YATESVILLE — Big plays were Pittston Area’s Achilles’ heel in last week’s 28-0 loss to Abington Heights. Not much has changed for the Patriots in the past seven days.
Pittston Area gave up three touchdowns of more than 50 yards en route to its second straight loss to open the 2013 campaign, 34-18, at the hands of Scranton Friday night.
Knights tailback Jake McCarthy rushed for 212 yards on 24 carries. He also caught a 53-yard touchdown pass from Jake Pieczynzki. But most of that damage was done in the second half.
The Patriots and the Knights were locked in a battle defensively in the first two quarters. Neither team was able to move the ball efficiently down the field.
“I can’t ask for the kids to play better,” Pittston Area coach Mike Barrett said. “I think we fought a little harder tonight, I really do. The defense was just giving up big plays. We can’t continue to give up big plays. It was the same thing last week. We missed some very big opportunities tonight.”
Following a shutout at the hands of Abington Heights, Pittston Area’s offense put the ball in the end zone for the first three times of the 2013 season.
After 3-yard touchdown run from McCarthy to open the scoring, Hassan Maxwell returned the ensuing kickoff 68 yards right up middle of the Scranton gunners. On the very next play, Kyle Gattuso scampered 13 yards to put the Patriots on the board for the first time in 2013.
Gattuso finished with his second straight game over 90 yards with 122 yards on 22 carries.
Gattuso’s score, however, would be Pittston Area’s last until the fourth quarter. And finishing drives, a problem they had last week, was starting to cause problems Friday night.
There were many dropped passes that would have resulted in first downs from quarterback James Emmett. Emmett struggled with the dropped passes in the first half — his second half would improve.
McCarthy’s touchdown through the air came with 3:51 to play in the first half to make it 13-6.
Scranton 34, Pittston Area 18
S — Jake McCarthy 3 run (kick failed), 4:06
PA — Kyle Gattuso 13 run (kick failed), 3:47
S — McCarthy 53 pass from Jake Pieczynski (Alvaro Fernandez kick), 3:51
S — McCarthy 7 run (Fernandez kick), 10:52
PA — Gattuso 2 run (kick failed), 10:03
S — Joshua Gonzalez 51 pass from Pieczynski (Fernandez kick), 7:04
PA — Rich Weinstock 24 pass from James Emmett (kick failed), 5:03
S — McCarthy 65 run (Fernandez kick), 5:03
Team statistics`Scranton`Pitt Area
RUSHING — S, McCarthy 24-212, Pieczynski 2-25, Jared Little 2-2, Jacob Watts 1-2. PA, Gattuso 22-122, Hassan Maxwell 6-24, Emmett 4-(-6), Josh John 1-0.
PASSING — S, Pieczynski 6-11-142-0. PA, Emmett 6-15-153-1.
RECEIVING — S, Gonzalez 2-65, McCarthy 1-53, Marcus Morrison 1-19, Ramon Fields 1-5. PA, Michael Harth 3-83, Weinstock 2-64, Michael Schwab 1-6.
INTERCEPTIONS — S, Anthony Tooson, 1-18.
MISSED FGs — None.