YATESVILLE — In a four-minute span, Dallas went from an uncomfortable lead to one it wasn’t about to let slip away.
Down just 7-0, Pittston Area faced a 3-and-7 late in the first half. Quarterback Walter Coles was picked off by Christian Roberts. Roberts scampered 41 yards for a touchdown. That was just one of three defensive touchdowns in a 3:56 span around halftime which led to a 42-6 win Friday night at Charley Trippi Stadium.
The Mountaineers (5-4) have allowed a total of 18 points – six points in each – in their last three games. Those defensive efforts give Dallas a three-game winning streak heading into next Friday’s showdown with Lake-Lehman in the Old Shoe Game.
“We made some plays on defense and then we could feel everyone relax,” Dallas coach Rich Manello said. “It started to work. We were lights out defensively again. It’s been like that all season.”
Defensively, of course, Dallas was its usual self. And those defensive touchdowns helped get the offense going, Manello said.
Running back Bret Storrs finished the contest with 155 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown. Quarterback Matt Harrison was 6 of 10 passing with 103 yards and a touchdown. Harrison also ran for a touchdown.
The offensive woes continued for the Patriots (0-9) Friday night. With the exception of Ryan Davis’ 95-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter – Pittston Area was already down 35-0 – the Patriots finished with just 37 yards. Berwick held Pittston Area to just 4 yards last week.
The loss leaves the Patriots on a 13-game losing streak dating back to last season. Pittston Area’s final shot at a win comes in next week’s rivalry clash with Wyoming Area. The Patriots remain the only team in District 2 football without a win.
“Those guys played their hearts out,” Manello said of Pittston Area. “Our guys responded at halftime.”
Roberts’ touchdown late in the first half was just the beginning for Dallas. The Patriots had a chance to run some clock and possibly take the game into halftime at 7-0. Instead, Roberts returned the pass for a touchdown.
Pittston Area’s opening possession of the second half wasn’t much better.
Coles and running back Kyle Petroski had a miscommunication on an option play and the ball ended up on the grass. Gattuso picked it up and ran for the score. Just a minute later, Coles was intercepted again, this time by Ryan Martin. Martin made several Patriots miss on his way to a 40-yard return for a touchdown.
Dallas was not only able to force the turnovers, but make it to the end zone. Manello noted many times those scores get called back because of penalties.
“That stuff is practiced,” he said. “I like the way we were able to finish in the second half.”
Dallas 42, Pittston Area 6
D — David Simpson 60 pass from Matt Harrison (Ron Ostrowski kick), 10:19
D — Christian Roberts 41 interception return (Ostrowski kick), 2:42
D — Tanner Gattuso 34 fumble return (Ostrowski kick), 11:47
D — Ryan Martin 40 interception return (Ostrowski kick), 10:46
D — Harrison 5 run (Ostrowski kick), 6:36
PA — Ryan Davis 95 run (kick failed), 10:21
D — Bret Storrs 3 run (Ostrowski kick), 4:31
RUSHING — D, Storrs 25-155 TD, Simpson 9-40, Harrison 6-19 TD. PA, Davis 6-105 TD, Walter Coles 7-7, Kyle Petroski 4-7, Dylan Spurlin 4-6, Rich Wallace 1-(-6).
PASSING — D, Harrison 6-10-103-0 TD. PA, Coles 2-8-10-2, Niko Cinquegrani 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — D, Simpson 2-65 TD, Gattuso 2-17, Cole Dixon 1-14, Jack Tomko 1-10. PA, Paul Brady 1-7, Cinquegrani 1-3.
INTERCEPTIONS — D, Martin 1-40, Roberts 1-41.
MISSED FGs — D, Ostrowski 1-26.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-602-0178 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick