KINGSTON – Lucky Williams missed the play call and yet orchestrated the play like he'd practiced all week long.
Collecting a screen pass to the right flank, the senior wideout looked downfield – only to find teammate Derrick Simms completely open and forgotten by the entire Pittston Area secondary.
Williams' 68-yard strike to Simms epitomized Wyoming Valley West's do-no-wrong performance Friday against Pittston Area. The Spartans bounced back from a first-drive Pittston Area touchdown to post a 40-7 victory to remain in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt.
Shocking, Williams said. It made me do a double take. It was nice.
He missed the call, Wyoming Valley West coach Pat Keating said. He thought originally it was a screen. It's a good thing he glanced over at the last second.
It was the defense, however, that overshadowed the Spartans' big-play offensive performance. Wyoming Valley West intercepted four passes and sacked Pittston Area quarterbacks five times for 40 yards.
We played pretty true to our game plan, Keating said. I thought our kids did a really nice job of executing. We won the line of scrimmage up front, and that was the big thing. We won the turnover battle, and that's key in a game against a good team.
Williams recorded an all-around performance by throwing for a touchdown, catching a go-ahead touchdown pass, and intercepting a ball at the goal line.
Simms also contributed on defense with a 29-yard interception return touchdown in the third quarter. Simms finished with three touchdowns and led the team with 86 yards on the ground.
He's been making plays for four years, Keating said. He did a great job for us tonight. He's looking for that 1,000-yard mark down the stretch but nothing mattered to him.
Pittston Area finished the first quarter with a 7-6 lead. The Patriots marched down the field on the first possession of the game, capped by a 48-yard touchdown catch by Joe Starinsky from James Emmett.
Valley West battled back by scoring the next 40 points and holding the Patriots – which recently defeated Coughlin and narrowly lost to Berwick – to just over three yards per play.
Everyone is noticing how serious it is, Williams said. We're playing with emotions and leaving it out on the field. We have a wide variety of seniors. We have 20 seniors; everyone wants it.
The Spartans' Josh Ortiz returned a punt for 48 yards that stunned the Patriots' comeback plans. Ortiz also finished with a receiving touchdown in the first quarter.
Wyoming Valley West 40, Pittston Area 7
|Wyoming Valley West||6||20||7||7||—||40|
PA – Joe Starinsky 48 pass from James Emmett (RJ Haas kick), 7:57
WVW – Josh Ortiz 31 pass from Michael Baur (kick failed), 5:35
WVW – Lucky Williams 12 pass from Baur (kick failed), 7:08
WVW – Ortiz 48 punt return (Ian Ultsh kick), 4:41
WVW – Derrick Simms 68 pass from Williams (Ultsch kick), 4:11
WVW – Simms 29 interception return (Ultsch kick), 9:34
WVW – Simms 30 run (Ultsch kick)
|Team Statistics||Pitt Area|
RUSHING – PA: Hassan Maxwell 8-31, Joe Montini 1-3, Kyle Gattuso 20-31, Jordan Houseman 1-4, Emmett 4-(minus-20), Starinsky 1-1, Joe Giambra 1-13, Zach Erfman 2-16, Josh John 4-6, Ron D'Eliseo 1-3; WVW: Simms 11-86, Alan Sakosky 1-3, Baur 8-73, Williams 1-(minus-2), Eric Acosta 4-22, Team 2-(minus-2)
PASSING – PA: Emmett 9-14-3-108, Gattuso 1-3-1-1; WVW: Baur 4-7-0-50, Williams 1-68, Brady Davison 1-47
RECEIVING – PA: Starinsky 6-74, Houseman 3-24, Maxwell 1-11; WVW: Williams 2-18, Ortiz 2-32, Simms 1-68, Jermichael Bunch 1-47
INTS – WVW: Williams 1-0, Simms 1-27, Nate Gurtis 2-26
MISSED FGS – None