits each.

Jerry Petrosky had both hits for Wright Township.

1985

The Wyoming Valley Hearts landed a spot in the Continental Basketball Association for the 1985-86 season. The team played in the Pro-East Basketball League the previous season.

As part of the agreement with the CBA, the Hearts were required to turn over 8% of home gate receipts to the league and another 17% to the opposing team to defray travel expenses.

The CBA would provide the Hearts with four players and an NBA affiliate. The CBA was the equivalent to the current G-League.

1994

John Wiancek, of Dupont, bowled a 300 in his fourth game at the Wyoming Valley PBA Senior Open at Stanton Lanes. It was Wiancek’s third 300 game in 30 years of bowling.

2001

Michael Duricky, part of a local management team trying to land an Arenafootball2 team, remained optimistic despite Wilkes-Barre being passed over in the recent round of expansion. The league award franchises to Albany, N.Y.; Mobile, Ala.; and Bakersfield, Calif.

Duricky expected Wilkes-Barre to be added when more new teams are announced.

2001

Congressmen Don Sherwood (R-Tunkhannock) and Paul Kanjorski (D-Nanticoke) were working on acquiring $2 million to help fund a new interchange off Interstate 80 specifically to handle traffic for Pocono Raceway.

The new interchange would be built one-half mile from Interstate 80 off Stoney Hollow Road, which leads to the infield tunnel entrance and outside parking area.

Latest posts