MOSCOW – Greg Dolhon has not been kind to his old school on the football field.
For the second straight year, Wyoming Area has made great strides in the third week in pursuit of the first victory of the season only to have Dolhon’s North Pocono team steal a game away late.
The Trojans followed up last season’s overtime victory by hitting a 24-yard, Luke Fetter-to-Matt Kelly touchdown pass with 1:02 remaining Friday night to rally for a 26-21 victory over the Warriors.
Dolhon, who played quarterback at Wyoming Area before graduating in 1989, improves 2-0 coaching against his alma mater. His Trojans are now 3-0 on the season.
Wyoming Area slipped to 0-3 on a night when it did a lot of things well.
The Warriors obliterated the Trojans running game and a 13-point, fourth-quarter deficit.
Despite controlling the ball throughout the night and putting together back-to-back scoring drives in an impressive fourth-quarter comeback, the Warriors came up short again.
“Whenever you play hard and lose the game, it doesn’t feel good,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “But, for our kids, it was certainly the fullest football game we’ve played to this point.
“We’re pleased for the most part, but we’re certainly not satisfied.”
Wyoming Area held what had been a productive North Pocono running game to negative yardage in the first half and just 17 yards for the game.
Fetter, however, went 6-for-6 passing in the second half with three touchdowns and three completions in the game-winning drive.
“We challenged our guys in the secondary,” Spencer said. “We played a lot of man coverage so we put some pressure on those guys and they held up for a lot of plays.
“ … We wanted to try to do the job against their running game and I think we did that.”
The Warriors rushed for 202 yards, ran 72 plays to 30 by the Trojans and held a 33:58-14:02 time of possession advantage.
Then, when North Pocono rattled off 20 straight points in the first 12 ½ minutes of the second half, Wyoming Area showed the ability to rally.
P.J. Angeli and Donovan O’Boyle led the Warriors on a 10-play, 71-yard scoring drive after North Pocono hit a 65-yard pass for the 20-7 lead.
Angeli was 4-for-6 for 55 yards passing in the drive, including an 18-yarder to Dylan Kostak on third-and-seven. O’Boyle ran for two first downs, converting a third-and-three with a tough inside run.
They combined on the score with Angeli finding O’Boyle at the left flag for a 24-yard touchdown.
The Warriors had the ball back two plays later when Angeli forced a fumble that Marc Anthony Minichello recovered.
Another drive followed, this one covering 60 plays in 11 plays.
Steve Homza found another way to throw a pass in the first game in which he did not spend some time at quarterback. Homza took a handoff on a fourth-and-11 reverse, then threw back to Angeli for a 14-yard gain.
Angeli broke a tackle in the backfield, then two more on a 16-yard run to the 2. Brian Miles scored from there and David Klaproth added his third extra-point kick for a 21-20 lead with 2:05 left.
Wyoming Area never let North Pocono closer than the 49 in the first half, but converted just one of four drives into Trojans territory while taking a 7-0 halftime lead.
Angeli threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Kostak on fourth-and-goal.
One of the game’s biggest plays came with 4:55 left in the third quarter when Wyoming Area lined up to have Klaproth try a 33-yard field goal for the lead.
Jake Przywara broke through the middle, blocked the kick, then returned the ball 60 yards to set up the touchdown that gave North Pocono its first lead.
Kostak and Justin Steinberger led the defensive effort up front for Wyoming Area. Kostak had four tackles, including one for a loss, and assisted on four others. Steinberger had four tackles, including two for losses, and added an assist.
Wyoming Area’s next game is Friday night at Tunkhannock, which took a 19-game losing streak into a Saturday afternoon game at Scranton Prep.
Scranton Prep 42
Wyoming Area 13
SCRANTON – Tyler Stafursky ran for 122 yards and three touchdowns while Jake Ryan surpassed 100 yards both rushing and passing Sept. 12 when Lackawanna Football Conference Division 1 favorite Scranton Prep handled visiting Wyoming Area, 42-13.
Ryan finished with 128 yards and a touchdown on seven carries while turning 11 passes into six completions for 119 yards and another touchdown.
Wyoming Area’s P.J. Angeli threw a 30-yard pass to Marc Anthony Minichello on fourth-and-10 from the 34 early in the second quarter. Brian Miles scored from there on the next play to cut the early Scranton Prep lead to 14-7.
Steve Homza hit Jeff Urban for a 36-yard Wyoming Area touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Thor Balavage, a senior center/defensive end and team captain from Avoca, had a big game for the Scranton Prep defense. Balavage had five tackles and two assists, with three of the tackles and one of the assists coming on a loss. He also rushed the passer into an interception and two incompletions.
Ivan Balavage, Thor’s brother, came off the bench to run for 21 yards on three carries.