WILKES-BARRE – Meyers quarterback Teaguen Labatch let his mind wander before Saturday night's game. Wander in a positive sense.
"This is the kind of the thing you're sitting before a game and you daydream what you can do," Labatch said. "And this is what I picture. But I never figured that would happen."
It did. Labatch threw for 281 yards and four touchdowns – both easily career highs – as Meyers defeated Nanticoke 45-16 in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2A-A game.
To put the game in perspective, Labatch had 330 yards and three TD passes through the first three games of the season. But on Meyers' first play from scrimmage, he hit Parrish Bennett in the right flat, and the speedy running back darted 62 yards for a score and a 7-3 lead.
Bennett, though, wasn't the main recipient of Labatch's passes. That distinction went to wideout Matt DeMarco, who finished with five catches for 210 yards and three touchdowns. The last two stats were career highs for the junior.
"Two years ago, I didn't even think I'd be playing football," DeMarco said. "I just wasn't into it. Then my brother (Chris) talked me into it. I've been competitive ever since."
The two also had a 71-yard TD pass wiped out by an offensive pass interference penalty.
The passing game evolved because Nanticoke (2-2) gummed up any plans Meyers (2-2) had for Bennett. The WVC's leading rusher while at Hanover Area last year had just eight carries for 9 yards into the fourth quarter.
"Obivously, a lot of people know Parrish. He's made such a name for himself," Meyers coach Corry Hanson said. "But No. 2, Matt DeMarco, we knew what he could do. He's already had a great year, and tonight he had an outstanding game. And also No. 7, Teaguen Labatch, our quarterback. That was the best game of his career by far."
The combo connected on a 35-yard touchdown pass just before halftime for a 20-10 lead. They hooked up again on the Mohawks' first play from scrimmage in the third quarter for a 60-yard touchdown. From there, Meyers pulled away.
"We're just one guy short," Nanticoke coach Ron Bruza said. "I think we kind of had a handle on Parrish, and then DeMarco killed us with the big plays. And Labatch got him the ball."
Nanticoke had a sound gameplan offensively. The Trojans pounded running back Pat Hempel at the Mohawks, leading to a 15-play scoring drive to start the game. Alec Norton capped it with a 20-yard field goal.
And while Hempel finished with 117 rushing yards for his third 100-yard game of his career, the Trojans simply could not stop Meyers from hitting big plays.
Meyers 45, Nanticoke 16
NAN – Alec Norton 20 FG, 5:16
MEY – Parrish Bennett 62 pass from Teaguen Labatch (kick failed), 4:59
MET – Matt DeMarco 39 pass from Labatch (Cal Lisman kick), 2:00
NAN – J.T. Levandowski 1 run (Norton kick), 10:00
MEY – DeMarco 35 pass from Labatch (Lisman kick), 1:33
MEY – DeMarco 60 pass from Labatch (DeMarco from Labatch), 11:43
MEY – Lisman 21 FG, 5:58
NAN – Blake Balderrama 6 run (run failed), 0:20
MEY – DeMarco 39 run (Lisman kick), 6:13
MEY – Nate Mahalak 14 run (Lisman kick), 3:09
RUSHING – Nanticoke, Pat Hempel 28-117, Levandowski 10-1, Mike Colatosti 2-10, Ron Kotz 6-16, Maurice Wood 5-63, Nate Seise 2-(minus-4), Balderrama 4-17, Brad Yanus 1-0. Meyers, Bennett 12-40, Rudy Goodwin 2-11, Labatch 3-15, Mahalak 5-42, DeMarco 1-39, Zahir Dunell 1-1.
PASSING – Nanticoke, Levandowski 3-6-0-41. Meyers, Labatch 7-15-0-281.
RECEIVING – Nanticoke, Seise 3-41. Meyers, Bennett 1-62, DeMarco 5-210, Jacob Brominski 1-9.
INTS – none.
MISSED FGS – none.