WEST PITTSTON — Down seven with less than three minutes to play, Wyoming Area tight end Dante Deluca hauled in a 40-yard catch-and-run from quarterback PJ Angeli.
The Warriors were in business with the ball inside the Scranton Prep 25. The next play handed the Warriors their first loss of the season.
Angeli dropped back and went for a quick slant. Scranton Prep lineman Kyle Polishan dropped back in coverage and leaped at the quick pass, intercepting it and sealing Wyoming Area’s fate. The Cavaliers would run the clock out and snap Wyoming Area’s 5-game winning streak dating back to last season with a 14-7 decision Friday night at Anthony “Jake” Sobeski Stadium.
The loss drops Wyoming Area to 4-1 after winning its first four games of the season. Scranton Prep has now won four straight to improve to 4-1 on the season.
Of the interception, Wyoming Area head coach Randy Spencer noted that Polishan was having a great game up to that point.
“It was an alert play by (Polishan),” he said. “It was a timing throw and rather being aggressive off the edge he backed off a little bit.”
The Warriors had issues moving the ball in the first half – they totaled less than 60 yards, while Scranton Prep put up nearly 120. However, this season’s Warriors have been the comeback kids. In each game this season, Wyoming Area found itself down at some point of the game.
“As great as the response is, the next step is to not get in that position,” he said. “We need to come out of the gate and take care of business. We have to start strong as well as finishing strong.”
With both teams battling for the top spot in District 2 in their respective classes, the second half seemed to belong to Wyoming Area.
Prep opened the third quarter with a three-and-out. From there, Wyoming Area marched 60 yards more than seven minutes before Angeli capped off the drive with a 5-yard run. The Warriors’ lone score was aided by the hook-and-ladder.
The Warriors faced a 2-and-15 on the Prep 35 when Angeli hit Homza on a 5-yard out. Homza pitched the ball to running back Brian Miles who raced down the sideline to the Prep 12. Four players later, Angeli punched it in.
Scranton Prep was driving late in the third and had a chance to go back up by two scores.
Inside the Wyoming Area 25, Ricky Morgan ran off the left side and was met by James Eslick who forced, and recovered a fumble to halt the drive. Both teams would then trade possessions until Wyoming Area took over at their own 23 with four minutes to play, still down seven.
Five plays into the drive, and at the Wyoming Area 43, Angeli was sacked for a 10-yard loss to force a 2-and-24. That’s when Angeli hit DeLuca along the sideline. DeLuca dodged Prep would-be tackles and made it all the way down to the Scranton Prep 29. Polishan made his play on the next Angeli dropback.
The Warriors had a chance when they got the ball back with four seconds left inside their own 10, but time expired two plays later.
Miles game into the game third in rushing in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 4A. He left Friday’s game with 17 carries for 62 yards.
“(Scranton Prep) did a nice job against the run,” Spencer said. “We knew they were probably the best team we faced this year. Our response was there but we have to be able to start strong.”
The Warriors out-gained Scranton Prep in the second half by nearly double. If it weren’t for a 44-yard run late by Morgan, Wyoming Area would have held the Cavaliers to just 54 yards in the second half.
Scranton Prep 14, Wyoming Area 7
SP — Mario Giannone 5 pass from Jake Ryan (Alec Buttner kick), 7:51
SP — Ryan 19 run (Buttner kick), 2:46
SP — PJ Angeli 5 run (Brandon Charney kick), 3:39
RUSHING — SP, Ricky Morgan 28-148, Ryan 5-27 TD, Braden Burrier 2-24. WA, Brian Miles 17-62, Angeli 15-31 TD, Justin Joseph 1-1.
PASSING — SP, Ryan 7-15-1-46 TD. WA, Angeli 16-24-1-140, Steve Homza 0-3-0-0.
RECEIVING — SP, Mario Gianonne 4-20 TD, Tommy Doherty 3-26. WA, Dante DeLuca 2-47, Homza 9-61, Jake Urban 3-24, Joseph 1-2, Darren Rodney 1-6.
INTERCEPTIONS — SP, Kyle Polishan 1-0. WA, Angeli 1-0.
MISSED FGs — None.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-602-0178 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick