WRIGHT TWP. — Crestwood’s big play in the second half Friday counted. Wyoming Area’s didn’t.
That was the difference in Crestwood’s 21-18 victory in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 3A football game.
Kevin Klusewitz raced 55 yards for the only touchdown with 6:47 in the game, allowing the Comets to get off to a 2-0 start. Wyoming Area fell to 1-1.
“That was a great football game between two good football teams,” said Crestwood coach Greg Myers, whose team is trying to make amends for a 3-8 season in 2016. “I thought (Wyoming Area) did a phenomenal job on defense containing us. But we were able to get the big play late in the game. It seemed like it would come down to whoever made the big play.”
Klusewitz made it after an illegal block wiped out a punt return deep into Wyoming Area territory by Brandon Brozena. Klusewitz came across the formation and started left, then darted up the middle and outran a couple Warriors to score.
Late in the third quarter, Wyoming Area had a 67-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Dominic DeLuca wiped out by a holding penalty. The Warriors also misfired on their first possession of the second half when DeLuca had a pass into the end zone dropped on a fourth-and-6 from the Crestwood 17-yard line.
DeLuca was solid in his first varsity start with incumbent senior starter P.J. Angeli out for the season. Angeli was injured early in Wyoming Area’s 7-3 win against Wallenpaupack in the season opener.
DeLuca finished 8 of 17 for 125 yards and three touchdowns.
“Another outstanding job,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said of DeLuca. “He made some big plays and did a great job managing the game. We didn’t turn the ball over. Again, that’s all you can ask for in a close game. Just give you an opportunity to make big plays.”
Wyoming Area, though, couldn’t muster one on its final two possessions after Klusewitz’s TD run. The Warriors went three-and-out the first time. They got the ball back with 2:06 left and no timeouts, but the drive ended when Crestwood’s Matt Tirpak and Ryan Black forced DeLuca up in the pocket where he was sacked by Jeff Schmude.
Crestwood struck first, scoring on its initial drive of the game. Quarterback Chase Passman found Brandon Brozena down the middle of the field and Brozena split two defenders on the way to a 42-yard touchdown.
Wyoming Area answered back a short time later. DeLuca made a quick pass to Marc Minichello in the left flat and Minichello did the rest, sprinting 64 yards for a touchdown. Running back Darren Rodney eliminated the final Comet with any shot at stopping Minichello.
The extra-point was blocked, allowing Crestwood to maintain a 7-6 lead. The Warriors, though, took the lead early in the third as DeLuca threw 8 yards to Minichello, who caught the pass after it had popped out of his hands. Sophomore fullback Corey Mruk set up the score with a 46-yard run up the gut of the Crestwood defense.
Wyoming Area took an 18-14 lead into halftime when DeLuca found Rodney wide open for an 18-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-14.
Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar