Source: Video by Nick WagnerHear from Wyoming Area head coach Randy Spencer as the Warriors picked up their second win of the 2016 high school football season.
WEST PITTSTON — Wyoming Area was in the lead and in control of momentum late in the third quarter of Friday night’s Wyoming Valley Conference Class 4A Division game with Crestwood.
Brian Miles was just getting started.
Miles ran for 99 yards and two touchdowns in the last 16 minutes to help the Warriors break the game open in a 27-7 victory at Jake Sobeski Stadium.
“Everyone on our line was doing what they need to do, moving guys out of the holes so we could make plays,” Miles said.
Miles ran inside to convert a third-and-11 situation into a 32-yard touchdown. The score put the Warriors ahead by more than a touchdown for the first time and Jacob Butwin’s extra point made it 19-7 with 3:37 left in the third quarter.
The touchdown seemed to create a spark for Miles, who finished with 118 yards on 12 carries.
Miles made his two tackles on the next two Crestwood plays, including breaking up a dangerously deceptive play for no gain.
Then, when the Warriors got the ball back, Miles went to work.
“With backs, it’s all about their ability to put some carries together, get some flow, get some momentum going,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “Sometimes, with everybody fresh and everybody playing full speed, that’s not as easy to do.
“ … We’ve been able to be diverse and spread the ball around a little bit. I think you saw what that does for a back like Brian.”
Hitting inside holes quickly – and occasionally bouncing outside from there – Miles took care of the next scoring drive. He ran 23 and 31 yards on the first two plays to go over 100 for the game. He went 7 and 5 yards to put the ball at the 1 where he scored with 10:30 remaining.
Miles then ran for the two-pointer to make it 27-7.
With the way Wyoming Area’s defense was playing, that essentially locked up the game.
The Warriors never let Crestwood run a play from inside the 33.
The Comets had scored their only touchdown on a 55-yard pass on their second play.
“The defense, I think, finished very strong,” Spencer said.
The Warriors limited Crestwood to six first downs and held a ground-oriented attack to 77 rushing yards.
Crestwood crossed midfield in just one series in the game, taking its only four snaps in Wyoming Area territory in the possession between Miles’ two touchdowns.
James Eslick led the defense with seven tackles, including a sack for an 11-yard loss, and an assist. P.J. Angeli led the defense early and finished with four tackles and four assists.
Dylan Kostak had five tackles, including one for a loss, and two assists.
Kostak was also the first back to get in a groove in Wyoming Area’s 232-yard ground game. He ran for 50 yards on five first-half carries and finished with 68 yards on nine attempts.
The power running was part of turning the momentum after Crestwood scored on a Kyle Richards-to-Lance Blass pass. The Warriors forced an underthrown ball with their pass rush, but Blass came back to it, then maneuvered around two defenders for the touchdown.
“You’re going to face adversity,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “We faced it early when we failed to make that play. We had an opportunity to make the play, we just missed it.”
Wyoming Area scored before the quarter was over, but still trailed because of a missed extra point.
Steve Homza took a lateral pass from P.J. Angeli and hit Marc Anthony Minichello behind the defense for a 27-yard touchdown on fourth-and-10.
“That’s one of the advantages of having two arms on the field,” Spencer said of the combination of Angeli and Homza, who share the quarterback position along with each playing wide receiver when the other is under center.
Wyoming Area went 73 yards on 11 plays for that first score.
Kostak had three runs for 36 yards, including a 22-yarder, to set up Angeli’s 4-yard touchdown run with 2:47 left in the second quarter for a 12-7 lead. Angeli rolled right and, when no receivers were open, tucked the ball in and got to the end zone himself.
Wyoming Area improved to 2-0, going into Friday night’s game at Berwick, which is also 2-0. The teams have allowed one touchdown combined.