WILKES-BARRE – Meyers reached its magic number of five Saturday afternoon.
Not so much the five first-half touchdowns, which led to the mercy rule and a 56-6 victory over Holy Redeemer. But rather, the five victories required to qualify for the Eastern Conference playoffs.
It does look good, Meyers coach Corry Hanson said. We're going into our rival, which we wait for Week 10 every year. We love playing GAR. It's going to be a great game next week.
And, in all likelihood, not the last of the season for the Mohawks (5-4). Although they are in fifth place in the Class 2A Central Division in the Eastern Conference standings, the four teams ahead of them have clinched district playoff berths. So that means Meyers is next in line for an E.C. spot, which stipulates a team must have at least five victories to represent its division.
The mercy rule kicked in to start the second half as Meyers led 35-0 at the break. It was a lead built in a first half bogged down by a plodding first quarter.
The initial 12 minutes took 46 minutes to complete, as 10 penalties slowed the pace. A perfect example was the final play of the first quarter – a Redeemer punt on a fourth-and-49 play as there were more penalties (six) than plays (five) during the possession.
Meyers led 14-0 after the first on a 4-yard touchdown run by Rudy Goodwin and a 72-yard punt return by Matt DeMarco. DeMarco added a 4-yard TD catch and Goodwin had a 1-yard TD run as part of Meyers' three-touchdown second quarter. Parrish Bennett sandwiched a 7-yard touchdown run between those scores.
Meanwhile, Redeemer (2-7) couldn't build off the momentum of last Friday's 47-37 victory over Hanover Area. Quarterback Jimmy Strickland set a Wyoming Valley Conference record with 488 passing yards in that victory, but Saturday afternoon was quite different.
Strickland was sacked four times in the first half for minus-44 yards and brought down behind the line a total of six times in the game. He was just 4 of 17 at halftime as Meyers' pass rush was on him in an instant on nearly every attempt.
Totally different team from last week, Redeemer coach Pat Reece said. We didn't come to play. It's simple as that.
This whole year, we have to put two games together. You have to get on a roll and put two games together.
Meyers junior running back Nate Mahalak scored on his team's first play from scrimmage in the third quarter on a 58-yard run. He finished with a career-high 103 yards on just seven carries.
Meyers 56, Holy Redeemer 6
MEY – Rudy Goodwin 4 run (Cal Lisman kick), 9:00
MEY – Matt DeMarco 72 punt return (Lisman kick), 2:18
MEY – DeMarco 4 pass from Labatch (Lisman kick), 10:09
MEY – Parrish Bennett 7 run (Lisman kick), 7:57
MEY – Goodwin 1 run (Lisman kick), 1:39
MEY – Nate Mahalak 58 run (Lisman kick), 11:37
HR – Eric Kerr 29 pass from Jimmy Strickland (pass failed), 0:10
MEY – DeMarco 42 run (Lisman kick), 11:04
MEY – Ty Thomas 34 pass from T.J. Cistrunk (Lisman kick), 4:55
RUSHING – Meyers, Mahalak 7-103, Labatch 1-1, DeMarco 3-61, Bennett 9-46, Goodwin 3-9, Zahir Dunell 3-7, Cistrunk 1-1, Josh Schiowitz 2-1. Redeemer, Strickland 16-(minus-6), Vince Villani 4-7, Tyler Kastendieck 1-6, Pat Villani 2-12.
PASSING – Meyers, Labatch 3-8-0-68, Cistrunk 2-2-0-44. Redeemer, Strickland 12-33-1-173, Kerr 0-1-1-0.
RECEIVING – Meyers, DeMarco 3-68, Thomas 2-44. Redeemer, Kerr 2-40, Jason Hoggarth 2-46, V.Villani 3-38, P.Villani 2-16, Gabe Dalessandro 1-8, Eric Lagotski 2-25.
INTS – Jacob Brominski, Mahalak.
MISSED FGS – none.