YATESVILLE — The turnover bug hit Pittston Area had on Friday night.
The Patriots turned the ball over five times, while outgaining Dallas, in a 24-6 loss at Charley Trippi Stadium. Pittston Area’s offense went for 327 yards in the loss, but were doomed by the takeaways when it would get into Dallas territory. The loss dropped Pittston Area to 1-2 on the season, while it was Dallas’ first win of the campaign.
It took Dallas just one play to match its 2016 point total after falling to Berwick and Coughlin in the first two weeks.
The Mountaineers got a 68-yard touchdown run from tailback Justin Hutchins on the first play from scrimmage, and that would be enough to hold onto the win.
The Patriots racked up their best offensive performance of the season.
Quarterback Walter Coles finished the game with 190 yards passing on 11 completions. He also ran for 57 yards on seven carries, including a 51-yard scamper in the third quarter. Running back Keemar Woodruff had 56 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Kevin Krawczyk finished the game with four catches for 59 yards.
Dallas picked off Pittston Area three times, and forced another two fumbles.
Following the opening touchdown for the Mountaineers, Pittston Area was able to move the ball well but turned the ball over on downs its next two possessions. That set up the Mountaineers’ best scoring drive of the night.
Taking over at the Pittston Area 43, Dallas went 10 plays, all running the football, capped off by Mannello’s 1-yard plunge to make it 14-0. With Pittston Area looking to answer, the Mountaineer defense got its first of five turnovers.
Coles’ pass was picked off by Chris Murray. The two teams traded possessions and went into the half with Dallas leading 14-0.
The Patriots came out firing in the third quarter.
Starting on their own 30, Coles used a 29-yard pass to Krawczyk, and a 33-yard strike to tight end John Delucca to get inside the Dallas 5. Woodruff took care of the rest and took it in from three yards out. The Patriots missed the extra point and trailed 14-6 midway through the third.
Again with Pittston Area inside Dallas territory late in the third, the Mountaineers forced a fumble. Following a failed fourth down try from the Mountaineers to open the fourth, the defense did it again.
Freshman safety Leonard Kelly picked off another Coles pass and returned it 25 yards. That set up a 20-yard field goal by Nathan Maransky. The final blow came when Schuster picked off Coles and returned it 40 yards. Schuster would later score on a 1-yard run to seal the game.
The Patriots, coming off last week’s heart-throbbing win against Tunkhannock, reached Dallas territory five times throughout the game but couldn’t cash in. Pittston Area will look to get back on track with a home matchup against Valley View on Friday, Sept. 16. The game will be Pittston Area’s Homecoming.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick