YATESVILLE — Pittston Area kicker Mike Mikitish missed a crucial extra point with less than two minutes to play. Moments later, Mikitish turned out to be the hero.
Mikitish, a junior, split the uprights on a 26-yard field goal with 10 seconds to play as Pittston Area picked up a 30-28 win over Tunkhannock Friday night at Charley Trippi Stadium. The win is Pittston Area’s first since beating Tunkhannock, 30-7, on Oct. 3, 2014.
After 15 straight losses, Pittston Area finally got its win.
“To stop the slide is important,” Third-year Pittston Area coach Jim Norris said. “To go out the way we did and show character was really important.”
Norris picks up his fourth win at Pittston Area. Patriot quarterback Walter Coles finished the game with 97 yards passing and two touchdowns to wideout Kevin Krawczyk, who had 74 yards receiving. And while the ball was moving early for the Patriots, they didn’t make this an easy win.
After being up 21-7 at the half, Pittston Area allowed the Tigers to claw back in the second half.
Down 21-14 to open the fourth quarter, Tunkhannock quarterback Logan Cywinski threaded the needle on a 79-yard touchdown catch and run by Mike Taylor to make the game tied at 21 with 11:47 to play. A Patriot three-and-out, followed by a Tunkhannock three-and-out, gave the Patriots the ball on their own 49 with just six minutes to play.
The Patriots would eat up the clock, using runs from Coles and Trevor Tigue, to set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Coles with less than two minutes remaining. Mikitish missed wide on the ensuing extra point.
Tunkhannock, down 27-21 and starting on its own 20, had 1:44 to work with to score. Three plays after taking possession, Cywinski hit Taylor again on a 48-yard touchdown catch and run. Tunkhannock’s Billy Prebola hit the extra point and the Tigers had the lead.
Pittston Area then took over on its own 35 with 56 seconds remaining. Coles and Krawczyk continued to dink and dunk down the field until the Patriots were faced with a 2-and-4 with 13 seconds remaining, inside the five. After Pittston Area suffered a false start, Mikitish, who also plays on the PA soccer team, stepped up and booted his third career high school field goal.
“This was a great high school football game,” Norris said. “He’s been waiting for his opportunity all season, and he finally got it. This is a great reward for him.”
As for the nerves? Mikitish admitted they were present prior to kicking the game winner.
“I had a lot of nervousness going through my head – felt like passing out,” Mikitish said. “You don’t expect all that pressure and then it hits all at once.”
Tunkhannock’s Mike Taylor had 203 yards receiving on six catches and scored two touchdowns.
Pittston Area 30, Tunkhannock 28
PA — Kevin Krawczyk 15 pass from Walter Coles (Mike Mikitish kick), 7:23
PA — Krawczyk 4 pass from Coles (Mikitish kick), 0:34
T — Logan Cywinski 5 run (Billy Prebola kick), 8:43
PA — Dylan Spurlin 14 run (Mikitish kick), 2:26
T — Brian Muckin 24 pass from Cywinski (Prebola kick), 5:53
T — Mike Taylor 79 pass from Cywinski (Prebola kick), 11:47
PA — Coles 3 run (Mikitish kick), 1:44
T — Taylor 48 pass from Cywinski (Prebola kick), 0:56
PA — Mikitish 26 field goal, 0:10.
RUSHING — T, Cywinski 28-88 TD, Dennie Robinson 7-28, Zach Rogers 1-2. PA, Keemar Woodruff 11-44, Dylan Spurlin 6-47 TD, Coles 14-54 TD, Rich Wallace 1-15, Trevor Tigue 9-58.
PASSING — T, Cywinski 8-14-217-0 3TD, Rogers 3-5-25-0. PA, Coles 11-16-97-0 2TD.
RECEIVING — T, Taylor 7-203 2TD, Muckin 3-49 TD, Jake Stephens 1-21. PA, Krawczyk 9-74 2TD, Wallace 2-23.
INTERCEPTIONS — None.
MISSED FGs — None.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick