First Posted: 8/31/2013
Defensively, Wyoming Area’s opener against Scranton Prep started off on a good note.
The Warriors gave up just seven first-half points, but found themselves down 21-0 thanks to a few key mistakes.
Scranton Prep did what any good team would do and capitalized en route to a 35-7 win over Wyoming Area Saturday afternoon at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
In the first half, Wyoming Area limited Scranton Prep to just one solid scoring drive. That was midway through the second quarter when Prep quarterback Nick Solfanelli found tight end Justin Belardi from 30 yards out for a score.
Solfanelli rolled to his left off play action and Belardi was wide open for the easy score.
Other than that, it wasn’t all bad in the first half — except for two huge mistakes.
“It’s the first game and we have to deal with that, especially with the inexperience we have,” Wyoming Area head coach Randy Spencer said. “We have to cut our teeth and get them some on-field experience.”
With Wyoming Area back deep into their territory near the end of the first quarter, Warrior play-caller Ryan Gorki dropped back and was under duress. After escaping would-be tackler and Penn State verbal commitment Noah Beh, Gorki uncorked a toss to his left that was jumped by Prep’s Dan Timlin.
Timlin’s jump turned into an easy interception and a walk into the end zone.
“The passing game is an execution play,” Spencer said. “At times we get out of that. You have to be precise. We’re working with some young, but very athletic players.”
Just four minutes later, Scranton Prep really opened it up.
Wyoming Area was facing a third-and-37 from its own 7. After a 1-yard gain from Marty Michaels, the Warriors were forced to punt. The snap was good, but the line wasn’t. The punt was blocked by Cory Kopicki and recovered by Belardi for a touchdown.
“We just have to go back and teach and reteach and give them something to learn,” Spencer said. “You can never emulate game speed in practice. We have to execute some plays better.”
It wasn’t until the mercy rule was in effect that the Warriors finally clicked on the Memorial Stadium scoreboard bulbs.
With the second string in for Scranton Prep, quarterback Kevin Holmes fumbled with Jeff Skurksy pouncing on the loose ball.
Two straight runs on the ensuing possession by Skursky put the Warriors in the end zone for the first time.
Wyoming Area will be back to Jake Sobeski Stadium the next two weeks with matchups against Mid-Valley and Lake-Lehman. Each of those teams lost this past week.
Spencer and his Wyoming Area boys weren’t too concerned with how this one played out Saturday. Their focus remains on running the football and attacking the ball defensively.
But in order for the Warriors to do that, they’ll have to limit their turnovers, penalties and get back to executing Warrior football.
“That comes with time,” Spencer said. “The inexperience will change shortly. We just have to execute some plays.”