Wyoming Valley West routs Abington Heights to get back to district title game

By Dave Rosengrant - For Times Leader | November 4th, 2017 12:47 am

KINGSTON — Wyoming Valley West has picked the perfect time to start playing its best football of the season.

For the second straight week, the Spartans absolutely dominated their opponent at home.

On Friday night, in the District 2 Class 5A semifinal, they avenged a loss to Abington Heights in the district championship game a year ago by thrashing the Comets 63-14.

With the victory, WVW (5-6) has won four of its last five games and advances to the D2 title game to face top-seeded Wallenpaupack on the road next week.

“We’re getting away from the mental mistakes and we’re playing physical football right now and we’re doing it at the right time of the year,” Valley West coach Pat Keating said. “Everything that happened at the beginning of the year doesn’t really matter right now. We just like to take things one game at a time and right now, our guys are doing that. So hopefully we can keep it going.

The Spartans sprinted out to a 21-0 lead after the first quarter thanks to a pair of rushing touchdowns by Sean Mikovitch and a passing score from Jake Shusta to Jake Blaski.

But a long second quarter, that consisted of six touchdowns and lasted about an hour, saw the Comets get back in the game.

After a 80-yard interception return for a touchdown by Sulaiman Ismail put the Spartans up 28-0 on the first play of the quarter, Abington scored on a 72-yard TD run by Kaleb Sherman, and followed that up with a fumble recovery and another score from Sherman to cut the lead in half at 28-14 with 7:28 left in the first half.

That was the last threat the Comets had, though, as WVW scored five unanswered touchdowns to put the game away.

“They kinda knew that we let things get away from us there for a couple minutes and they were able to regroup and get back on the same page and I think that’s really all that was about right there,” Keating said about his team’s little lapse in the second quarter.

The Spartans’ defense kicked it into high gear after allowing the two second-quarter scores.

In addition to Ismail’s pick-six, Jake Blaski picked off three passes, including returning one 50 yards for a TD in the third quarter that extended the score to 61-14. The Valley West defense also forced three fumbles, recovering two of them, sacked Comets quarterback George Tinsley three times for 27 yards lost, and recorded a safety.

“It was definitely their best performance of the year so far tonight,” Keating stated about his defense. “We’ve really been struggling in the turnover category most of the year.”

D2-5A Semifinal

Wyoming Valley West 63, Abington Heights 14

Abington Heights`0`14`0`0`—`14

Wyoming Valley West `21’26`14`2`—`63

SCORING SUMMARY

First Quarter

WVW – Mikovitch 2 run (Gurtis kick) 7:08

WVW – Blaski 11 pass from Shusta (Gurtis kick) 5:39

WVW – Mikovitch 8 run (Gurtis kick) 2:45

Second Quarter

WVW – Ismail 80 interception return (Gurtis kick) 11:44

AH – K. Sherman 72 run (McIntyre kick) 11:26

AH – K. Sherman 1 run (McIntyre kick) 7:28

WVW – Dwyer 46 run (kick failed) 6:50

WVW – Blaski 30 pass from Dwyer (run failed) 4:28

WVW – Davies 4 run (Gurtis kick) 1:31

Third Quarter

WVW – Dwyer 27 pass from Shusta (Gurtis kick) 10:40

WVW – Blaski 50 interception return (Gurtis kick) 9:34

Fourth Quarter

WVW – Safety (ball snapped out of end zone) 8:46

Team statistics`AH`WVW

First downs`11`19

Rushes-yards`30-95`41-239

Passing yards`115`116

Total yards`210`355

Passing`10-28-4`5-6-1

Sacks by-yards lost`0-0`3-27

Punts-avg.`5-27.8`2-38.5

Fumbles-lost`3-2`1-1

Penalties-yards`2-20`6-46

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

PASSING — AH, George Tinsley 10-28-4-115, TEAM 0-1-0-0. WVW, Rob Dwyer 2-3-1-35, Jake Shusta 3-3-0-81.

RUSHING — AH, Kaleb Sherman 10-70, Tinsley 9-(minus-13), Matthan Sherman 3-41, Corey Perkins 1-0, Noah Braid 1-3, Austin Kohut 4-8, TEAM 1-(minus-14), Robby Horvath 1-0. WVW, Sean Mikovitch 11-94, Dwyer 5-43, Zach Davies 10-48, TEAM 2-(minus-2), Carson Canavan 1-5, Jayden Watkins 7-14, Brendan Woods 3-13, Shusta 1-3, Dylan Nastanski 1-0.

RECEIVING — AH, K. Sherman 1-10, Perkins 2-25, M. Sherman 3-18, Noah Braid 1-16, Trey Koehler 1-15, Mike Malone 2-31. WVW, Jake Blaski 3-46, Dwyer 2-70.

INTERCEPTIONS — AH, Koehler. WVW, Blaski 3, Sulaiman Ismail.

MISSED FG’S — none

Wyoming Valley West quarterback Rob Dwyer weaved his way through the Abington Heights defense to score a second-quarter touchdown and put the Spartans up 34-14 during Friday’s PIAA District2 playoff game at Spartan Stadium in Kingston.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/web1_wvw_ah2_faa.jpgWyoming Valley West quarterback Rob Dwyer weaved his way through the Abington Heights defense to score a second-quarter touchdown and put the Spartans up 34-14 during Friday’s PIAA District2 playoff game at Spartan Stadium in Kingston. Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Wyoming Valley West running back Zach Davis slips past an Abington Heights defender during the second quarter of the Friday’s PIAA D2 playoff game.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/web1_wvw_ah3_faa.jpgWyoming Valley West running back Zach Davis slips past an Abington Heights defender during the second quarter of the Friday’s PIAA D2 playoff game. Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Wyoming Valley West defensive backs Rob Dwyer (7) and Jake Blaski knock the ball away from Abington Heights receiver Matthan Sherman late in the second quarter of Friday’s PIAA D2 playoff game.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/web1_wvw_ah4_faa.jpgWyoming Valley West defensive backs Rob Dwyer (7) and Jake Blaski knock the ball away from Abington Heights receiver Matthan Sherman late in the second quarter of Friday’s PIAA D2 playoff game. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

By Dave Rosengrant

For Times Leader

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