YATESVILLE - Pittston Area has been looking for its passing attack all season. On Friday night against winless Dallas, James Emmett and the boys found it.
Emmett connected with Michael Harth from 38 yards out with 5 minutes to play in the fourth quarter to give Pittston Area its first lead en route to a 21-17 win over the Mountaineers.
The Patriots (2-4) overcame a 17-point deficit to hand Dallas its sixth loss of the season.
Emmett had his best game of the season, finishing 11-of-15 for 185 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. But it wasn’t all him. His receivers were constantly behind the Dallas defense. And let’s not forget the job Emmett’s offensive line did — Pittston only gave up three sacks.
“The line protected very well tonight,” Emmett said. “The passing game opened up a bit. Our defense has been playing great this season and we just found a way to win.”
Pittston Area’s 21 points are the most it has scored all season — it mustered 18 in a 34-18 loss to Scranton in Week 2. Dallas, on the other hand, had scored only 14 points all season prior to putting up those numbers just 14 minutes into Friday’s game.
Dallas got some fine production from its signal caller. Matt Harrison, in his first varsity start, finished 8-of-15 for 188 yards and a touchdown. Seven of his completions went to Justin Mucha, who finished with 157 yards, including a circus catch on a 65-yarder to open the scoring late in the first quarter.
“We made some personnel changes,” Dallas coach Bob Zaruta said. “Matt did a very good job. That gave us an opportunity to move Justin around a bit. We did get an offense going tonight. There were a lot of positives on the offensive side of the ball.”
On Pittston Area’s first play after the touchdown, Emmett threw an interception to Jack Tomko. Dallas quickly ate up 46 yards and scored when Logan Brace scampered in from 9 yards out to make it 14-0.
Things were bleak for Pittston Area in the first half. The Patriots didn’t gain 100 yards and had four punts to go along with a turnover on downs and a pair of three-and-outs. But something must have clicked following Pittston Area’s homecoming halftime show.
Dallas opened the second half with a solid drive, ending in a Aaron Napkora 20-yard field goal. But that’s when Pittston Area’s offense came alive.
A 34-yard strike from Emmett to Michael Schwab started the drive. Emmett then found Rich Weinstock for 23 yards. Two plays later, Kyle Gattuso punched it in from 10 yards out.
“I felt like this whole year our team’s capabilty has been great,” Pittston Area coach Mike Barrett said. “We haven’t been clicking. The kids didn’t give up. I’m relly relly proud of the kids.”
The Patriots recovered a fumble on Dallas’ next drive. That started an 11-play, 50-yard drive that ended in a fourth-and-3 pass from Emmett to Schwab from 12 yards out to cut the Dallas lead to 3 at the end of the third quarter.
Dallas mustered up a 13-play drive following the Pittston score. But that ended when it failed to convert on fourth down. Three plays later, Emmett’s pass to Harth put the Patriots on top for good.
Pittston Area 21, Dallas 17
D — Justin Mucha 65 pass from Matt Harrison (Aaron Napkora kick good), 2:47.
D — Logan Brace 9 run (Napkora kick), 11:53.
D — Napkora 20 field goal, 8:03.
PA — Kyle Gattuso 10 run (Justin Consagra kick), 6:00.
PA — Michael Schwab 12 pass from James Emmett (Consagra kick), 0:31.
PA — Michael Harth 38 pass from Emmett (Consagra kick), 5:25.
Team statistics`Dallas`Pitt Area
RUSHING — D, Ryan Cheskiewicz 14-91, Brace 8-28, Harrison 2-18, Mike Olenginski 3-10, Mucha 3-4. PA, Gattuso 10-61, Hassan Maxwell 8-44, Zach Hoffman 2-14, Emmett 4-6.
PASSING — D, Harrison 8-15-188-1, Mucha 1-1-20-0. PA, Emmett 11-15-185-1.
RECEIVING — D, Mucha 7-157, Omar Nijmeh 2-31. PA, Schwab 7-100, Rich Weinstock 2-50, Harth 1-38, Angelo Aita 1-8.
INTERCEPTIONS — D, Jack Tomko 1-8. PA, Maxwell 1-10.
MISSED FGs — None.