WRIGHT TWP. — Overtime beckoned when Pittston Area’s Ryan Davis intercepted a Crestwood pass with 23 seconds left in the fourth quarter Saturday night.
The Patriots, though, tried to squeeze a few more plays out of regulation. The strategy backfired.
Crestwood’s Nate Smith recovered a Pittston Area fumble with 9.4 seconds left, leading to a 31-yard field goal by Connor Keenan with 3.5 seconds remaining and a wild ending to the Comets’ 38-35 victory in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 3A game.
Crestwood, the defending District 2 Class 3A champion, improved to 1-3 and snapped a four-game losing streak. Pittston Area (0-4) saw its losing streak extend to eight games.
“We needed one,” Crestwood coach Greg Myers said. “I’m really proud of my guys the way they hung in there. We were down four starting offensive linemen tonight.”
After a frenzied first half that saw four touchdowns of 51 yards or longer and Crestwood take a 35-28 lead, things settled down. Pittston Area finally put together a 53-yard scoring drive capped by a 1-yard TD run by Kyle Petroski to tie the score 35-35 with 2:12 left in the fourth quarter.
Crestwood managed to cross midfield on its ensuing drive, but Davis’ interception at the Pittston Area 22-yard line with 23 seconds left made overtime look quite possible.
Instead, the Patriots tried two pass plays. The first was incomplete. The second ended in disaster as Crestwood defensive lineman Shane O’Rouke blindsided quarterback Walter Coles, forcing the fumble that Smith recovered.
Keenan, the backup kicker last season and a soccer player, kicked his 31-yard field goal on the next play for the game-winner.
“I just approached it like any other kick,” Keenan said. “In soccer, we do it all the time with a free kick. I’m just aiming for more height and distance in football. It’s pretty much the same mechanics to me.”
Pittston Area had scored a total of 39 points in its previous seven games, but the combination of Coles to Paul Brady clicked for touchdown passes of 56 and 86 yards in the first quarter. Rich Wallace also returned a kickoff for a touchdown for the second time this season.
Crestwood running back Tanner Kahlau finished with 112 yard rushing and two touchdowns.
Crestwood 38, Pittston Area 35
PA — Paul Brady 56 pass from Walter Coles (Mike McKidish kick), 11:10
CRE — Seamus Rother 12 pass from Lance Blass (Connor Keenan kick), 8:01
PA — Brady 86 pass from Coles (McKidish kick), 6:50
CRE — Tanner Kahlau 51 run (Kennan kick), 1:06
CRE — S.Rother 3 run (Keenan kick), 6:52
CRE – S.Rother 18 run (Keenan kick), 4:50
PA — Rich Wallace 78 kick retyrn (McKidish kick), 4:38
CRE — Kahlau 33 run (Keenan kick), 3:09
PA — Niko Cinquegrani 3 pass from Coles (McKidish kick), 0:00
PA — Kyle Petroski 1 run (McKidish kick), 2:12
CRE — Keenan 31 FG, 0:03
RUSHING — PA, Ryan Davis 15-58, K.Petroski 20-91, Coles 4-(minus-18), Cinquegrani 2-0, Keemar Woodruff 2-10. Crestwood, Kahlau 9-112, Blass 9-10, S.Rother 6-75, Josh Malkemes 4-32, Pat Rother 5-83, team 2-(minus-10).
PASSING — PA, Coles 7-19-0-198, team 0-1-0-0. Crestwood, Blass 4-10-1-56.
RECEIVING — PA, Brady 5-164, Cinquegrani 2-34. Crestwood, Connor Sheloski 1-7, S.Rother 1-12, Kahlau 1-1, Malkemes 1-36.
INTERCEPTIONS — PA, Davis 1-0.
MISSED FGs — PA, 42WL
Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar