CLARKS SUMMIT — The difficulty in having a young football team is measuring success. It doesn’t always come in the form of a victory.
That’s the message Dallas coach Bob Zaruta wanted to convey Saturday afternoon after his Mountaineers were shut out for a second consecutive game, this time 17-0 by defending District 2 Class 3A champion Abington Heights.
“We made a big improvement from last week,” said Zaruta, whose team lost 40-0 to Wyoming Valley West in its opener. “We were much more disciplined with our defense and it showed. Again, it was against a quality football team that’s well coached.”
Abington (2-0) scored on its first possession of the game but not again until past the midway point of the third quarter. Dallas (0-2) fell victim to the pass both times as J.C. Show hooked up with Nate Hollander for a 28-yard touchdown in the first, and the duo struck again at 4:14 of the third on a 55-yard pass play.
“He’s a leader on the football field,” Abington coach Joe Repshis said of Show. “He has great poise, great field presences. He has experience you can’t simulate. … He’s doing a great job for us.”
Show, who has verbally committed to play basketball at Bucknell, finished 14-of-17 for 206 yards. Hollander grabbed eight passes for 167 yards. The combo was the Comets’ biggest asset and Dallas’ biggest nemesis. Besides the touchdowns, five of their other connections resulted in first downs.
“(It was) a few big plays for the most part,” Zaruta said. “They were able to drive the football, but there was a lot of heart in that last series right there to keep them out of the end zone.”
Zaruta was referring to Abington’s last possession of the game, aside from a couple kneel downs to end the contest. The Comets went on a 14-play, clock-grinding drive where the Mountaineers held after facing a first-and-goal at their 4-yard line. Abington tacked on a field goal instead.
As for Dallas’ offense, it labored for a majority of the game. Quarterback Justin Mucha led the rushing attack with 43 tough yards. The Mountaineers moved into the redzone once, with the penetration coming late in the second quarter. A penalty and three plays for negative yardage resulted in a long field goal falling well short.
The Mountaineers also put together a solid drive after Abington went up 14-0 in the third. Mucha’s running along with passes to fullback Mike Olegenski, wideout Chris Behm and running back Logan Brace moved the ball to the Abington 23. A pair of sacks, though, quelled the scoring threat.
Abington Heights 17, Dallas 0
AH — Nate Hollander 28 pass from J.C. Show (Colin McCreary kick), 7:15
AH — Hollander 55 pass from Show (McCreary kick), 4:14
AH — McCreary 29 FG, 2:39
RUSHING — Dallas, Justin Mucha 14-43, Logan Brace 6-14, Mike Olegenski 2-1, Bret Storrs 4-7, Matt Harrison 2-(minus-22). Abington, Sean Rock 19-73, Joe Murray 2-5, Show 8-14, Perry Williams 1-4, team 2-(minus-4).
PASSING — Dallas, Mucha 7-12-1-56, Harrison 0-1-0-0. Abington, Show 14-17-1-206.
RECEIVING — Dallas, Brace 3-14, Omar Nijmeh 1-10, Mark Michno 1-6, Olegenski 1-7, Chris Behm 1-19. Abington, Joe Carroll 4-26, Hollander 8-167, Rock 1-8, Murray 1-5.
INTERCEPTIONS — Dallas, Brace. Abington, Show.
MISSED FGs — Dallas, 47S.