WEST PITTSTON – The first play from scrimmage of Friday night’s game between Wyoming Area and Northwest could have been disastrous for the Warriors.
Dominic DeLuca’s pass was intercepted by the Rangers’ David Piestrak.
The Warriors, however, could not be stopped on offense after that, and the defense was like a brick wall in what turned into a 55-0 Wyoming Valley Conference Class 3A/A Division romp.
DeLuca, a junior, rebounded from the early miscue. He orchestrated four scoring drives while rushing for 102 yards and two scores and passing for 51 yards and a TD.
“He knows he needs to be a player; he needs to be a leader,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “And the thing about being a leader is it’s easy to lead when things go right. What do you do when things go wrong?
“And I think you saw not just his response but the team’s response. And that’s really positive for us.”
The Warriors (3-0) scored touchdowns via punt return, interception return, pass and run. The first score of the night came after the Rangers’ initial possession when they were forced to punt. Freshman Leo Haros took the return to paydirt from 52 yards out for a 7-0 lead early in the game.
When Wyoming Area got its next possession, it showed domination by the offensive line as Corey Mruk and DeLuca combined to run for 59 yards, capped by a 2-yard score by DeLuca for the 14-0 lead.
DeLuca rambled off a 63-yard TD run on the first play of the team’s next drive for a 21-0 lead before the first quarter ended.
Mruk, who carried the ball 12 times for 120 yards, got into the scoring action in the second quarter on a 16-yard run. On the next play, Derek Ambrosino intercepted a pass from Piestrak and returned it 13 yards for a score and a 35-0 lead. Ambrosino tipped the screen pass to himself then caught it before rumbling in for the score.
“It felt good. With all the preparation and practice, it just felt good,” Ambrosino said. “We knew they were the two-time defending Wyoming Valley Conference champs from 3A, so we knew we had to come out and play and that’s what we did.”
Backup quarterback Jacob Williams hit Ambrosino for a 20-yard TD pass with a little more than a minute to go before halftime as the Warriors led 42-0 at the break.
The defense also worked wonders, allowing just one first down and holding the Rangers to minus-10 yards total offense.
“We knew we had the confidence to come out and dominate them and that’s what we did,” Ambrosino said. “It (the dominant defensive effort) says we have a stingy defense. We have Cameron Carr, Corey Mruk, FJ Braccini, Dom DeLuca, all these guys that step up and play defense.”
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