WIILKES-BARRE – For the first 10 minutes of Friday night's game between Meyers and GAR, futility ruled the offenses as the opening four drives between the teams amounting to three punts and a fumble.
By that point, it was apparent that Corey Moore had tolerated enough.
Moore sandwiched two touchdown passes to Lucas Benton around a scoring run before gunning one to Rich Sickler in mad scramble of touchdowns for GAR in an eventual 50-12 defeat of Meyers at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2A contest.
With the win, GAR (7-3) advances to the District 2 Class 2A playoffs with its seeding to be determined by games played today. Meyers (6-4) is also in the playoff race and will likely be on the road in the first round.
Corey Moore, I can't say enough about him, GAR coach Paul Wiedlich said. He made the right reads and we got some big gains out of it. The passing game is a part of our offense that's really coming up to speed.
Moore's first scoring strike was arguably his nicest of the night, the senior finding Benton on a fade route from 19 yards out to the side of the end zone just before the first quarter ended for a 14-0 lead. Benton put the Grenadiers on the board on the previous possession with a 53-yard, broken-field touchdown run.
Moore kept rolling in the second quarter when, following his scoring rush – a 15-yard jaunt through the middle of the Mohawks defense – he placed a perfect lob over the top to Benton for a 27-yard touchdown and a 29-0 lead.
Anytime you have a guy like Benton you can just throw it near him and trust that he'll make a play, Moore said. But (assistant) coach (Ed) Grant is really an offensive guru and he really kept calling the right plays tonight.
A bullet from Moore over the middle of the field to a streaking Rich Sickler, who turned on the jets and left a pair of Meyers defenders glued to the turf for a 64-yard score, ballooned the lead to 36-0 with 1:49 to go in the half, eliciting a charged reaction from Meyers' head coach Corry Hanson.
I told my guys they weren't playing with pride, that we had practiced for this and prepared for what GAR would do offensively, but that there wasn't enough pride, Hanson said.
Hanson's words lit a fire late in the second quarter and early in the third when touchdown passes from Teaguen Labatch to Jacob Brominski and Parrish Bennett cut into the lead.
Moore, however, was simply not to be denied.
Moore led the Grenadiers on a 12-play, 64-yard drive that ate more than five minutes off the clock in the third quarter and culminated in a 17-yard strike to Benton, Moore's fourth through the air. A 40-yard interception return from Sickler slammed the door on the Mohawks.
I thought the score in the second quarter was big for us, that we could keep some momentum and score to open up the second half, but … hats off to GAR, Hanson said. They came to play and we're definitely going to have to work harder next week.
GAR 50, Meyers 12
GAR -- Lucas Benton 53 run (Luke Height kick) 1:52
GAR -- Benton 19 pass from Corey Moore (Height kick) :17
GAR -- Moore 15 run (Moore pass to Zachary Gonzalez) 7:55
GAR -- Benton 27 pass from Moore (Height kick) 5:22
GAR -- Rich Sickler 64 pass from Moore (Height kick) 1:49
MEY -- Jacob Brominski 7 pass from Teaguen Labatch (kick failed) :32
MEY -- Parrish Bennett 10 pass from Labatch (10:13)
GAR -- Benton 17 pass from Moore (Height kick) 4:29
GAR -- Sickler 40 interception return (Height kick) 4:09
RUSHING – MEY Nate Mahalak 6-21, Labatch 3-20, Bennett 5-8, Rudy Goodwin 1-3, Ryan DeMarco 1-0; GAR Moore 13-84, A.J. Mouzone 12-51, Bennett 2-50, Sickler 1- (-3), Rashaun Mathis 3 - (-5)
PASSING – MEY Labatch 11-26-2-141; GAR Moore 9-19-0-174
RECEIVING – MEY Brominski 4-44, Zahir Dunell 2-44, Bennett 2-25, DeMarco 2-24, Goodwin 1-4; GAR Benton 5-81, Sickler 2-70, Mouzone 1-12, Rashaun Jackson 1-11
INTS – GAR Sickler 2
MISSED FGS – None