WVC football: Wyoming Area defense too much for Lake-Lehman

By John Erzar - jerzar@timesleader.com
Lake-Lehman quarterback Ethan Adams tries to get away from Wyoming Area defender Derek Ambrosino on Friday night. - Fred Adams | for Times Leader
Lake-Lehman running back Ryan Eiden gets pushed out of bounds by Wyoming Area’s Jacob Williams to end the first half Friday night. - Fred Adams | for Times Leader
Wyoming Area receiver Brian Williams pulls in a pass from quarterback Dominic DeLuca for a touchdown in the first quarter Friday night as Lake-Lehman’s Floyd McRoy defends. - Fred Adams | for Times Leader
Lake-Lehman fullback Matt Kurtz (right) powers his way through the Wyoming Area defense Friday night. - - Fred Adams | for Times Leader
Wyoming Area quarterback Dominic DeLuca runs for yardage against Lake-Lehman on Friday night. - - Fred Adams | for Times Leader

LEHMAN TWP. — When the offense isn’t quite clicking, like on Friday night, Wyoming Area knows it can rely on its defense.

Just like the Warriors did once again in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 3A-A showdown with Lake-Lehman.

Wyoming Area forced four turnovers in the third quarter and added another in the fourth as the Warriors eventually pulled away for a 29-7 victory.

Wyoming Area (6-0) opened up a two-game lead in WVC Division 3A-A over Lehman and Meyers, both of which are 4-2.

“Our defense has done an exceptional job all year,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “Lake-Lehman does a great job on the ground, they pushed us. But we got in a situation where we got stout when we needed to. And coming up with five turnovers throughout the course of the game really was the difference.”

Wyoming Area led 6-0 at halftime on the strength of a 35-yard touchdown pass from Dominic DeLuca to Brian Williams late in the first quarter where Williams dove to topple over the right pylon for the score. But aside from that, the Warriors did little on offense, as they had 62 total yards and two first downs going into halftime.

Meanwhile, the Black Knights moved into Wyoming Area territory four times, including to the 15-yard line, only to come up empty on every occasion.

Lehman also dominated ball control, running 32 plays to Wyoming Area’s 13 through the first two quarters. Everything changed after halftime as the Black Knights turned over the ball three times on their first six plays.

The first turnover, a diving interception by Darren Rodney, set up a six-play, 38-yard drive where DeLuca carried the ball on three consecutive plays before finding Williams in the back of the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown.

DeLuca then picked off a pass on Lehman’s fourth play from scrimmage but fumbled the ball back to the Black Knights on the interception return. Lehman, though, fumbled it right back with Wyoming Area defensive lineman Dante Bovani flopping on top of the ball.

The recovery set up a 22-yard field goal by Aleah Kranson, giving Wyoming Area a 15-0 lead at 4:30 of the third quarter. DeLuca intercepted another pass late in the quarter.

Lehman appeared to get back into the game when Tyler Billotti scored on a 66-yard pass from Ethan Adams at 8:14 of the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 15-7. But Wyoming area answered the score.

A 27-yard pass to Dimitri DiPietro on a third-and-10 from the Wyoming Area 36-yard line kept a drive alive. DeLuca finished it off with four consecutive rushes, including a 9-yard TD run.

Lehman’s final gasp ended when Wyoming Area defensive lineman Tom Wycoski intercepted a pass at the line of scrimmage. He immediately headed for the end zone, but the 275-pounder didn’t get very far. No matter because running back Corey Mruk darted up the middle four plays later for a 36-yard touchdown.

“I’m kind of lost for words right now,” Lehman coach Jerry Gilsky said. “It’s quite upsetting because the score doesn’t really reflect what kind of game it was. It was turnover city in the second half.”

Lehman held Wyoming Area, which entered the game averaging 296 rushing per game, to a season-low 121 yards on the ground. The Warriors managed 233 yards of offense, also a season-low.

Wyoming Area 29, Lake-Lehman 7

Wyoming Area`6`0`9`14 — 29

Lake-Lehman`0`0`0`7 — 7

First quarter

WA — Brian Williams 35 pass from Dominic DeLuca (kick blocked), 3:01

Third quarter

WA — B.Williams 11 pass from DeLuca (run failed), 9:47

WA — Aleah Kranson 22 FG, 4:30

Fourth quarter

LL — Tyler Billotti 66 pass from Ethan Adams (Justin Tomonte kick), 8:14

WA — DeLuca 9 run (Kranson kick), 5:51

WA — Mruk 36 run (Kranson kick), 3:08

Team statistics`WA`LL

First downs`12`10

Rushes-yards`29-121`38-104

Passing yards`112`115

Total yards`233`219

Passing`7-18-1`7-20-4

Sacked-yards lost`1-3`0-0

Punts-avg.`5-34.2`4-28

Fumbles-lost`1-1`1-1

Penalties-yards`3-15`3-35

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — WA, DeLuca 11-55, Mruk 8-56, Darren Rodney 4-5, Zajquay Williamson 1-2, FJ Braccini 1-4, Leo Harris 2-1, team 2-(minus-2). Lehman, Ryan Eiden 7-35, Zach Kojadinovich 14-33, Matt Kurtz 9-29, Adams 5-17, Nick Zaboski 2-0, Scott Robbins 1-0.

PASSING — WA, DeLuca 7-18-1-111. Lehman, Adams 7-20-4-115.

RECEIVING — WA, Dimitri DiPietro 3-39, B.Williams 3-52, Mruk 1-11, Haros 0-10. Lehman, Eiden 5-47, Kojadinovich 1-2, Billotti 1-66.

INTERCEPTIONS — WA, Rodney 1-0, DeLuca 2-7, Matt Wycoski 1-7. Lehman, Casey Kaminski 1-0.

MISSED FGs — none.

Lake-Lehman quarterback Ethan Adams tries to get away from Wyoming Area defender Derek Ambrosino on Friday night.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_ll_wa5_faa.jpgLake-Lehman quarterback Ethan Adams tries to get away from Wyoming Area defender Derek Ambrosino on Friday night. Fred Adams | for Times Leader

Lake-Lehman running back Ryan Eiden gets pushed out of bounds by Wyoming Area’s Jacob Williams to end the first half Friday night.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_ll_wa1_faa.jpgLake-Lehman running back Ryan Eiden gets pushed out of bounds by Wyoming Area’s Jacob Williams to end the first half Friday night. Fred Adams | for Times Leader

Wyoming Area receiver Brian Williams pulls in a pass from quarterback Dominic DeLuca for a touchdown in the first quarter Friday night as Lake-Lehman’s Floyd McRoy defends.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_ll_wa2_faa.jpgWyoming Area receiver Brian Williams pulls in a pass from quarterback Dominic DeLuca for a touchdown in the first quarter Friday night as Lake-Lehman’s Floyd McRoy defends. Fred Adams | for Times Leader

Lake-Lehman fullback Matt Kurtz (right) powers his way through the Wyoming Area defense Friday night.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_ll_wa4_faa.jpgLake-Lehman fullback Matt Kurtz (right) powers his way through the Wyoming Area defense Friday night. Fred Adams | for Times Leader

Wyoming Area quarterback Dominic DeLuca runs for yardage against Lake-Lehman on Friday night.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_ll_wa3_faa.jpgWyoming Area quarterback Dominic DeLuca runs for yardage against Lake-Lehman on Friday night. Fred Adams | for Times Leader
Warriors forced five turnovers in win over Lehman

By John Erzar

jerzar@timesleader.com

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar