The impact of the 2012 District 2 Class AA champion Wyoming Area Warriors was felt one more time at Jake Sobeski Stadium Friday night.
The motivation to avenge a crushing defeat in last November’s district playoffs brought out the best in Lake-Lehman, the team figured most likely to follow Wyoming Area to the top in Class AA.
Lake-Lehman held Wyoming Area without a first down and limited the Warriors to negative yardage until the game’s final nine minutes while running away to a 54-7 rout.
“They certainly look like one of the strongest teams in Double-A District 2,” Warriors coach Randy Spencer said. “We knew they had a good team coming in.”
Lake-Lehman was intent on proving that point in a stadium where its 2012 season ended with a 49-14 playoff loss.
A picture of the scoreboard from that day was hung up in the Lake-Lehman weight room in the offseason. It was visible in the team’s locker room each day so far this season and even made its way into the visiting locker room at Wyoming Area for Friday night.
“It’s something our kids looked at every day,” Lake-Lehman coach Jerry Gilsky said. “It was on their minds.”
The Black Knights improved to 2-1 with their only loss coming, 13-7, in the opener against unbeaten Old Forge.
The Warriors continued their struggles, falling to 0-3, and getting more than 90 percent of their offensive production on a play that finally cut into a 54-0 deficit with less than a minute remaining.
Jason Wilson raced 75 yards for the touchdown and Danielle Stillarty added the extra point on an otherwise frustrating night for the Wyoming Area offense.
The Warriors had all seven first-half possessions end in three plays and gained yardage on just four of those 21 plays.
Spencer said offense is the place the Warriors need to make the most drastic improvement to become more competitive.
“We have got to be able to put some first downs together,” he said. “Certainly, that’s where our focus is. At times, the defense played well.
“Early on, the defense created situations where we could have been successful.”
The Warriors started their first possession at midfield after pinning Lake-Lehman at its 12 on the opening drive.
A fumble on third down from the 47 was the last time Wyoming Area took a snap in Lake-Lehman territory.
Dustin Jones ran for three first-half touchdowns and helped lead the Lake-Lehman defense with three tackles for losses and the fumble recovery that ended the first drive.
Joey Vigil put the game in the Mercy Rule by returning an interception 56 yards for a score as time expired in the first half, giving the Black Knights a 35-0 lead. He also ran for 70 yards on seven carries, made two tackles for losses and forced the fumble Jones recovered.
Brady Butler carried 14 times for 111 yards and a touchdown for Lake-Lehman. The Black Knights outgained the Warriors, 220-minus 1, in the first half. They finished the game with advantages of 17-2 in first downs and 386-82 in rushing yards.
Ryan Murray, Jeff Skursky and Wilson led the Wyoming Area defense. Murray had seven tackles and three assists. Skursky had six tackles and five assists. Wilson had six tackles and three assists.
Wyoming Area will try to bounce back Friday night at Hanover Area (1-2).
“This is where you find out what you’re made of,” Spencer said. “I told our kids, we’re going to come back to work Monday.”