Old Forge Blue Devils Welcomed Home as Heroes

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OLD FORGE -- It was a caravan of fire trucks and police vehicles escorting the Blue Devils as they returned home to Old Forge Veterans Memorial Stadium.

As the bus carrying the team pulled into the field, fans cheered from the ground as fireworks exploded from above.

“I love Old Forge, nothing gets better than this, it`s indescribable,” said offensive/defense lineman Joe Bruno.

“It`s a great run, we had a great run all season, just this atmosphere too with all the fans,  we couldn`t ask for a better town, a better community, we just love all of our fans,” said offensive/defense Ryan Paulish.

It was a bitter ending in the PIAA Class-A State Football Finals as Old Forge narrowly succumbed to North Catholic in overtime in Hershey.

This was the first time the Blue Devils have made it to the top game in the playoffs, something both the team and fans were thrilled with.

“Unbelievable, never did it before, so it is what is, one team wins, one team loses, but it`s good to bring the community together, I mean look at it here,” said Jeff Piazza of Old Forge.

Many of the fans made the trek to chocolate town to see their hometown heroes play.

“It was amazing, the town is amazing, the boys are great, win or lose they`ll always be number one for us. They`re a great bunch of guys, and we love them,” said Tori Krappa of Old Forge.

For those who stayed in Old Forge, they watched the game at popular Old Forge eateries, including Salerno`s and Arcaro and Genell`s.

Despite not being able to claim the title of state champs, fans said they`re just proud of how far they went and how well they played.

“It was a great game, these kids played their hearts out, they really did,” said Brian Craig of Avoca.