WILKES-BARRE — With a tough three-game stretch ahead, Wyoming Area could have easily looked past winless GAR on Saturday night.
The Warriors didn’t, scoring on their first three possessions on the way to a 44-7 rout of the Grenadiers in a Wyoming Valley Conference interdivisional game.
Wyoming Area improved to 3-4 as it heads into a three-game homestand with Dallas (5-2), Williamsport (5-2) and cross-river rival Pittston Area (3-4) to conclude the regular season. The Warriors were able to straighten out some offensive issues over the past two games against a pair of winless teams — Hanover Area and GAR.
“I think it was critical for us to come in and execute and build on some of the plays we were able to make last week,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “I think it was important to build that confidence with the players who have that playmaking potential. Not to just do it last week, but do it again this week.”
A perfectly-run screen pass to Shane Eslick — where linemen Damon Barhight, Cameron Carr and Stephen Sokach-Minnick all had key blocks — resulted in a 38-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-2 play at 7:24 of the first quarter.
Carr recorded a safety later in the quarter when GAR running back Anthony Blake couldn’t escape the end zone after a botched handoff exchange. Quarterback Dominic DeLuca hit receiver Marc Minichello in stride down the middle with TD passes of 28 and 30 yards to bump the lead to 23-0 less than a minute into the second quarter.
Running back Justin Joseph closed out the first-half scoring with a 1-yard run, giving Wyoming Area a 30-0 lead going into the locker room.
Wyoming Area reached the 35-point mercy rule on its first possession of the second half on a 10-yard run by Donovan O’Boyle. The Warriors had a second-and-32 on the drive, but a 10-yard scramble by DeLuca and a 25-yard pass to Brian Williams.
GAR (0-7) had four turnovers and 16 yards of offense in the first half. The Grenadiers finished with 82 yards, but 65 of them came on a late scoring drive capped by Christian Hernandez’s 9-yard TD run.
“We didn’t come off the bus ready to play again,” GAR coach Paul Wiedlich Jr. said. “What is this now, seven consecutive weeks?”
Wyoming Seminary 34,
Poly Prep 6
The Blue Knights improved to 3-2 via a dominating defensive performance led by Manny Beals, Dante Shanghie and Nick Martini. Poly Prep’s only score came on a blocked punt.
Seminary piled up over 200 yards rushing. Receivers Ty Chung, Todd Phillips and DeShawn Jupiter-Deane had major contributions.
Wyoming Area 44, GAR 7
WA — Shane Eslick 38 pass from Dominic DeLuca (FJ Braccini kick), 7:24
WA — Safety, Cameron Carr tackles Anthony Blake in end zone, 2:10
WA — Marc Minichello 28 pass from DeLuca (Braccini kick), 0:47
WA — Minichello 30 pass from DeLuca (Braccini kick), 11:31
WA — Justin Joseph 1 run (Braccini kick), 1:44
WA — Donovan O’Boyle 10 run (Braccini kick), 8:23
WA — Blaise Ciampi 1 run (Josh Cumbo kick), 10:04
GAR — Christian Hernandez 9 run (Jose Amigon kick), 5:56
RUSHING — WA, O’Boyle 11-80, Joseph 8-57, Minichello 1-0, DeLuca 5-19, Robbie Trottini 1-(minus-4), Zajquay Williamson 7-44, Jake Williams 1-(minus-1), Ciampi 3-42, Anthony Scalzo 4-16, team 2-(minus-2). GAR, Ron Peguero 9-35, Tyrone Qualls 6-3, Blake 9-13, Hernandez 2-16.
PASSING — WA, DeLuca 6-9-0-143, J.Williams 1-1-0-9. GAR, Preguero 3-8-1-15, Qualls 0-1-1-0.
RECEIVING — WA, Eslick 1-38, Minichello 2-58, Steve Yordy 1-12, Trottini 1-10, Brian Williams 1-25, Jake Busch 1-9. GAR, Malachai Williams 2-15, Blake 1-0.
INTERCEPTIONS — Corey Mruk 1-27, Williamson 1-20.
MISSED FGs — none.