H.S. football: Despite penalties, Wyoming Valley West rolls past Hazleton Area

By Tom Robinson - For Times Leader | October 23rd, 2015 9:58 pm

KINGSTON — Aaron Austin and Devon Weidman had touchdown runs called back on consecutive plays in the first quarter.

That scoring chance ultimately got away from Wyoming Valley West, but Austin and Weidman simply worked together to produce more and longer touchdowns.

Each broke touchdown runs in the second quarter before Austin found Weidman with a pair of touchdown passes in the third as the Spartans remained unbeaten with a 49-3 Homecoming rout of Hazleton Area Friday night in a Wyoming Valley Conference Class 4A game.

Penalties twice kept the Spartans from making the lead 14-0 in the first quarter, erasing Austin’s 27-yard run and Weidman’s 13-yarder that followed.

The flags did so much damage that Valley West backed up to the point where it punted the ball away.

That’s not something the Spartans do often.

Once the penalties stopped, the points started piling up.

Weidman took a reverse 51 yards with 9:56 left in the half to finally make it 14-0.

Hazleton Area scored the first points against Valley West in three games to close within 14-3, but even that was essentially a victory for the Spartans defense.

A botched punt snap set the Cougars up at the Spartans 16 and a penalty made it first-and-five from the 11.

With the help of a Chris Reese sack, Valley West forced Hazleton Area to settle for a 28-yard Tristan Williams field goal with 3:43 left in the half.

The Spartans still had time for two more scores and a 28-3 halftime lead.

Austin kept for a 41-yard touchdown on fourth-and-two.

Valley West used its three timeouts, forced a punt and wound up at the Hazleton Area 20 on a brilliant 34-yard punt return by Sean Judge, who appeared to be stopped twice as he changed directions multiple times.

The Spartans beat the clock with the second Austin-to-L.J. Wesneski touchdown of the half, a 4-yarder on third-and-goal with 10 seconds left.

On Valley West’s first drive, Austin had found Wesneski in the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown. By the time they were done for the night, Austin had his hand in five touchdowns and Weidman three.

Austin went 11 for 19 passing for 176 yards and four touchdowns while carrying nine times for 117 yards and another score. Weidman caught five passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns and got 59 yards and a touchdown out of his two carries.

Austin lofted a long pass that Weidman went up over a defender inside the 5 to get for a 44-yard touchdown with 6:37 left in the third quarter. He found Weidman in the end zone the next time, down the right sideline for a 28-yard score with 18 seconds left.

The Spartans came out of the third quarter with a 42-3 lead as well as statistical advantages of 17-1 in first downs and 404-45 in total offense after holding the Cougars to negative yardage in the third quarter.

Valley West eased up in the fourth quarter, but still added a 37-yard Chris Melovitz touchdown run.

Wyoming Valley West 49, Hazleton Area 3

Hazleton Area`0`3`0`0`—`3

Wyoming Valley West`7`21`14`7`—`49

First quarter

WVW – L.J. Wesneski 30 pass from Aaron Austin (Jake Gurtis kick), 9:17

Second quarter

WVW – Devon Weidman 51 run (Gurtis kick), 9:56

HA – Tristan Williams 28 FG, 3:43

WVW – Austin 41 run (pass failed), 1:57

WVW – Wesneski 4 pass from Austin (Jake Shemo pass from Austin), 0:10

Third quarter

WVW – Weidman 44 pass from Austin (Gurtis kick), 6:37

WVW – Weidman 28 pass from Austin (Gurtis kick), 0:18

Fourth quarter

WVW – Chris Melovitz 37 run (Gurtis kick), 7:01

Team statistics`HA`WVW

First downs`3`20

Rushes-yards`34-89`33-286

Passing yards`0`176

Total yards`89`462

Passing`2-5-0`11-21-1

Sacked-yards lost`5-21`1-5

Punts-avg.`8-29.8`2-22.5

Fumbles-lost`1-1`2-0

Penalties-yards`3-14`7-53

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — HA, Carson Kinney 6-40, Adrian Otero 12-39, Josh Zukoski 5-17, Team 1-minus 3, Ryan Wolk 10-minus 4. WVW, Austin 9-117, Weidman 2-59, Sean Judge 10-46, Melovitz 2-42, Michael Baird 5-36, Zach Davies 1-6, Team 4-minus 20.

PASSING — HA, Wolk 2-5-0-0. WVW, Austin 11-19-1-176, Wesneski 0-1-0-0, Team 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING — HA, Zukoski 1-5, Hunter Vanblargan 1-minus 5. WVW, Weidman 5-105, Wesneski 4-59, Judge 1-7, Chris Reese 1-5.

INTERCEPTIONS — HA, Collin Gunsser 1-1. WVW, None.

MISSED FGs — None.

By Tom Robinson

For Times Leader

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLsports


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