WILKES-BARRE – In three games against Lackawanna Conference opponents, GAR waited patiently for its fast-paced offense to take off.
The Grenadiers took to the air for 201 passing yards in their first game against a Wyoming Valley Conference opponent, flying to a 35-7 victory Friday over Northwest.
Lucas Benton contributed with four touchdowns – two rushing, two receiving – to herald a Grenadier offense that found its rhythm late in the second half. Benton caught five passes for 81 yards and ran for 59 yards on eight carries.
"I can't say enough about him," GAR coach Paul Wiedlich Jr. said. "Lucas has been doing this last year, and in his senior year, he's really been stepping up his concentration. As you guys can see, he's started to get everything going."
The GAR rushing defense also seemed to catch up following a staggering first two weeks. Through the first three quarters, the Grenadiers held the Rangers scoreless. Before the mercy rule went into effect on a Rich Sickler touchdown, running back Tony Politz garnered just 58 yards on the ground.
Politz finished the game with 97 yards and a touchdown.
"We knew he is the heart and soul of their team," Wiedlich Jr. said. "Tony Politz is a quality running back. He really busted some tail today, but I'm really proud of how our kids played."
GAR quarterback Corey Moore went 12-for-21 for 201 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensive lineman Shakir Soto enabled two GAR touchdowns late in the first half after Northwest handled the Grenadier offense through the first 22 minutes.
With the Grenadiers leading 6-0, Soto recovered a fumble that gave way to a 20-yard Benton touchdown run with 1:32 remaining.
GAR 35, Northwest 7
GAR – Lucas Benton 18 pass from Corey Moore (pass fail), 6:13
GAR – Benton 20 run (Luke Height kick), 1:32
GAR – Benton 25 pass from Moore (Height kick), :33
GAR – Benton 11 run (Height kick), 6:51
GAR – Rich Sickler 1 run (Rashaun Jackson pass from Moore), 1:24
NW – Tony Politz 23 run (Tyler Pegarella kick), 8:47
RUSHING – NW, Politz 22-97, Logan Womelsdorf 2-(minus-7), Adam Schechterly 1-2, Marcus Welliver 3-28, Austin Mazonkey 4-13, Team 1-(minus-12); GAR, Sickler 12-54, Benton 8-59, Moore 1-7, AJ Mouzone 8-43, Jamaar Taylor 1-3, Team 1-(minus-1)
PASSING – NW, Womelsdorf 5-8-0-40, Welliver 0-6-0-0; GAR, Moore 12-21-0-201
RECEIVING – NW, Nick Long 1-5, Politz 1-5, Pegarella 2-17, Tyler Meinginer 1-13; GAR, Sickler 3-40, Benton 5-81, Jackson 2-45
INTS – None
MISSED FGS – NW, Pegarella 23 (BLK)