KINGSTON — Rich Wallace made it a 7-6 game. Unfortunately for Pittston Area, things took a turn for the worst against one of the top teams in the Wyoming Valley.
Wallace returned a kickoff for a touchdown midway through the first quarter Friday night against Wyoming Valley West. From there, however, the Patriot scoring would take a backseat to the potent Valley West squad.
Valley West racked up more than 400 yards of offense and Sean Judge returned two interceptions for touchdowns as the Spartans took down Pittston Area, 62-13.
Judge finished with 28 rushing yards, 28 receiving yards, and picked off a pair of Pittston Area passes en route to 150 yards and two touchdowns. He opened the game by scoring from 16 yards out four minutes in.
Wallace’s touchdown came after Judge’s 16-yard score. Behind a wall of Patriot blockers, Wallace raced through the midfield en route to a 93-yard touchdown to make it a 7-6 ball game.
The forceful Valley West offense would then take over.
Led by junior signal-caller Aaron Austin, the Spartans passing game was on point throughout the first half. Austin finished the half with eight completions for 158 yards and three touchdowns. He didn’t attempt a pass in the second half.
Valley West’s offense outgained Pittston Area 407-167. In the second quarter, however, it wasn’t just the Spartan offense doing the damage.
Judge picked off Pittston Area quarterback Walter Coles and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter. After Pittston Area put together its best drive of the game in the waning moments of the first half, Judge was at it again.
Pittston Area drove 55 yards to the Valley West 4, which including a 29-yard completion to Keemar Woodruff and a 30-yard strike to Kevin Krawczyk. On a second-and-goal, Niko Cinquegrani dropped back and threw a quick pass to his right. Judge took the pass and went 100 yards for the score to make it a 55-6 game at halftime.
Pittston Area’s lone offensive touchdown came early in the fourth quarter when sophomore Woodruff scampered in from 10 yards out.
Valley West limited Pittston Area to just 44 yards on 24 carries. Things didn’t help when starting tailback Carmen Falcone left the game on the first play due to an injury. Throughout the game, Pittston Area dealt with injuries.
The Patriots will be back in action when they travel to Crestwood on Saturday, Sept. 26. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Crestwood fell to Coughlin, 42-41 on Friday night.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick