SCRANTON — The uniforms were the same, but it became evident Saturday afternoon this version of Wyoming Area football has a way to go to match last year’s championship team.
Quite a way.
Scranton Prep scored via offense, defense and special teams in routing the Warriors 35-7 at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
The new-look Warriors weren’t expected to resemble the 2012 squad that won the WVC Division 2A-A and District 2 Class 2A championships. But the heavy losses to graduation were very apparent and could be tougher to overcome than foreseen.
• The 28-point margin of defeat was the biggest Wyoming Area had suffered since losing 40-19 to Pittston Area to end the 2009 season. The Warriors finished 2-8 that year.
• The Warriors’ offense never crossed midfield on its own. The team’s only score — a 3-yard run by Jeff Skursky with 8:03 remaining — came after Prep lost a fumble on its 13-yard line. And after the 35-point mercy rule.
• Three Wyoming Area quarterbacks were 2-of-8 for 12 yards and had two interceptions returned for touchdowns.
• Wyoming Area special teams fumbled away a punt and had a punt blocked and recovered by Prep for a touchdown. And the returners had a few adventures fielding Prep kickoffs.
“First game, we expect to deal with that,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “Especially with the inexperience we had coming in that I talked about in preseason. We have some athletic kids. We have to cut our teeth and get some on-field experience. Unfortunately, some of these lessons have to be learned the hard way.”
And on top of all that, starting running back/linebacker Marty Michaels suffered a right knee injury late in the second quarter.
Wyoming Area did make a goal-line stand after Prep moved to the Warriors’ 1-yard line following the fumbled punt. But the second time Wyoming Area took possession trouble struck. Prep defensive back Pat Timlin cut in front of a pass, returning it 27 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter.
The Warriors went backward on their next drive and were forced to punt. Prep’s Cory Kopicki broke through the line to block the punt and teammate Justin Belardi recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. After Prep’s offense scored twice, the defense found the end zone again on a 46-yard interception return by Kevin Sompel at 3:25 of the third.
“There are a lot of things that have to go right in the passing game,” Spencer said. “Our focus is running the ball and in situations taking our shots with play-action game passing. Again, we have to work on it.”
Scranton Prep 35, Wyoming Area 7
SP — Dan Timlin 27 int. return (Alex Rieder kick), 11:51
SP — Justin Belardi blocked punt fumble recovery in end zone (Rieder kick), 7:22
SP — Belardi 27 pass from Nick Solfanelli (Rieder kick), 2:38
SP — Pat Marino 1 run (Rieder kick), 6:11
SP — Kevin Sompel 46 int. return (Rieder kick), 3:25
WA — Jeff Skursky 3 run (Danielle Stillarty kick), 8:30
RUSHING — Wyo. Area, Marty Michaels 8-20, Skrusky 15-62, Kyle Borton 3-(minus-18), Ryan Gorki 4-10, Kyler Higgins 3-5, Ben Steve 1-(minus-5), Jason Wilson 3-4. Prep, Pat Marino 13-62, Cory Kopicki 4-9, Owen Perih 1-1, Tyler Stafursky 3-8, Mike Terrery 2-5, Kevin Holmes 1-(minus-4), Justin Welkey 2-7, team 2-(minus-4).
PASSING — Wyo. Area, Borton 2-5-1-12, Gorki 0-2-0-0, Higgins 0-1-1-0. Prep, Solfanelli 7-11-0-95.
RECEIVING — Wyo. Aream Farrad Condry 1-10, Jeremy Seabridge 1-2. Prep, Bannon 1-6, Perih 2-25, Dan Ryan 2-33, Belardi 1-27, Zach Brandt 1-4.
INTERCEPTIONS — Prep, Timlin, Sompel.
MISSED FGs — None.