HANOVER TWP. — The Warriors were banged up heading into Friday night’s game at Hanover Area. After losing several key players in the past two weeks, Wyoming Area lost another in the first quarter against the Hawkeyes.
Wyoming Area’s Brian Miles came into the game third in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 4A in rushing, averaging more than 100 yards per game. After he left the game early with an injury, fellow senior Brandon Charney stepped up.
Charney carried the ball 27 times for 85 yards and a touchdown as the Warriors shook last week’s loss to Scranton Prep and improved to 5-1 with a 28-7 win over Hanover Area (4-2).
“We’ve been needing for out next man to step up over the past several weeks,” Wyoming Area head coach Randy Spencer said. “Brandon got the job and did an outstanding job. We have a stable of backs that we think are quality backs.”
Miles went down with a lower body injury after carrying the ball eight times for 44 yards on Wyoming Area’s first possession. Along with Charney, junior quarterback PJ Angeli picked up 53 yards and a touchdown. The Warriors ran the ball 59 times for 239 yards on the rain-soaked field in Hanover Township.
On the flip side, Wyoming Area held Hanover Area to just 112 yards of offense. The Warriors held Hawkeye quarterback Brandon Chafin to just 26 yards on 13 carries after he went for 164 yards on just 15 carries in last week’s win over Lake-Lehman.
But the Hawkeyes entered the fourth quarter down by just seven points. A 41-yard touchdown from Angeli to Dante Deluca, along with a 41-yard interception return for a touchdown from Jeff Urban, ended the Hanover Area two-game win streak.
“It was critical to get back on track,” Spencer said. “We had a successful start so to go on the road against a resurgent Hanover Area team it’s big to come in here and get a quality win over that type of opponent.”
The Warriors’ night couldn’t have started much better.
After Hanover Area drove across midfield, Wyoming Area’s defense held and forced the Hawkeyes to punt. Pinned back on their own 14, the Warriors went to work.
Wyoming Area used 18 plays, going 86 yards, that ate up 8:12 of the clock. The drive was capped off by an Angeli 16-yard touchdown run on the option. The Warriors would miss the extra point, but led the Hawkeyes 6-0 to end the first quarter.
Hanover Area’s next possession was a three-and-out. But this time, Wyoming Area had to do things without Miles.
Much like their first drive, the Warriors went back to the ground game. Charney stepped in and carried the first four plays and picked up 16 yards. A 34-yard trap run by freshman Darren Rodney converted a crucial third down. Five plays later, Charney took it in from six yards out. The 76-yard drive lasted six minutes.
Following a Hanover Area punt, Deluca lost a fumble at the Hawkeye 15. Three plays later, Chafin went in from seven yards out to make the score 14-7.
Neither team did much in the third quarter. The teams combined for four punts, a lost fumble from Hanover Area, and a turnover on downs in the stanza. Wyoming Area opened the fourth with a three-and-out, followed by a punt from Hanover Area.
The Warriors would go up three touchdowns on their next possession.
Runs from Charney, Angeli and Justin Smith set up a third-and-11 from the Hanover Area 41. Angeli hit Deluca down the seem for a 41-yard score with five minutes to play.
Urban jumped Chafin’s next pass and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown to put the game out of reach.
“Given the situation we were dealt with, we still have to start and finish strong,” Spencer said. “In the second and third quarter we have to stand on the pedal and not bog down.”
Wyoming Area 28, Hanover Area 7
WA — PJ Angeli 16 run (kick failed), 1:11
WA — Brandon Charney 6 run (Charney run), 5:55
HA — Brandon Chafin 7 run (Elijah
WA — Dante Deluca 41 pass from Angeli (Charney kick), 5:00
WA — Jeff Urban 41 interception return (Charney kick), 4:27
RUSHING — WA, Charney 27-85 TD, Angeli 12-53 TD, Darren Rodney 2-34, Brian Miles 8-44, Justin Smith 3-18, Corey Mruk 1-6, Justin Joseph 3-(-1). HA, Chafin 13-26 TD, Josh Jopling 4-8.
PASSING — WA, Angeli 3-9-40-0 TD, Steve Homza 0-1-0-0. HA, Chafin 9-20-88-2.
RECEIVING — WA, Deluca 2-33 TD, Homza 1-7. HA, Brandon Brueckner 3-31, Zakee Nettles 2-21, Christian Percy 3-20, Sean Coleman 1-16.
INTERCEPTIONS — WA, Urban 1-41 TD, Angeli 1-25.
MISSED FGs — None.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick