WEST PITTSTON — The Dallas Mountaineers knew what happened last Friday and they were determined not to repeat it.
The defense kept Wyoming Area out of the end zone, coming up big in the redzone several times for a 17-6 victory Friday night in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 3A game.
Dallas (3-4) entered the game off a 56-0 loss to unbeaten Wyoming Valley West, one of the biggest losses in school history. So the defense was motivated to make amends against Wyoming Area (2-5).
“It’s tough when that happens to you,” said Dallas defensive lineman Ian Spare, who had two sacks, forced a fumble and had an interception. “It was a group effort. We rebounded and came out and did what we had to do.”
The main thing — stonewalling Wyoming Area once the Warriors got to the Dallas 20-yard line.
“The kids have been tremendous. That was all guts and heart,” Dallas coach Rich Mannello said. “We took a terrible whooping last week from one heck of a high school football program. These kids regrouped and had a tremendous week of practice.”
After Dallas took a 3-0 lead at 7:24 of the second quarter on a 21-yard field goal by Ron Ostrowski, Wyoming Area moved to the Dallas 5-yard line on nine plays. But on first-and-goal, Spare intercepted a tipped pass.
Wyoming Area managed to tie the score 3-3 going into halftime, settling for a 34-yard field goal by Dave Klaproth after moving to the Dallas 18 with 12 seconds left in the second quarter. Defensive back Nick Heil set up the brief scoring drive with an interception.
Dallas then took the lead for good with a 10-play, 75-yard drive to start the third quarter. The big play was a 30-yard pass from Matt Harrison to Cole Dixon, connecting with the wide-open receiver on a crossing pattern. Harrison capped the drive with a short toss to running back Dave Simpson for a 9-yard touchdown and a 10-3 lead.
Wyoming Area came right back with a long march, moving all the way to the Dallas 9 and converting two fourth-and-short situations along the way. Running back Brian Miles picked up four yards on first down, but Spare stuffed him for a 2-yard loss on second down. Spare then sacked quarterback P.J. Angeli on third down, and Klaproth came on to boot a 30-yard field goal.
The Warriors got to the redzone a fourth time only to turn over the ball on downs with 3:52 to play. By that time, Dallas was up 17-6.
“When you create a scoring opportunity, you have to capitalize, especially against good teams,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “We’re in a situation where we’re a good football team, we’re productive, we’re efficient. But the last two weeks in the redzone, that’s an area where we have to look at and find a way to be more productive.”
Dallas found enough production to pump in a second touchdown on a 9-yard run by Harrison. Wyoming Area’s final possession ended on an interception by Dixon with 2:35 remaining.
Dallas 17, Wyoming Area 6
DAL — Ron Ostrowski 21 FG, 7:24
WA — Dave Klaproth 34 FG, 0:12
DAL — Dave Simpson 9 pass from Matt Harrison (Ostrowski kick), 8:43
WA — Klaproth 30 FG, 11:08
DAL — Harrison 9 run (Ostrowski kick), 7:06
RUSHING — Dallas, Simpson 11-49, Cole Dixon 1-1, Harrison 11-46, Bret Storrs 12-29, team 3-(minus-3). Wyoming Area, Brian Miles 19-55, PJ Angeli 15-68, Donovan O’Boyle 2-(minus-1).
PASSING — Dallas, Harrision 6-12-1-105. Wyoming Area, Angeli 14-26-2-122, team 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — Dallas, Tanner Gattuso 2-31, Simpson 3-44, Dixon 1-30. Wyoming Area, Dante DeLuca 1-22, O’Boyle 4-48, Dylan Kostik 3-12, Steve Homza 4-32, Miles 1-(minus-4), Anthony Saitta 1-12.
INTERCEPTIONS —Dallas, Ian Spare 1-7, Dixon 1-2. Wyoming Area, Nick Heil 1-0.
MISSED FGs — None.
Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar