KINGSTON — By coach Pat Keating’s post-game huddle demeanor, it wasn’t the kind of victory he expected to get over the defending District 2-4 Class 4A runner-ups.
Turnovers, penalties and sluggish starts to both halves made Wyoming Valley West’s 35-12 victory over Delaware Valley seem less electrifying than it would have on paper. The Spartans committed nine penalties for 85 yards.
“Not a very good football performance by our guys tonight,” Keating said. “I told them just now too many mistakes. If there’s a bright light in it, we made all of those mistakes and walked away with a win. I told them good teams always find a way to win.”
A momentous second quarter by Michael Sands lifted the Spartans (2-0) after sloppy first quarter. Sands scored a pair of touchdowns and made a red zone interception to push Wyoming Valley West into halftime with a 21-6 lead.
Sands caught a 17-yard touchdown from Mike Baur with 5:39 left. Minutes later, Sands caught a ball up the middle, broke several tackles and blazed past the Warrior secondary for a 40-yard score with 55 seconds on the scoreboard.
“All I saw was my quarterback Mike Baur,” Sands said, of his 17-yard touchdown. “The ball was up in the air. I give all the credit to him. It was a bit of a stretch for me but I had to look up and make a great catch.”
A failed onside kick and three penalties quickly brought Delaware Valley (0-2) into scoring position with 11 seconds to go. Sands caught a pass up the middle just before the goal line to keep it a two-possession game.
The Spartans found themselves against the brink of the wall before their offense clicked in the waning minutes of the first quarter. Delaware Valley went with gutsy playcalling, completing a 4th-and-6 pass to set up a Lex Rosario touchdown reception to put the Spartans down six.
“I thought we were a little bit hesitant, a little bit sleepy when we came out,” Keating said. “Both halves we didn’t start well but we finished well.”
Eric Acosta gave Wyoming Valley West a well-needed boost with a 2-yard rushing touchdown to put the Spartans up 7-6 with 1:32 left in the first quarter.
Wyoming Valley West 35, Delaware Valley 12
Wyoming Valley West`7`14`7`7`—`35
D — Lex Rosario 18 pass from Kyle Clark (kick blocked), 9:18
W — Eric Acosta 2 run (Ian Ultsch kick), 1:32
W — Michael Sands 17 pass from Mike Baur (Ultsch kick), 5:39
W — Sands 40 pass from Brady Davison (Ultsch kick), :55
D — Rian Fowler 21 pass from Clark (pass failed), 7:34
W — Acosta 46 run (Ultsch kick), :40
W — Bill Davison 2 run (Ultsch kick), 10:17
RUSHING — DV, Rosario 16-72, Clark 5-10, Wayne Sebring 4-13, Brett Cohen 6-0, TEAM 1-1. WVW, Bi. Davison 4-25, Acosta 10-133, Baur 15-54, Shawn Judge 5-12, Troy Yashinski 1-7, Jordan Mason 1-0, Dasheym Weeks 1-1, TEAM 1-(minus-4).
PASSING — DV, Clark 9-19-1-106, Cohen 1-9-1-10. WVW, Baur 10-18-2-152, Br. Davison 2-3-0-51.
RECEIVING — DV, Fowler 2-34, Ryan McGowan 1-11, Rosario 3-40, Cole Acoveno 1-5, Matt Wagner 1-4, Chris McFadden 1-3, Shawn Chelbus 1-19. WVW, Jared Kozich 2-43, LJ Wesneski 1-11, Alex Barilla 1-11, Sands 6-121, Jermichael Bunch 1-4, Judge 1-13.
INTERCEPTIONS — DV, Clark 1-0, Cohen 1-0. WVW, Sands 1-0, Bi. Davison 1-4.
MISSED FGs — None