YATESVILLE – Different weekend, similar situation, same result.
For the second consecutive game, Crestwood had to stop a two-point conversion with just over a minute to play to secure a victory. This time, the Comets stopped Pittston Area with 1:07 to play, hanging on for a 14-12 victory Saturday afternoon in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 3A game.
"We've got to start developing the mentality when we're up on teams to stay up and put teams away," said Crestwood coach Greg Myers, whose team improved to 2-1. "We had the opportunity at the 10-yard line … and I think a lot of that is to our youth. We have a lot of young guys on the field and I think sometimes they don't understand how to put teams away."
The young Comets, though, know how to hang on. Last Friday, they stopped North Pocono on a two-point try with 1:04 left for a 21-20 victory. On Saturday, it came down to making another stop in order to prevent a possible overtime.
Pittston Area (0-3) got a final chance when it gained possession with 2:17 remaining at the Crestwood 15 after a 12-yard punt. Three plays later, quarterback Kyle Gattuso, in for injured James Emmett, rifled a pass to Richard Weinstock for a 17-yard touchdown, moving the Patriots within 14-12.
It was Gattuso's first pass of the game and Weinstock's first touchdown of his career. The good feeling didn't last long. Gattuso rolled right on the two-point attempt, but Crestwood's defense forced him to bow deeper than intended. That took away the run option and he had to fling a desperation pass that landed incomplete outside the right corner of the end zone.
The onside kick attempt sailed into the Pittston Area bench, allowing Crestwood to run out the clock.
"What can you say to the kids in a situation like that?" Pittston Area coach Mike Barrett said. "I said to them ‘Promise me you're with me. Give me the word you're with me. We'll learn from this and we'll move on.' Hopefully, they will. They're a great bunch of kids and they're not going to stop fighting."
The prior 47 minutes consisted of a couple big plays, 21 penalties, squandered opportunities and six interceptions as neither team could seize control.
Crestwood was able to hit on two big plays – a 25-yard TD reception by Rich Golden in the first quarter and a 52-yard run by fullback Frank Aigeldinger with 1:13 left in the third that proved to be the game-winner. In between, Joe Starinsky hauled in a 19-yard touchdown pass, but the extra point clanged off the left upright as the Comets maintained a 7-6 lead.
The Patriots also had two drives wilt in the red zone – one late in the third and another midway through the fourth. The latter hurt the most as they had three cracks at the end zone from the Comet 4, yet gained just 2 yards.
Crestwood 14, Pittston Area 12
CRE – Rich Golden 25 pass from Jay Popson (Evan Callghan kick), 5:58
PA – Joe Starinsky 19 pass from James Emmett (kick failed), 6:50
CRE – Frank Aigeldinger 52 run (Callaghan kick), 1:13
PA – Richard Weinstock 17 pass from Kyle Gattuso (pass failed), 1:07
|Team Statistics||Crestwood||Pitt Area|
RUSHING – Crestwood, Popson 8-17, Callaghan 13-41, Brandon Cole 4-16, Aigeldinger 5-68, Kota Kishel 1-(minus-1), team 3-(minus-2). PA, Justin Wilk 14-37, Gattuso 9-30, Marc Romanczuk 10-42, Emmett 1-4, team 1-(minus-15).
PASSING – Crestwood, Popson 2-11-3-31. PA, Emmett 7-15-3-98, Gattuso 1-1-0-17.
RECEIVING – Crestwood, Golden 1-25, Kishel 1-6. PA, Gattuso 1-4, Joe Starinsky 6-94, Weinstock 1-17.
INTS – Crestwood, Cole, Andrew Chang, Popson. PA, Steve Starinsky, Sam Falcone, Hassan Maxwell.
MISSED FGS – none.