WEST PITTSTON — Berwick used a short field and a long drive to wipe out a halftime deficit Friday night.
The Bulldogs returned to their winning ways when the defense held Wyoming Area to 24 second-half rushing yards to clear the way for the offense as Berwick rallied for a 22-10 victory in the Wyoming Valley Conference Class 3A game.
Berwick scored the game’s final 22 points, including 16 in the second half, to improve to 4-2 by breaking a two-game losing streak.
The Bulldogs made the most of a field position advantage gained in a third-quarter exchange of punts, then added an insurance touchdown on a drive that first served to take precious time off the clock.
Berwick forced three turnovers while not committing any to also end a two-game winning streak by Wyoming Area (2-4).
“You need turnovers,” Berwick coach George Curry said after his state-record 450th career victory. “That’s what happened to us against Selinsgrove.”
The Bulldogs had a late lead get away in last week’s 17-14 loss to unbeaten Selinsgrove.
This time, Berwick finished strong.
The Bulldogs took the lead by covering 37 yards with five straight runs in a third-quarter drive that culminated in Daquan Hellenthal’s 4-yard touchdown. Lenny Wyda added the first of his two straight two-point conversions for a 14-10 lead with 5:22 left in the third quarter.
Justin Groshek made a third-down tackle and his fourth-down safety blitz created the pressure needed to force an incompletion to stop a Wyoming Area drive at the Berwick 2 in the final minute of the third quarter.
Berwick could not get out of its own end and needed its pass pressure to escape again.
Evan Klinger’s rush forced a Sean McCole interception and gave Berwick the ball at its 21 with 9:13 left.
The Bulldogs moved 75 yards in 15 plays, taking 7:37 off the clock to score with 1:36 left. Two bruising Alex Koch runs converted third-and-two, then fourth-and-three.
Harrison Kuchka took a third-and-10 reverse 16 yards for the touchdown.
Wyoming Area’s line dominated early on the both sides of the ball and the Warriors scored on their first two possessions for a 10-0 lead.
Brian Miles ran for 62 of his 100 yards on 10 first-quarter carries.
Miles picked up 21 yards on the opening drive before Dante DeLuca was wide open on play-action to pull in a 39-yard touchdown pass from P.J. Angeli for a 7-0 lead after just 2:26.
With Miles carrying nine times for 48 yards, Wyoming Area moved into position for David Klaproth’s 34-yard field goal with 9:04 left in the second quarter.
The Warriors drove the Bulldogs back in three plays, took over at midfield and began moving toward a potential third score.
Antonhy Cicini’s hit on a completed pass forced a fumble that Randy Miller recovered.
At that point, Wyoming Area had outgained Berwick, 138-54.
The Bulldogs dominated the rest of the way, outgaining the Warriors, 170-74.
Sophomore quarterback Jared Marshman hit Luke Fisher with a 29-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 10-6 with 1:14 left in the half.
Berwick 22, Wyoming Area 10
WA – Dante DeLuca 39 pass from P.J. Angeli (David Klaproth kick), 9:34
WA – Klaproth 34 FG, 9:04
B – Luke Fisher 29 pass from Jared Marshman (kick failed), 1:14
B – Daquan Hellenthal 4 run (Lenny Wyda run), 5:22
B – Harrison Kuchka 16 run (Wyda run), 1:36
RUSHING — BER, Alex Koch 16-74, Hellenthal 12-66, Wyda 6-31, Kuchka 1-16, Anthony Cicini 1-3, Team 3-minus 16, Jared Marshman 5-minus 20. WA, Brian Miles 25-100, Donovan O’Boyle 4-8, Angeli 7-8.
PASSING — BER, Marshman 3-6-0-70. WA, Angeli 3-11-1-79, Steve Homza 1-1-0-17.
RECEIVING — BER, Fisher 2-38, Robbie Harter 1-32. WA, DeLuca 1-39, O’Boyle 1-31, Angeli 1-17, Dylan Kostak 1-9.
INTERCEPTIONS — BER, Sean McCole 1-4.