KINGSTON — A Wyoming Valley West wideout came in motion, headed for the backfield. It looked like a sweep, and the Dallas sideline screamed it out as the shotgun snap came back to Mike Baur.
The Spartans sold it well. Baur kept the ball himself and darted up the middle of the field for a big gain, further burning the Mountaineers when he cut hard toward the left sideline and picked up 53 yards to set up a touchdown.
Baur ran keepers, showed nice touch on his deep ball and even lined up a few times in the slot to keep Dallas off guard all night long in a 40-0 rout on opening night at Spartan Stadium.
The 6-foot-4 senior ran for a score, threw for another and caught one for good measure. He finished his 2013 debut with 284 all-purpose yards to complement the Spartans’ smothering defense.
“It’s a credit to him,” Valley West coach Pat Keating said. “It shows his versatility. … He’s a great athlete and we can have some fun with that, moving him around.”
Just as impressive was the Spartans’ work on defense. The unit set the tone early by holding the Mountaineers to just 39 total yards and one first down in the first half.
Breaking in a host of new starters at skill positions, the Mounts didn’t cross midfield until their first drive of the second half. Until they recovered a fumbled snap deep in Valley West territory in the final minute of the game, the Mountaineers’ deepest penetration was the Valley West 43.
With longtime former Dallas coach Ted Jackson Sr. on the opposing sideline — Jackson was making his debut as the Spartans linebackers coach — it made for a particularly memorable night.
“It was emotional,” Keating said. “It was emotional before the game. The kids knew during the week there was going to be some talk about it. Nobody really had to say anything to him — they kind of knew from the tone of practice what it meant.
“I’m proud of the way that they responded tonight.”
Dallas finished with just 104 yards of offense and didn’t top 100 until the backups were in on both sides in the fourth. It was the first time Dallas had been shut out in five years — Week 3 of the 2008 season against Tunkhannock.
New Mounts starting quarterback Justin Mucha showed his toughness, grinding out a team-best 50 yards on the ground by finishing his runs.
“He’s a tough runner,” Dallas coach Bob Zaruta said. “He’s got quickness. He doesn’t have fantastic speed, but he’s just a downhill runner for his size. He makes a lot of people miss.
“He’s going to be a good player for us, no question about it.”
Valley West got 95 yards and two touchdowns on the ground from Eric Acosta. L.J. Wesneski hauled in a 51-yard score when Baur hit him in stride down the left sideline behind the defense.
Brady Davison took a handful of snaps under center for the Spartans, throwing an 8-yard touchdown to Baur, who opened the scoring with a 4-yard run on the team’s opening drive.
“That’s a tough, physical football team,” Keating said of Dallas. “I know we put 40 points up on the board, but we had to earn every single point that we got.”
Wyoming Valley West 40, Dallas 0
Wyoming Valley West`7`12`14`7`—`40
WVW —Mike Baur 4 run (Ian Ultsh kick), 7:36
WVW —Bill Davison 1 run (pass failed), 7:15
WVW — Baur 8 pass from Brady Davison (pass failed), 1:00
WVW —Eric Acosta 16 run (Ultsh kick), 6:11
WVW — L.J. Wesneski 51 pass from Baur (Ultsh kick), 1:08
WVW —Acosta 37 run (Ultsh kick), 6:49
RUSHING — DAL, Justin Mucha 19-50, Bret Storrs 5-21, Bill Gately 4-10, Omar Nijmeh 1-7, Mike Olegenski 2-5, Logan Brace 1-1, Matt Harrison 4-(minus-12). WVW, Eric Acosta 16-95, Mike Baur 14-91, Jordan Mason 3-10, Troy Yashinski 1-2, Shawn Judge 2-2, Bill Davison 1-1, Michael Baird 1-(minus-1).
PASSING — DAL, Mucha 2-5-0-22, Harrison 0-2-0-0. WVW, Baur 8-10-0-185, Brady Davison 1-1-0-8.
RECEIVING — DAL, Chris Behm 1-22, Brace 1-0. WVW, Jermichael Bunch 4-84, Michael Sands 2-49, L.J. Wesneski 1-51, Baur 1-8, Acosta 1-1.
INTERCEPTIONS — None.
MISSED FGs — None.