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"It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference." - Bear Bryant  
2017 Results and Game Summaries  
Date & Time Opponent(s) Result Game Summary Press Photos

    08/25/17 7:00 PM

@ Wallenpaupack Area

W 7-3 Here TL - CV - TT Golden

    09/01/17 7:00 PM

@ Crestwood

L 21-18 Here TL - CV - NEPA - Golden

    09/08/17 7:00 PM

vs Berwick Area

L 17-14 Here TL - CV- WNEP Golden - Jaworski

    09/16/17 7:00 PM (Sat.)

@ COUGHLIN

L 17-14 Here TL-CV-WNEP Golden

    09/23/17 1:30 PM (Sat.)

@ Scranton Prep

L 24-0 Here TL - CV - WNEP - TT  

    09/29/17 7:00 PM

vs HANOVER AREA

W 54-14 Here CV- DIS Golden

    10/07/17 7:00 PM (Sat.)

@ GAR

W 44-7 Here TL - TT Jaworski--Golden

    10/13/17 7:00 PM

vs Dallas

L 21-20 (OT) Here TL - CV - WNEP  

    10/20/17 7:00 PM

vs Williamsport Area

       

    10/27/17 7:00 PM

vs Pittston Area

       

 

 
Oct 13, 2017: Week 8 - WARRIORS FALL TO DALLAS IN OT 21-20  

TIMES LEADER

WEST PITTSTON — Dallas’ Christian Motley is often the shortest player on the field on Friday nights. But he often plays like the smartest as well.
So when Wyoming Area’s best receiver went in motion on a two-point conversion try in overtime, the 5-foot-5 junior knew what was coming.
More importantly, he stopped it.
Motley broke up the two-point pass as Dallas held on for a 21-20 overtime victory in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 4A game.
Dallas improved to 6-2 with its second consecutive one-point victory. Wyoming Area fell to 3-5, losing for a fourth time by three points or less.
Dallas got the first crack to snap the 14-14 tie and found the end zone on its second play. Fullback Bradley Adams slipped out of the backfield and quarterback Mike Starbuck tossed a 7-yard TD pass to him a split second before being hammered by Wyoming Area defensive end Cameron Carr.
David Schuster, pressed into kicking duties with Nate Maransky hurt, converted the extra point for a 21-14 lead.
Wyoming Area then used three rushes, the final a 1-yard plunge by Donovan O’Boyle, to move within 21-20. The Warriors decided to go for two points. Receiver Marc Minichello went in motion right — to Motley’s side of the field — and quarterback Dominic DeLuca rolled that way.
With a defensive lineman on his heels, DeLuca had no option other than to force the ball to Minichello. Motley had him blanketed and the throw had no chance of success.
“I saw Minichello come in motion and go to the flat,” Motley said. “I knew he’s their number one guy and the play is most likely going to him.”
The decision to go for a two-point conversion came down to several factors.
“(Kicker) F.J. (Braccini) was available but hurt a little bit,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “Again, we’re at home and with the momentum. We thought we’d get the look we wanted with play. We got it, we just didn’t get it.”
The outcome was the reversal of last year’s District 2 Class 4A quarterfinal game where Wyoming Area stopped a Dallas two-point try with 19.6 seconds left for a 13-12 victory.
Motley also had an interception — his fifth of the season — in the third quarter and one play after Wyoming Area had a 21-yard TD run by O’Boyle wiped out by a holding penalty.
“He might be the shortest guy out there,” Dallas coach Rich Mannello said, “but he’s one of the toughest and one of the toughest-minded kids that I’ve seen.”
Dallas took a 14-0 lead thanks to two long runs by Starbuck. The first covered 50 yards on the game’s fifth play of the game. The other went 60 yards and set up running back Danny Meuser for a score from the 2-yard line. Starbuck had 135 yards rushing at halftime, but finished with 109 as the Warriors ended the bursts up the gut.
After that, the Mountaineers drove to the Wyoming Area 32, 27 and 25 yard line only to come up empty.
“That’s three times inside the 30 without points, and you can’t have that,” Mannello said.
Wyoming Area came back to move within 14-7 by halftime. DeLuca used a series of short to medium throws to move the Warriors down the field before hitting Steve Yordy for a 32-yard gain down the left sideline. Yordy tightroped the sideline before stepping out at the Dallas 1.
Two plays later, DeLuca threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Shane Eslick, who was wide open in the right part of the end zone.
DeLuca and Yordy hooked up on a 20-yard TD pass early in the fourth, as Wyoming Area tied the score 14-14.
Dallas 21, Wyoming Area 20 OT
Dallas`7`7`0`0`7`—`21
Wyo. Area`0`7`7`0`6`—`20
First quarter
DAL — Mike Starbuck 50 run (David Schuster kick), 10:01
Second quarter
DAL — Danny Meuser 2 run (Schuster kick), 10:43
WA — Shane Eslick 3 pass from Dominic DeLuca (FJ Braccini kick), 6:45
Fourth quarter
WA — Steve Yordy 20 pass from DeLuca (Braccini kick), 10:09
Overtime
DAL — Bradley Adams 7 pass from Starbuck (Schuster kick)
WA — Donovan O’Boyle 1 run (pass failed)
Team statistics`DAL`WA
First downs`12`12
Rushes-yards`38-228`36-103
Passing yards`43`174
Total yards`271`277
Passing`4-12-0`15-23-2
Sacked-yards lost`3-23`0-0
Punts-avg.`6-38`4-34
Fumbles-lost`1-0`2-0
Penalties-yards`5-50`10-91
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING — Dallas, Lenny Kelley 8-34, Meuser 17-63, Starbuck 11-109, Matt Maransky 2-24. Wyo. Area, Justin Joseph 8-15, Charlie Banashefski 4-10, DeLuca 13-49, Marc Minichello 2-(minus-2), O’Boyle 8-32, team 1-(minus 1).
PASSING — Dallas, Starbuck 4-12-0-43. Wyo. Area, DeLuca 14-21-2-168, Robbie Trottini 0-1-0-0, Minichello 1-1-0-6.
RECEIVING — Dallas, Adams 3-35, Kelley 1-8. Wyo. Area, Brian Williams 3-49, Minichello 7-59, Banashefski 1-6, Yordy 2-52, Eslick 1-3, DeLuca 1-6.
INTERCEPTIONS — Christian Motley 1-2, Adams 1-1.
MISSED FGs — none.

CITIZENS VOICE

WEST PITTSTON — Trailing Dallas by 1 point in overtime after a Donovan O’Boyle 1-yard touchdown run, the Wyoming Area coaching staff had a crucial decision to make.
The Warriors could kick the extra point and send their defense on the field with the hope of holding the Dallas offense for one more possession, or go for two and potentially win the game.
The Warriors chose the latter and the Mountaineer defense stepped up to the challenge.
Quarterback Dominic DeLuca looked toward receiver Marc Minichello in the right corner of the end zone but delivered the ball a bit late, giving the Dallas defender time to recover and deflect the pass and securing the 21-20 victory for the Mountaineers at Jake Sobeski Stadium.
“Hats off to Wyoming area and their staff,” Mountaineers head coach Rich Mannello said. “Great call on their part — there’s no second guessing there. That’s the way to do it.”
Dallas quarterback Michael Starbuck provided a spark offensively for the team in the first half.
Coming into the contest the signal-caller had just 59 yards rushing on the season.
Starbuck eclipsed that mark on just two plays, ripping off runs of 50 and 60 yards including one for a touchdown on Dallas’ opening four-play, 1:59 drive.
The 60-yarder set up a Danny Meuser 2-yard score to give Dallas a 14-0 advantage early in the second quarter.
The Warriors trimmed the lead to 14-7 about midway through the second quarter when DeLuca connected with receiver Shane Eslick on a four yard pitch and catch.
DeLuca spread the ball around to six different receivers in the first half, finding Marc Minichello six times for 35 yards in the half.
“I don’t know if we ever really stopped (DeLuca and the receivers),” Mannello said. “Across the board there’s going to be a lot to improve on here.”
The score would remain the same until late in the fourth quarter when DeLuca found tight end Steven Yordy for a 20-yard touchdown.
Dallas scored on its lone overtime possession on a 7-yard pass from Starbuck to fullback Bradley Adams, and the defense held its ground on Wyoming Area’s attempt to win the game.
Contact the writer:
sports@citizensvocie.com

 
Oct 7, 2017: Week 7: Warriors Handle GAR 44-7  

TIMES LEADER

WILKES-BARRE — With a tough three-game stretch ahead, Wyoming Area could have easily looked past winless GAR on Saturday night.
The Warriors didn’t, scoring on their first three possessions on the way to a 44-7 rout of the Grenadiers in a Wyoming Valley Conference interdivisional game.
Wyoming Area improved to 3-4 as it heads into a three-game homestand with Dallas (5-2), Williamsport (5-2) and cross-river rival Pittston Area (3-4) to conclude the regular season. The Warriors were able to straighten out some offensive issues over the past two games against a pair of winless teams — Hanover Area and GAR.
“I think it was critical for us to come in and execute and build on some of the plays we were able to make last week,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “I think it was important to build that confidence with the players who have that playmaking potential. Not to just do it last week, but do it again this week.”
Mission achieved.
A perfectly-run screen pass to Shane Eslick — where linemen Damon Barhight, Cameron Carr and Stephen Sokach-Minnick all had key blocks — resulted in a 38-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-2 play at 7:24 of the first quarter.
Carr recorded a safety later in the quarter when GAR running back Anthony Blake couldn’t escape the end zone after a botched handoff exchange. Quarterback Dominic DeLuca hit receiver Marc Minichello in stride down the middle with TD passes of 28 and 30 yards to bump the lead to 23-0 less than a minute into the second quarter.
Running back Justin Joseph closed out the first-half scoring with a 1-yard run, giving Wyoming Area a 30-0 lead going into the locker room.
Wyoming Area reached the 35-point mercy rule on its first possession of the second half on a 10-yard run by Donovan O’Boyle. The Warriors had a second-and-32 on the drive, but a 10-yard scramble by DeLuca and a 25-yard pass to Brian Williams.
GAR (0-7) had four turnovers and 16 yards of offense in the first half. The Grenadiers finished with 82 yards, but 65 of them came on a late scoring drive capped by Christian Hernandez’s 9-yard TD run.
“We didn’t come off the bus ready to play again,” GAR coach Paul Wiedlich Jr. said. “What is this now, seven consecutive weeks?”

Wyoming Area 44, GAR 7
Wyoming Area`16`14`7`7`—`44
GAR`0`0`0`7`—`7
First quarter
WA — Shane Eslick 38 pass from Dominic DeLuca (FJ Braccini kick), 7:24
WA — Safety, Cameron Carr tackles Anthony Blake in end zone, 2:10
WA — Marc Minichello 28 pass from DeLuca (Braccini kick), 0:47
Second quarter
WA — Minichello 30 pass from DeLuca (Braccini kick), 11:31
WA — Justin Joseph 1 run (Braccini kick), 1:44
Third quarter
WA — Donovan O’Boyle 10 run (Braccini kick), 8:23
Fourth quarter
WA — Blaise Ciampi 1 run (Josh Cumbo kick), 10:04
GAR — Christian Hernandez 9 run (Jose Amigon kick), 5:56
Team statistics`WA`GAR
First downs`21`9
Rushes-yards`43-251`26-67
Passing yards`152`15
Total yards`403`82
Passing`6-10-0`3-9-2
Sacked-yards lost`1-1`1-1
Punts-avg.`0-0`4-25
Fumbles-lost`3-2`5-2
Penalties-yards`4-45`4-33
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING — WA, O’Boyle 11-80, Joseph 8-57, Minichello 1-0, DeLuca 5-19, Robbie Trottini 1-(minus-4), Zajquay Williamson 7-44, Jake Williams 1-(minus-1), Ciampi 3-42, Anthony Scalzo 4-16, team 2-(minus-2). GAR, Ron Peguero 9-35, Tyrone Qualls 6-3, Blake 9-13, Hernandez 2-16.
PASSING — WA, DeLuca 6-9-0-143, J.Williams 1-1-0-9. GAR, Preguero 3-8-1-15, Qualls 0-1-1-0.
RECEIVING — WA, Eslick 1-38, Minichello 2-58, Steve Yordy 1-12, Trottini 1-10, Brian Williams 1-25, Jake Busch 1-9. GAR, Malachai Williams 2-15, Blake 1-0.
INTERCEPTIONS — Corey Mruk 1-27, Williamson 1-20.
MISSED FGs — none
.

 
September 29, 2017: Week 6: Warriors Defeat Hanover Area 54-14  

CITIZENS VOICE

WEST PITTSTON — Heading into their game against Hanover Area, the Wyoming Area Warriors wanted to be a balanced football team.
That was very evident as the Warriors rushed for 309 yards and passed for 226 yards in a 54-14 victory over the Hanover Area at Sobeski Memorial Stadium.
“We finally showed some consistency on offense,” coach Randy Spencer said. “We need to build off of this the rest of the season.”
With the ball resting on the 11-yard line, the Warriors went on a seven-play, 89-yard drive all on the ground.
The key play in the drive was Darren Rodney’s 34-yard jaunt to give Wyoming Area the ball on the Hanover Area 12.
From there it was Justin Joseph taking a handoff and rumbling untouched 12 yards up the middle for the score.
Wyoming Area then forced a Hawkeye punt.
Dominic DeLuca, who finished with 214 yards passing and four touchdowns, hit Robbie Trottini with a swing pass to the right, Trottini cut to his left and raced 42 yards for the score.
Following another Hanover Area punt, the Warriors needed just five plays to cover 83 yards.
DeLuca hit Steven Yordy with a 35-yard pass to keep the drive alive.
Charlie Banashefski then took a handoff and jaunted 11 yards for the Wyoming Area score.
On their next possession, the Warriors covered 89 yards. On a fourth-down play DeLuca hit a wide-open Shane Eslick with a 41-yard scoring strike.
With the ball resting at midfield the Warriors went on an eight-play drive.
Donovan O’Boyle sprinted 11 yards off tackle for the final Wyoming Area score of the first half.
In the second half, a streaking Marc Anthony Minichello hauled in a 58-yard pass from DeLuca.
The Warriors’ Jesse Cegelka blocked a Hanover Area punt. DeLuca hit Yordy with a 9-yard fade pass for the TD.
Hanover Area was finally able to get it’s offense on track when David Fedorczyk scampered 39 yards for the touchdown.
The Hawkeyes’ second score came on Fedorczyk’s 40-yard touchdown run.
Fedorczyk led the way for the Hawkeyes, gaining 154 yards on the ground and two scores.
“David was a bright spot for us tonight,” Hanover Area head coach Mike McCree said.

SUNDAY DISPATCH

Wyoming Area quarterback Dominic DeLuca, shown here in a game against Berwick earlier this season, found four different receivers in the end zone Friday night against Hanover.
WEST PITTSTON – Wyoming Area found the right place to celebrate Senior Night – in the end zone.
Eight different players, seven of them seniors, scored touchdowns Friday night when the Warriors ran away early in a 54-14 romp over the winless visitors from Hanover Area.
“It’s always nice when you have a game like Senior Night if you can spread the ball around a bit and get as many guys as you can a touch,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “But, it’s more about what the kids have potential to do.
“We’ve got guys with playmaking ability, besides some of the guys they’re paying attention to.”
The Warriors had 11 players combine for 314 yards rushing and six receivers combine for 10 catches and another 227 yards.
It was a breakthrough performance for an offense that has struggled to finish drives at times during a four-game losing streak that included three straight three-point defeats.
“The kids have been playing hard,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “We just struggled with some consistency offensively.
“Tonight, we were able to correct some of that.”
Sophomore Charlie Banashefski joined the seniors in finding the end zone when he ran 11 yards for a second-quarter score on his only carry.
Dominic DeLuca, another sophomore, sent four teammates to the end zone on the other end of his passes. DeLuca hit nine of 12 attempts for 215 yards and four touchdowns while also picking up 44 yards on three carries.
DeLuca had touchdown passes of 42 yards to Robbie Trottini in the first quarter and 41 yards to Shane Eslick in the second. He added a 58-yarder to Marc Anthony Menichello and a 9-yarder to Steven Yordy in the first 4:44 of the second half, completing a stretch of seven straight scoring drives in less than 20 minutes for a 48-0 lead.
Fullback Justin Joseph had a team-high 71 yards on six carries and opened the scoring on a 12-yard run in the first quarter.
Donovan O’Boyle had an 8-yard touchdown run in the last minute of the first half for a 34-0 lead.
Blaise Ciampi ran 2 yards for a score with 12 seconds left. The Warriors then took a knee rather than adding any more points on the conversion.
NUMBERS GAME: Wyoming Area finished with statistical leads of 23-10 in first downs, 314-126 in rushing yards, 227-81 in passing yards and 541-207 in total offense. … The Warriors had at least six yards on 17 of 20 first-half runs while outgaining the Hawkeyes, 370-53. … Darren Rodney ran six times for 54 yards to join Joseph and DeLuca as the leaders of a ground game that also got between 27 and 24 yards from Minichello, Ciampi, O’Boyle, Jacob Williams and Anthony Scalzo. … Minichello (76 yards) and Yordy (49 yards) each had three catches. … Hanover Area had just 10 rushing yards in the first half, but David Fedorczyk ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns in the second half to finish with 138 yards on 15 carries. … Dimitri DePietro led the Wyoming Area defense with three tackles, five assists and a fumble recovery. … Eslick had two sacks while Cameron Carr also had two tackles for losses.

 
September 23, 2017: Week 5: Warriors Lose to Scranton Prep 24-0  

TIMES LEADER

SCRANTON — Wyoming Area’s offense hasn’t been able to generate any consistency this season. And a sweltering Saturday afternoon at Scranton Memorial Stadium certainly wasn’t going to be the place to find it.
Instead, unbeaten Scranton Prep posted its fourth shutout of the season, defeating Wyoming Area 24-0 and keeping the Warriors off the scoreboard for the first time in their last 97 games.
“To be honest, we don’t worry about the shutouts and all that stuff,” Prep coach Terry Gallagher said. “We expect those guys to learn from the guys who played the positions in the past and to be disciplined, play fast, play smart and get to the football.”
Prep (5-0) checked all those boxes Saturday as Wyoming Area was shut out for the first time since a 39-0 loss to GAR in Week 5 of the 2008 season.
Wyoming Area (1-4) entered the game off three consecutive three-point losses where the offense produced just 15 second-half points. The running game was averaging 3.2 yards per carry and that stat was reduced as the Warriors rushed 19 times for 19 yards, with a run in the third quarter by quarterback Dominic Deluca accounting for 16 of them.
Delucca’s carry at 11:07 of the third quarter also gave Wyoming Area its first trip inside Prep territory. The drive, though, died on downs at the Prep 31-yard line. The Warriors never got closer than that to the end zone the rest of the game.
“That’s our focus offensively. We have to get some consistency running the ball, throwing the ball,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “We did some good things, we created some plays, we had some opportunities. But you can’t have a positive play followed by a negative play.”
Defensively, Wyoming Area played reasonably well. Prep standout running back Matt Gilmartin had 108 yards rushing, but 48 of them came on a TD run on a fourth-and-one play to begin the second quarter. Gilmartin’s other 23 carries averaged 2.6 yards. He had just 26 yards on 10 rushes in the second half.
“I think our defense is what’s supported us through the first five games,” Spencer said. “We’ve played very, very well defensively, and it’s put us in situations to possibly win games. I think we did a similar job today. But like you said, it was a couple big plays and that comes at times having to play aggressively.”
The schedule eases up for the next two weeks as Wyoming Area plays at home against Hanover Area (0-5) on Friday followed by a road game at GAR (0-5).
Scranton Prep 24, Wyoming Area 0
Wyoming Area`0`0`0`0`—`0
Scranton Prep`7`7`3`7`—`24
First quarter
SP — Sam Dixon 6 pass from Leo O’Boyle (Alec Buttner kick), 5:02
Second quarter
SP — Matt Gilmartin 48 run (Buttner kick), 11:52
Third quarter
SP — Buttner 26 FG, 0:00
Fourth quarter
SP — Ivan Balavage 4 pass from O’Boyle (Buttner kick), 5:45
Team statistics`WA`SP
First downs`7`15
Rushes-yards`19-19`40-160
Passing yards`133`142
Total yards`252`302
Passing`13-24-2`13-18-1
Sacked-yards lost`1-9`1-11
Punts-avg.`5.27.4`1-19
Fumbles-lost`2-0`2-0
Penalties-yards`7-70`2-25
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING — WA, Marc Minichello 5-(minus-3), Dominic Deluca 6-12, Darren Rodney 3-6, Donovan O’Boyle 5-4. Prep, Gilmartin 24-108, L.O’Boyle 7-19, Balavage 2-2, Brayen McAllister 6-29, Joe Walsh 1-2.
PASSING — WA, Deluca 13-24-2-133. Prep, L.O’Boyle 13-18-1-142.
RECEIVING — WA, Brian Williams 4-38, Robbie 3-10, Minichello 2-21, Rodney 1-36, Steve Yordy 2-29, Shane Eslick 1-(minus-1). Prep, Lucas Stage 2-7, Matt Para 1-34, Dickson 3-37, Luke Johnson 1-21, McAllister 2-16, Balavage 2-15, Gilmartin 1-3.
INTERCEPTIONS — WA, Deluca 1-0. Dickson 2-0.
MISSED FGs — none.

CITIZENS VOICE

SCRANTON — Wyoming Area battled Scranton Prep throughout their Saturday matinee, but couldn’t overcome a stout defense and some self-inflicted adversity at inopportune times.
Scranton Prep converted big plays when it needed and sent the Warriors to their fourth straight loss, 24-0, in a nonconference football game at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
“We had to come out here and take some shots, we had some shots, we just didn’t capitalize,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “Our defense has supported us the first five games. We’ve played very well defensively and that has put us in situations to be in games.
“A couple of big plays, and that comes from having to play a bit aggressively. Credit to Prep for making those big plays.”
Wyoming Area (1-4) struggled to move the ball on the ground, gaining only 19 yards on 18 carries, but earned positive plays in the passing game.
Dominic DeLuca threw for 132 yards and Brian Williams had 38 yards receiving. Both are sophomores.
The Warriors defense, paced by Corey Mruk, F.J. Bracci and Cameron Carr also had high points with 11 stops behind the line of scrimmage.
But, Scranton Prep hit big plays, including a 48-yard touchdown run by Matt Gilmartin on fourth down to start the second quarter, and a 17-yard completion to Luke Johnson on fourth down that kept a scoring drive in motion in the third quarter.
Wyoming Area, which has lost its four games by an average of 8.2 points, was also tagged with five holding penalties that tallied 64 total yards after being marched off at the spot of the foul, stagnating the offense.
“We have to get some consistency,” Spencer said. “Running the ball, throwing the ball we did some good things, we created some plays and we had opportunities. But, you can’t have a positive play and then a negative play. We are working toward that offensive consistency and that’s what we are looking forward to in the second half of the season.”
Scranton Prep (5-0 overall) completed its sweep of Wyoming Valley Conference opponents for the third straight season. The Cavaliers went 4-0 and held a 143-17 scoring edge.
The defense recorded its fourth shutout in the first five weeks. The unit, led by Daniel Belardi, Ben Koshinski, A.J. Kohut and Tucker Johnson, limited Wyoming Area to 151 total yards and seven first downs.
“We just had to go hard on every play and do our techniques that we are taught to do,” Belardi said.
Sam Dickson did a little bit of everything for Scranton Prep.
Offensively, Dickson scored on a 6-yard reception and kept a scoring drive going with a 26-yard catch in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, he had a pair of interceptions, including the one on Wyoming Area’s final play with 3:08 remaining.
And on special teams, Dickson returned four punts for 47 yards with two setting the Scranton Prep offense up in good field position for scoring drives.
“I like to believe those plays brought some energy to the team,” Dickson said. “You just have to keep playing hard and that’s what we tried to do. It was a really hot day. I am just so proud of our team and how we fought in the second half. We came out, fought and we have to get ready for a big game against Valley View next week.”
Scranton Prep got the scoring going after Leo O’Boyle kick-started a drive with a 34-yard completion to Matthew Para. Three plays later, O’Boyle found Dickson for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead at 5:02 of the first quarter.
O’Boyle finished with 140 yards passing, while completing 13 of 17.
“Leo has gotten better every single week,” Scranton Prep coach Terry Gallagher said. “He’s very comfortable. He’s a confident kid. He’s a leader and he has a ton of potential.”
Gilmartin broke free to convert a fourth-and-1 from the 48 on the first play of the second quarter. And Alec Buttner, who was 3 for 3 on extra points, drilled a 26-yard field goal on the last play of the third quarter for a 17-0 advantage.
On the final scoring drive, O’Boyle hit Ivan Balavage twice — one for 11 yards and one for 4 — with the second going for a touchdown that made it 24-0 with 5:45 to play.

 
September 16, 2017 : Week 4: Warriors Fall to Coughlin 17-14  

TIMES LEADER

WILKES-BARRE — The Coughlin Crusaders have changed the direction of their football season.
After Saturday night’s game at Memorial Stadium, the Wyoming Area Warriors are desperate to do the same.
Jake Cole used his second straight 200-yard rushing game to lead Coughlin to its second consecutive win, 17-14.
The Crusaders were 0-2 and behind at halftime a week ago, having been outscored 110-14 to that point. Since then, Coughlin has outscored its opponents, 37-14, and turned around its season, reaching the .500 mark.
“Our kids never say die,” Coughlin coach Ciro Cinti said. “Kids are getting more comfortable in their positions. We have a fairly young line, but now we’re into the fourth game.
“They have half a season under their belt. They’re only getting better at this point.”
Wyoming Area can’t shake the tight games. After winning by four points on opening night, the Warriors have lost three straight three-point games.
“We’re working hard and we’re not getting paid off,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “We’ve got to be able to go to the bank and cash a check one day.”
Coughlin took advantage of a Wyoming Area penalty early in the game and Cole kept the Crusaders in possession while they protected leads of either three or 10 points the rest of the night.
The senior running back carried 26 times for 202 yards and both of his team’s touchdowns.
“Jake Cole’s a four-year starter for us,” Cinti said. “The bottom line is when the game’s on the line, we like to have the ball in his hands.”
The Crusaders held a 7-3 lead from 7:56 remaining in the half until 2:44 remaining in the game.
That’s when Cole went 12 yards for a touchdown on fourth-and-two.
Wyoming Area responded with an 11-play scoring drive, converting third-and-nine, fourth-and-five and third-and-five.
Marc Anthony Minichello, who had both Wyoming Area touchdowns, scored on a 5-yard pass from Dominic DeLuca with 33.5 seconds remaining, but Eric Sovan handled the on-side kick to clinch the Coughlin win.
Coughlin did not move on its first three plays, but a Wyoming Area personal foul penalty on the punt allowed the Crusaders to maintain possession for the first 7:40 of the game.
Wyoming Area stopped Coughlin twice from the 2 before a penalty forced the Crusaders to settle for a 23-yard Jeff Mondulick field goal.
“We certainly had an opportunity to get off to a better start there,” Spencer said.
Both teams struck quickly in the second quarter.
On the first play after stopping Wyoming Area on fourth-and-one, Cole went up the middle for a 57-yard touchdown, slipping one tackle near midfield and then winning a race to the goal line.
Wyoming Area answered on the ensuing kickoff when Minichello made it to the right sideline then sprinted the rest of the way to a 90-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to 10-7 with 7:56 left in the half.
Cole surpassed the 100-yard mark in the first half.
Wyoming Area managed just one play of more than nine yards in the first half when DeLuca hit Brian Williams on a fly pattern for 43 yards to the Coughlin 29 late in the half. Four straight incompletions ended the threat.
Coughlin 17, Wyoming Area 14
Wyoming Area`0`7`0`7`—`14
Coughlin`3`7`0`7`—`17
First quarter
CO – Jeff Mondulick 23 FG, 4:20
Second quarter
CO – Jake Cole 57 run (Mondulick kick), 8:09
WA – Marc Anthony Minichello 90 kickoff return (F.J. Braccini kick), 7:56
Fourth quarter
CO – Jake Cole 12 run (Mondulick kick), 2:44
WA – Minichello 5 pass from DeLuca (Braccini kick), 0:33.5
Team statistics`WA`CO
First downs`12`16
Rushes-yards`24-90`44-222
Passing yards`165`49
Total yards`255`271
Passing`14-29-0`3-8-0
Sacked-yards lost`1-3`3-21
Punts-avg.`4-33.0`4-31.3
Fumbles-lost`1-1`3-1
Penalties-yards`4-33`5-40

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING — WA, Marc Anthony Minichello 10-39, Dominic DeLuca 5-19, Darren Rodney 5-18, Donovan O’Boyle 2-6, Robbie Trottini 1-5, Charlie Banashefski 1-3. CO, Jake Cole 26-202, Vincent Todd 13-41, Garrett Wardle 4-20, Team 1-minus 1.
PASSING — WA, DeLuca 12-26-0-120, Trottini 1-1-0-28, Minichello 1-1-0-17, Team 0-1-0-0. CO, Wardle 3-8-0-49.
RECEIVING — WA, Minichello 8-42, Shane Eslick 3-38, Brian Williams 2-68, Trottini 1-17. CO, Salem Diop 1-33, Rafael McCoy 1-18, Cole 1-minus 2.

CITIZENS VOICE

WILKES-BARRE — With quarterback Garrett Wardle now taking snaps for Coughlin, the Crusaders have the benefit of two threats in their backfield.
Running back Jake Cole can take carries as well as former quarterback Vincent Todd, who possesses track speed that can get him to the outside. When Coughlin wasn’t handing the ball off to Todd on Saturday night, it often faked such a carry to get the Wyoming Area defense out of position for a Cole run.
Even if the Warriors knew Cole was getting the ball, though, they needed all the help they could get to bring him down.
Cole’s bruising style led to two touchdowns for Coughlin, which had a number of fourth downs go its way throughout its Week 4 matchup. An early field goal from Jeff Mondulick made the difference as the Crusaders held off a late Warriors rally for a 17-14 win at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium.
“When you have the luxury of having Jake Cole and Vincent Todd, you put the ball game in those kids’ hands,” Coughlin coach Ciro Cinti said. “Jake was out there cramping, he didn’t care. The kid’s just a fighter; he’s a competitor.”
Cole ran through arm tackles, initiated contact and extended runs all night as he picked up 186 yards and two scores on 23 carries. His final score came with 2:44 to play, when Cinti called his number again on fourth-and-2 from 13 yards out.
The Warriors (1-3) didn’t have a chance at bringing him down when he got past the right tackle with a full head of steam. They couldn’t catch him earlier in the game, either, when he burst through the middle and out-ran the secondary in a race to the end zone on a 57-yard score.
“The kid’s a four-year starter for me. I wish I had him a fifth and sixth year, believe me,” Cinti said.
Despite Cole’s night, Coughlin (2-2) needed much of the night to go its way to take the win.
The Crusaders were about to go three-and-out on its opening drive when an illegal block near the backfield bailed them out on a punt.
They didn’t waste the second chance, as Cole and Todd moved them into the red zone. Todd’s 13-yard run got Coughlin inside the 5, but the Warriors stuffed Cole on three runs, and a false start on a fourth-down QB sneak forced Mondulick to convert a 23-yard field goal instead.
Wyoming Area crossed midfield on its second drive and went for it on fourth-and-2 from the 44, but the Crusaders line stopped made a stop inches short of a first down. Cole went 53 yards to paydirt on the next snap.
Down 10-7, the Warriors moved to the 15 when quarterback Dominic Deluca added a roughing penalty to his 25-yard throw to Brian Williams. Deluca missed the next play hurt, though, and the Warriors fumbled a keeper to spoil the go-ahead chance — their first turnover of the season.
They still had a chance to win in the final minute. A 31-yard Deluca throw to Minichello — who had a 90-yard kickoff return TD in the first half — a halfback pass by Minichello to Robbie Trottini, and Trottini’s fourth-down reverse moved the Warriors downfield in a last-minute drive. Minichello scored on a 4-yard reception, but Coughlin recovered an onside kick to win.
“We’re a little young, but we certainly have shown we can compete at a high level,” Warriors coach Randy Spencer said. “Now we just have to find a way to finish.”

 
September 8, 2017 : Week 3: Warriors Fall to Berwick 17-14  

TIMES LEADER

By John Erzar - jerzar@timesleader.com
WEST PITTSTON — Marred by penalties, errant shotgun snaps and overall ineffectiveness, Berwick needed a jolt Friday night.
A sophomore whose made some big plays so far this season provided it.
Teagan Wilk returned a punt 81 yards for a touchdown, triggering a fourth-quarter rally as the Dawgs escaped with a 17-14 victory at Wyoming Area in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 4A game.
Berwick improved to 3-0, while Wyoming Area suffered its second consecutive three-point loss to fall to 1-2.
Berwick trailed 14-3 midway through the fourth quarter when Wilk fielded a punt on the left sideline and weaved his way for a touchdown.
“I don’t know if you saw the punt before that,” Wilk said, “but I almost took that one to the house. So we had a little conversation after that and I say, ‘Yo, you give me one more block and I’m taking it to the house.’”
Wilk also leads the team in interceptions with two.
“Teagan’s return, holy cow, talk about the ignition to start the comeback,” Berwick coach Frank Sheptock said. “We needed it because offensively we’re struggling. Teagan has made big plays for us in each game thus far to turn the momentum. There was none bigger than today.”
Prior to Wilk’s score, two of Berwick’s three possessions had bad shotgun snaps, including one where Wyoming Area defensive lineman Damon Barhight recovered at the Berwick 15-yard line. Four plays after Barhight’s recovery, one of three fumbles he pounced on, receiver Marc Minichello threw a halfback option pass to quarterback Dominic DeLuca for an 8-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion gave the Warriors a 14-3 lead with three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Wyoming Area went three-and-out on its next possession after Wilk’s touchdown. Two plays later, Berwick was on top. Damon Beckhorn darted 44 yards up the middle on a direct snap and then scored from eight yards out as the Dawgs took a 17-14 lead with 3:02 to play.
Wyoming Area got one more crack on offense and moved from its 20-yard line to the 27 where DeLuca had to scramble on fourth down and was stopped for no gain.
“The game is 48 minutes not 42 minutes,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “Our kids played well all game. You get a good punt you have to make the play. We were covering kicks all game. You get a good punt, make the play and finish the game.”
The Warriors scored early in the second quarter. A punt skimmed off a Berwick player and Wyoming Area’s Jesse Cegelka won the dog fight for the ball at the Berwick 22. A DeLuca-to-Minichello connection put the ball at the 1, and three plays later running back Justin Joseph banged his way into the end zone.
Berwick answered with a nine-play drive — slowed by two of the Dawgs’ 11 penalties — and got on the board when Ken Marshman connected on a 32-yard field goal.
“We showed a lot of composure,” Sheptock said. “Just bang away a little bit, bang away a little bit. To be able to overcome all of that and beat a quality team like Wyoming Area really speaks volumes of the character of this football team.”
NOTE: Wyoming Area held a moment of silence before the game in honor of Stephen Chipolis, a member of the district’s support staff who died on Monday.
Berwick 17, Wyoming Area 14
Berwick`0`3`0`14`—`17
Wyoming Area`0`6`8`0`—`14
Second quarter
WA — Justin Joseph 1 run (run failed), 10:46
BER — Ken Marshman 32 FG, 6:56
Third quarter
WA — Dominic DeLuca 8 pass from Marc Minichello (Shane Eslick from DeLuca), 3:00
Fourth quarter
BER — Teagan Wilk 81 punt return (Marshman kick), 5:43
BER — Damon Beckhorn 8 run (Marshman kick), 3:02
Team statistics`BER`WA
First downs`9`6
Rushes-yards`41-192`42-68
Passing yards`32`58
Total yards`224`126
Passing`3-15-0`9-12-0
Sacked-yards lost`2-19`2-16
Punts-avg.`2-27.5`8-26.9
Fumbles-lost`5-3`1-0
Penalties-yards`11-67`6-40
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING — Berwick, Evan Klinger 19-136, Alex Force 6-11, Beckhorn 4-58, Owen Shoemaker 5-17, Alex Sharkuski 1-2, Jared Watts 1-4, team 4-(minus-36). Wyoming Area, Minichello 5-12, Darren Rodney 15-26, DeLuca 8-(minus-5), Joseph 3-5, Corey Mruk 7-23, Donovan O’Boyle 4-7.
PASSING — Berwick, Force 3-15-0-32. Wyoming Area, DeLuca 8-11-0-50, Minichello 1-1-0-8.
RECEIVING — Berwick, Watts 2-25, Wilk 1-7. Wyoming Area, Minichello 4-14, Brian Williams 1-14, DeLuca 1-8, Rob Trottini 3-22.
INTERCEPTIONS — none.
MISSED FGs — none.

CITIZENS VOICE

BY STEVE BENNETT / PUBLISHED: SEPTEMBER 9, 2017
WEST PITTSTON — Teagan Wilk had a feeling he was going to come up with something big. With Berwick needing a spark and Wilk narrowly missing returning a punt for a touchdown on a previous
With their backs to the wall, Wilk got that extra block and returned a punt for a touchdown. That provided the spark the Bulldogs needed, and Damon Beckhorn fed off it and provided the go-ahead score in Berwick’s 17-14 victory over Wyoming Area Friday night at Wyoming Area.
The Bulldogs improve to 3-0 on the year, and it was the 800th win in the illustrious program’s history.
“I don’t know if you saw the punt before that, but I almost took that one to the house,” said Wilk, whose return with 5:43 left in the game cut Wyoming Area’s lead to 14-10. “We had a little conversation. I said ‘yo, you give me one more block and I am taking it to the house’. I am back there because I can make plays.”
Berwick battled adversity right from the beginning. Having issues with the center to quarterback snap in the shotgun formation, along with several illegal procedure penalties, the Dawgs managed just a Ken Marshman 32-yard field goal in the first half. That came after Wyoming Area’s Justin Joseph gave the Warriors an early lead following a 1-yard run.
“We have a young offense and sometimes that happens,” Berwick coach Frank Sheptock said. “I thought we showed a lot of composure. We were banging away a little bit. I think it really speaks volumes to the character of this football team.”
Capitalizing on Berwick’s struggles on the offensive side of the ball, the Warriors went to the bag of tricks on a fourth down play in the third quarter. Coming out of a timeout, Wyoming Area called for an option pass, where wideout Marc Minichello hit quarterback Dominic DeLuca streaking down the right sideline to complete an 8-yard scoring play that put the Warriors ahead at the time 14-3.
After Wilk’s return cut the deficit to 14-10, Berwick’s defense showed why it’s one of the best against the run. Running to the football, the Dawgs stuffed three consecutive Wyoming Area rushing plays and forced a punt.
On the ensuing series, Sheptock changed things up and went to the wildcat formation with Beckhorn lining up taking the direct snap. On his first carry, Beckhorn went 44 yards down to the Wyoming Area 8-yard line. He took the following snap the rest of the way to put Berwick up for good with 3:02 left in the game.
“The wildcat was a big part of the game plan but we were scared to do it with what was going on with the snaps and illegal motions,” Sheptock said. “I went to Damon and told him we were going to put the ball in his hands and try and win the game. Talk about a response.”
With Evan Klinger having already rushed for 136 yards on the night, Sheptock felt it would make the offense tougher to defend with Klinger in the backfield and Beckhorn lining up in the quarterback position in the shotgun.
“I thought we got them off balance and it worked to our advantage because we weren’t able to do it early in the game,” Sheptock said.

 
September 1, 2017 : Week 2: Warriors Fall to Crestwood 21-18  

TIMES LEADER

Crestwood edges Wyoming Area on long 4th-quarter touchdown run

WRIGHT TWP. — Crestwood’s big play in the second half Friday counted. Wyoming Area’s didn’t.
That was the difference in Crestwood’s 21-18 victory in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 3A football game.

Kevin Klusewitz raced 55 yards for the only touchdown with 6:47 in the game, allowing the Comets to get off to a 2-0 start. Wyoming Area fell to 1-1.

 “That was a great football game between two good football teams,” said Crestwood coach Greg Myers, whose team is trying to make amends for a 3-8 season in 2016. “I thought (Wyoming Area) did a phenomenal job on defense containing us. But we were able to get the big play late in the game. It seemed like it would come down to whoever made the big play.”

Klusewitz made it after an illegal block wiped out a punt return deep into Wyoming Area territory by Brandon Brozena. Klusewitz came across the formation and started left, then darted up the middle and outran a couple Warriors to score.

Late in the third quarter, Wyoming Area had a 67-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Dominic DeLuca wiped out by a holding penalty. The Warriors also misfired on their first possession of the second half when DeLuca had a pass into the end zone dropped on a fourth-and-6 from the Crestwood 17-yard line.
DeLuca was solid in his first varsity start with incumbent senior starter P.J. Angeli out for the season. Angeli was injured early in Wyoming Area’s 7-3 win against Wallenpaupack in the season opener.
DeLuca finished 8 of 17 for 125 yards and three touchdowns.

“Another outstanding job,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said of DeLuca. “He made some big plays and did a great job managing the game. We didn’t turn the ball over. Again, that’s all you can ask for in a close game. Just give you an opportunity to make big plays.”
Wyoming Area, though, couldn’t muster one on its final two possessions after Klusewitz’s TD run. The Warriors went three-and-out the first time. They got the ball back with 2:06 left and no timeouts, but the drive ended when Crestwood’s Matt Tirpak and Ryan Black forced DeLuca up in the pocket where he was sacked by Jeff Schmude.
Crestwood struck first, scoring on its initial drive of the game. Quarterback Chase Passman found Brandon Brozena down the middle of the field and Brozena split two defenders on the way to a 42-yard touchdown.
Wyoming Area answered back a short time later. DeLuca made a quick pass to Marc Minichello in the left flat and Minichello did the rest, sprinting 64 yards for a touchdown. Running back Darren Rodney eliminated the final Comet with any shot at stopping Minichello.
The extra-point was blocked, allowing Crestwood to maintain a 7-6 lead. The Warriors, though, took the lead early in the third as DeLuca threw 8 yards to Minichello, who caught the pass after it had popped out of his hands. Sophomore fullback Corey Mruk set up the score with a 46-yard run up the gut of the Crestwood defense.
Wyoming Area took an 18-14 lead into halftime when DeLuca found Rodney wide open for an 18-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-14.
Crestwood 21, Wyoming Area 18
Wyoming Area`6`12`0`0`—`18
Crestwood`7`7`0`7`—`21
First quarter
CRE — Brandon Brozena 42 pass from Chase Passman (Garrett Swank kick), 9:50
WA — Marc Minichello 64 pass from Dominic DeLuca (kick blocked), 5:48
Second quarter
WA — Minichello 8 pass from DeLuca (run failed), 10:25
CRE — Patrick Rother 2 run (Swank kick), 7:52
WA — Darren Rodney 8 pass from DeLuca (pass failed), 4:28
Fourth quarter
CRE — Kevin Klusewitz 55 run (Swank kick), 6:47
Team statistics`WA`CRE
First downs`14`12
Rushes-yards`40-176`29-84
Passing yards`125`182
Total yards`301`266
Passing`8-18-0`14-25-0
Sacked-yards lost`4-26`5-50
Punts-avg.`5-32.2`6-32.2
Fumbles-lost`0-0`0-0
Penalties-yards`7-45`7-45
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING — Wyoming Area, Rodney 16-79, Minichello 3-3, DeLuca 8-6, Corey Mruk 6-67, Justin Joseph 7-21. Crestwood, Passman 16-(minus-14), Rother 7-19, Klusewitz 5-87, Nick Grosek 1-1, team 2-(minus-8).
PASSING — Wyoming Area, DeLuca 8-17-0-125, team 0-1-0-0. Crestwood, Passman 14-25-0-182.
RECEIVING — Wyoming Area, Minichello 7-107, Rodney 1-18. Crestwood, Brandon Niemenski 5-56, Brozena 4-86, Grosek 2-7, Klusewitz 2-32, Rother 1-1.
INTERCEPTIONS — None
MISSED FGs — None.
Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar

CITIZENS VOICE

WRIGHT TWP. — With the clock winding down toward the midpoint of the fourth quarter, Crestwood needed a hero.
Enter Kevin Klusewitz, who took a direct snap 55 yards for a touchdown with 6:47 left, the eventual game-winner in the Comets’ gritty 21-18 win over visiting Wyoming Area in Wyoming Valley Conference football action Friday night.
“It was a jet (sweep) left,’’ Klusewitz said. “We were getting good yards on it all game. I saw the safety over-pursuing and I just cut it back and took it all the way to the house. ... I heard the crowd yelling and I was like, ‘Please nobody catch me!’ I swerved left and the kid missed me and the next thing I knew, all my teammates were congratulating me in the end zone.’’
The Warriors had two more chances to either tie or pull ahead late after Klusewitz’s score, but Crestwood’s defense stiffened to give the Comets their second win to start the season.
“They beat us up pretty good at their place the last two years,’’
Klusewitz said. “It feels good to come back and be a resilient group and get a ‘W’ here at home.’’
The Comets also got a big play to start their scoring when junior quarterback Chase Passman threw a 42-yard TD strike to Brandon Brozena on the game’s first possession, igniting their confidence. That play already produced more points than the Warriors allowed in their season-opening 7-3 win over Wallenpaupack.
“I think it says a lot about our kids,’’ winning coach Greg Myers said.
“We have a gritty bunch, a very competitive bunch and it’s certainly nice to see our confidence building.’’
While Crestwood showed its big-play ability, Wyoming Area’s offense also picked up steam after losing star quarterback P.J. Angeli to a season-ending knee injury in Week 1. Sophomore Dominic DeLuca stepped in and threw three touchdown passes, had two other would-be TDs dropped and had a long touchdown run negated by a penalty.
“He did another outstanding job for us,’’ Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “He made some big plays, he did a great job managing the game, we didn’t turn the ball over. That’s all you can ask for in a close game, to give your team an opportunity to win the game.’’
DeLuca shook off a Ryan Black sack to throw his first TD pass in the first quarter. He actually dropped the ball off to teammate Marc Minichello in the flat and the senior back scampered most of the 64 yards to the end zone to pull the Warriors within 7-6 after the point-after try was blocked.
DeLuca then engineered the go-ahead scoring drive early in the second period, finding Minichello again, this time from 8 yards out, to cap the march.
The Comets answered with their second most sustained drive of the evening as Passman’s arm and Klusewitz’s legs put the home team in point-blank range. Pat Rother punched it in from the 2 and Garrett Swank booted his second of three PATs to give the Comets back the lead.
This time it was the Warriors’ turn to respond as DeLuca shook off an Adam Gegaris sack to drive his team back downfield. A key run by Corek Mruk led to DeLuca’s 18-yard TD floater to Darren Rodney on a fourth-down pass with 4:33 left before halftime.
Both teams moved the ball in the third and into the fourth period, though neither could score.
That is, until Klusewitz broke free.
“I thought both teams played a phenomenal game like it usually is when we play (one) another,’’ Myers said. “it just came down to one big play down the stretch and we got the ball to our big-play player.’’
Contact the writer:
sports@citizensvoice.com

 
August 25, 2017 : Week 1: Warriors Defense Leads in 7-3 Win Over Wallenpaupack  

TIMES LEADER HAWLEY – When Wyoming Area lost senior leader P.J. Angeli just four plays into the season Friday night, it was time for the Warriors talented sophomore class to get to work in a hurry.
Dominic DeLuca, F.J. Braccini, Corey Mruk and Darren Rodney all responded.
As a result, Wyoming Area escaped Wallenpaupack with a 7-3 victory in the non-league high school football opener for both teams and gave itself time to reorganize.
Angeli, the team’s quarterback, strong safety and punter, was just beginning his fourth season as a starter. He went down clutching his right knee on Wallenpaupack’s first offensive play and spent the rest of the night being checked on by medical staff and with his leg elevated while he sat on the bench.
The Warriors simply improvised.
DeLuca took over at quarterback and joined Braccini and Mruk in leading a strong defensive effort. Rodney raced 23 yards for a touchdown in the first minute of the second half. After a rocky start, Braccini also handled a busy night as punter in the defensive struggle.
“Early in the game, when we lost P.J. I think everyone initially was shocked,” said Marc Anthony Minichello, Wyoming Area’s other four-year starter, who had expected to be on the receiving end of Angeli’s passes.
DeLuca stepped in and went 6-for-12 passing while running an offense that struggled, but never turned the ball over.
“Incredible effort for a young guy,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “When you’re that second guy, you don’t get a lot of reps. You’ve got to learn by watching.
“ … I just think he did a great job, going in managing the game and making some key throws. We didn’t pop any big plays, but all those little plays added up to being enough.”
DeLuca did that while still playing well defensively as the free safety. He made five tackles and assisted on five others.
“P.J. went down early,” DeLuca said. “I wasn’t ready for that, but I had to step up.”
He was not alone.
While DeLuca and Mruk were varsity players a year ago, Braccini was pressed into the starting lineup for his varsity debut when linebacker Justin Joseph suffered an ankle injury leading up to the game.
Braccini’s night was busier than he could have ever anticipated. He made nine tackles, assisted another, broke up a pass and was in on two of the game’s biggest defensive plays in the fourth quarter.
Cameron Carr forced a fumble on fourth-and-one with 10 minutes left and Braccini recovered it. When Wallenpaupack drove 74 yards to first-and-10 at the Wyoming Area 15 with 2:35 left, Braccini broke into the backfield to force a three-yard loss.
The Buckhorns sputtered from there and gave the ball up on downs.
“You know it’s tough, but you play for P.J.,” Braccini said. “He’s a great player; a leader. He’s our captain.
“You just have to trust your players and do your job. I trust my players … and played as hard as I can.”
Braccini got even more work as the third punter with both Joseph and Angeli unavailable. His first kick, after having trouble with a low snap, went just two yards, but he got away seven more without incident.
Mruk, who became a starting linebacker as a freshman linebacker, made nine tackles and assisted on six others.
“The sophomores played very well,” Mruk said. “I think it’s just from practice. We mature very quickly.”
Rodney scored the game-winning touchdown in his first start at tailback.
Zajquay Williamson – yes, another sophomore – recovered a fumble on the second half kickoff.
DeLuca passed nine yards to Minichello on the first play, then Rodney burst off tackle for the touchdown.
Spencer said after the game that it was too early to know the extent of Angeli’s injury.
“You’re hoping for a strain or a sprain or something like that going forward,” he said. “He’s a great kid.
“You hate to see him start his senior year like that, but hopefully there’s more of his senior year to come for him.”
Wyoming Area 7, Wallenpaupack 3
Wyoming Area`0`0`7`0`—`7
Wallenpaupack`3`0`0`0`—`3
First quarter
WAL – Aiden Maldacker 42 FG, 1:02
Second quarter
None
Third quarter
WYO – Darren Rodney 23 run (F.J. Braccini kick), 11:12
Fourth quarter
None
Team statistics`WYO`WAL
First downs`6`11
Rushes-yards`27-58`33-104
Passing yards`52`88
Total yards`110`192
Passing`7-14-0`11-20-0
Sacked-yards lost`2-15`2-14
Punts-avg.`9-22.9`4-37.8
Fumbles-lost`0-0`3-3
Penalties-yards`7-34`7-63
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING — WYO, Darren Rodney 13-40, Marc Anthony Minichello 3-22, Dominic DeLuca 7-0, P.J. Angeli 1-minus 1, Corey Mruk 3-minus 3. WAL, Nicholas Ruggieri 12-64, Joe Ingulli 12-40, Aiden Maldacker 3-3, Exzavier 2-0, Tom McCormick 4-minus 3.
PASSING — WYO, DeLuca 6-12-0-50, Angeli 1-1-0-2, Team 0-1-0-0. WAL, McCormick 11-20-0-88.
RECEIVING — WYO, Minichello 5-30, Shane Eslick 1-15, Robbie Trottini 1-7. WAL, Adam Haupt 3-28, AMaldacker 3-15, Ingulli 2-19, Thomas Vanbuskirk 2-9, Eric Smith 1-17.
INTERCEPTIONS — None.
MISSED FIELD GOALS – WYO, None. WAL, AMaldacker 37, 41.
Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLSports

CITIZENS VOICE

BY HERB SMITH / PUBLISHED: AUGUST 26, 2017


PALMYRA TWP. — Losing its senior starting quarterback on the first series of the season could have spelled disaster for Wyoming Area. But sophomore Dominic DeLuca stepped in under center and the Warriors leaned on an opportunistic defense to carry the Warriors to a 7-3 win over No. 9 Wallenpaupack in a nonleague game Friday.
P.J. Angeli was injured on the first defensive series for Wyoming Area and did not return. DeLuca threw for 56 yards and ran for 11 yards in relief.
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“That was an incredible effort for a young guy,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “When you’re the second guy, you don’t get a lot of reps and you have to learn by watching. I think he did a great job going in, managing the game and making some key throws.”
The Buckhorns drove to Wyoming Area’s 20 on its first drive but stalled there and a 38-yard field goal was off the mark. Later in the quarter, Wallenpaupack took over at the Warriors’ 25 following a poor punt. The Buckhorns could not get a first down but Zach Maldacker drilled a 42-yard field goal to give Wallenpaupack a 3-0 lead.
Wallenpaupack drove inside the 15-yard-line late in the second quarter, but a pair of penalties pushed the Buckhorns back to the 29. The drive again stalled and another field goal attempt missed the mark and Wallenpaupack held a 3-0 halftime lead.
The Buckhorns fumbled the second-half kickoff—one of three lost fumbles in the game—and Wyoming Area took over at Wallenpaupack’s 31. Two plays later, Darren Rodney scored on a 22-yard run to give the Warriors a 7-3 lead.
“We didn’t pop any big plays but all those little plays added up to be enough of what we needed,” Spencer said.
Wallenpaupack’s best drive was its last one. With less than eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Buckhorns took over at their 11. They put together a 13-play drive but were turned away again. On fourth-and-5 from the Warriors’ 10, a pass to the right sideline connected out of bounds, giving Wyoming Area the ball with just over a minute left.
“We played very well but we just couldn’t get things done when we had the opportunities,” Wallenpaupack coach Mark Watson said. “Penalties inside the 10, missing field goals. Just the things you can’t make mistakes with we did it. Our defense did a great job. Hopefully we can regroup and be ready for next week.”

Contact the writer:
hsmith@timesshamrock.com

 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 


 
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