YATESVILLE — According to head coach Jim Norris, Pittston Area hasn’t quite figured out how to win.
Through its first two games of the 2015 season, the Patriots have shown signs of strength in certain aspects of the game. They were physical last week in a 10-0 loss to Abington Heights. This past week, however, Pittston Area couldn’t overcome the downhill running of Valley View.
The Cougars, behind the speed and agility of Scot Wasilchak, racked up 269 yards rushing in a 34-7 win over the Patriots Friday night at Charley Trippi Stadium. Wasilchak carried the load to the tune of 29 carries for 242 yards and three touchdowns. He added a two-point conversion and also hauled in a 36-yard pass.
“I think we just have to break down the barrier of being a more physical team,” Norris said. “We’re not there yet and it’s a growing process and we’re still going through it. We don’t know how to win yet.”
Pittston Area’s success stopping the run last week against Abington Heights was short-lived once Valley View rolled into town.
“I think they just ran the ball downhill,” Norris said. “They have a good kid in the backfield in Wasilchak. He’s a good football player and he performed well in a big game.”
Through its last six games, dating back to 2014, Pittston Area has scored a total of 26 points. The Patriots allowed 204 in that span.
This game started much like last week’s with both teams struggling to move the ball in the first two possessions.
Valley View got on the scoreboard late in the first quarter when Wasilchak went 44 yards for a touchdown.
After being shutout by Abington Heights in the first week, Pittston Area’s first score of the season came after starting quarterback Walter Coles had to leave the game for a play when he lost his helmet. Niko Cinquegrani hooked up with Kyle Petroski down the seam for a 37-yard touchdown early in the second quarter. The score tied the game at seven.
From there, it was all Valley View and its running game.
Late in the first half, Wasilchak went for 36 yards on a screen pass and the drive was capped off by Evan Carey’s 11-yard run. Carey finished the game with a pair of carries for 20 yards and also hauled in four passes for 60 yards.
Down just six at half, the Patriots were in position to keep the game close. Following a would-be three-and-out, Paul Brady’s punt was fumbled by the Cougars and Cinquegrani fell on it to give the ball back to the Patriots at the Valley View 33.
Four plays later, however, Coles threw an interception to Ethan Carey that was returned 92 yards. It would have been a touchdown if it weren’t for a penalty on Valley View.
The Cougars then marched 67 yards for a score, capped by a Wasilchak 15-yard touchdown run.
Pittston Area finished with just 100 yards of total offense – 44 rushing and 56 passing.
Following the game, things got heated between the Pittston Area and Valley View coaching staffs. The two had to be separated by game officials and Pittston Area security. Both teams were escorted off the field separately with Valley View heading directly to the awaiting buses.
Pittston Area will travel to Wyoming Valley West on Friday in its first road game of the season. So far this year, Valley West has a pair of routs under its belt, including a 42-17 win over Wyoming Area in week one. This past week, the Spartans beat Delaware Valley, 30-6.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick