YATESVILLE — Abington Heights used a dominant running game to defeat Pittston Area, 49-20, in a non-conference football game Friday night.
The Comets rushed for 321 yards, with 250 coming in the first half when the Comets jumped out to a commanding 35-14 lead. Kaleb Sherman, who gained 174 yards on 28 carries, started the scoring with a 46-yard touchdown run through the middle of the Patriots defense to cap a 6-play, 79-yard drive with 4:56 left in the first quarter.
“Our emphasis, all week, was to try to establish the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball,” Abington Heights head coach Joe Repshis said. “We felt if we could run the ball effectively, take time off the clock and put points on the board it would be key for us.”
After a Pittston Area punt, Abington Heights quarterback Colin McCreary ended a 12-play, 55-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge. Sherman gained 23 yards on the first play of the possession to kick-start the offense.
It only took the Comets one play to score on their next drive when fullback Ben Vale busted through Pittston Area’s defense for a 65-yard touchdown.
“We’ve been having trouble stopping the run all year,” Pittston Area head coach Jim Norris said. “Abington is one of the top programs in the area for a reason. They’re a well-coached and well-disciplined team and we didn’t have an answer for their run game.”
Pittston Area got on the scoreboard late in the first quarter when quarterback Walter Coles capped a 7-play, 45-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown. Coles connected with wide receiver Kevin Krawczyk for 32 yards on 4th-and-11 to keep the possession alive.
Abington Heights scored on its fourth consecutive possession when McCreary connected with wide receiver Brandon Hardy for a 43-yard touchdown with 1:54 left in the second quarter.
Pittston Area answered when Coles found Krawczyk for a 12-yard touchdown on the ensuing possession. The duo also connected for the two-point conversion to cut the Patriots deficit to 14 points with 22 seconds left in the first half.
“Offensively, I think we’re performing well,” Norris said. “We’re asking our guys to be flexible and they’re doing a good job, but we still have to make some more plays.”
That was until McCreary scrambled down the sideline for a 50-yard touchdown on the final play of the second quarter.
The Patriots cut into the Comets lead on their first possession of the second half when Keemar Woodruff scored on a 4-yard run to end a 9-play, 42-yard drive. Coles hit Krawczyk for a key 19-yard completion on 4th-and-10 to set up the score.
Abington Heights cushioned its lead when Sherman scored on a 14-yard touchdown with 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Sherman scored again, from four yards out, with Abington Heights’ final touchdown coming with 6:49 left in the game.
Abington Heights 49, Pittston Area 20
AH — Kaleb Sherman 46 run (McCreary kick), 4:56
AH — Colin McCreary 1 run (McCreary kick), 8:07
AH — Ben Vale 65 run (McCreary kick), 6:56
PA — Walter Coles 1 run (kick blocked), 4:57
AH — Hardy 43 pass from McCreary (McCreary kick), 1:54
PA — Kevin Krawczyk 12 pass from Coles (Krawczyk pass from Coles), 22.9
AH — McCreary 50 run (McCreary kick), :00
PA — Keemar Woodruff 4 run (kick failed), 6:55
AH — Sherman 14 run (McCreary kick), 20.3
AH — Sherman 4 run (McCreary kick), 6:49
RUSHING — AH, Anthony Duboski 6-38, Kaleb Sherman 28-174, Colin McCreary 5-57, Ben Vale 2-68, Austin Kohut 3-4, Jimmy Sweeney 2-10, Brad Walley 3-8. PA, Keemar Woodruff 11-36, Brad Giambra 1-1, Dylan Spurlin 1-3, Walter Coles 6-30, Rich Wallace 2 (-4), Trevor Tigue 4-13.
PASSING — AH, McCreary 4-8-0-80. PA, Coles 6-19-0-94.
RECEIVING — AH, Brandon Hardy 3-74, Tom Rothenberger 1-6. PA, Kevin Krawczyk 5-70, Woodruff 1-5.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.