The opponents won't be mistaken as state title contenders. Not in the past, not in the present and it's highly doubtful in the future.
But what Nanticoke accomplished the past two weeks is noteworthy – consecutive shutouts. First, the Trojans made quick work of Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech 36-0. They followed with a 10-0 victory over Susquehanna last Friday.
"I'm proud of my guys," Nanticoke coach Ron Bruza said. "They're taking strides forward. They are listening to their assignments, following our gameplan. I'm pretty happy with their performance the last two weeks."
To put the shutouts in perspective, consider the following:
• You would have to go back to 2009 to find the last time a Wyoming Valley Conference team posted consecutive shutouts. Berwick and Coughlin did it that season. So did Northwest, but the Rangers weren't in the WVC at the time.
• In 2010 and 2011, only two other District 2 teams achieved the feat. Valley View did it in both seasons. Dunmore did it last year.
Coughlin, Dunmore and Scranton have done the same this season, but those teams traditionally have strong defenses. All three were considered solid playoff contenders, with Dunmore and Scranton as favorites to win District 2 titles.
The Trojans had played 55 games since their last shutout – a 35-0 victory over Bishop O'Reilly in 2006. After that win, they went on to lose 32 in a row and 33 of 34 games before Bruza took over.
Since Bruza's arrival, Nanticoke won four games in 2010 and three last season. The Trojans haven't finished at least .500 since going 6-4 in 2002.
"The first thing is making these kids believe they can win," Bruza said. "People think it's funny, but one problem we have is we don't know how to win. There are teams out there that know how to win. It seems like we get in a close game, we can't find a way to win."
The Crestwood Comets won the toss Friday night at Pittston Area and deferred to Saturday afternoon. They had no choice.
One of the four light standards went dark just before kickoff Friday, forcing the teams to move the game to the next day.
Pittston Area athletic director Charlie Turco said the lights were turned on about 4 p.m. Friday. But when the lights on the visitors side closest to the scoreboard malfunctioned, there was no choice but to postpone the game. Turco said the perplexing thing when it happened was both sets of lights on that side are on the same breaker. And why one went out while the other stayed on wasn't known when the teams took the field Saturday.
Controlling the ball is a good way to preserve the lead. Well, Crestwood had an unusual, time-consuming drive in the fourth quarter in its 14-12 win over Pittston Area.
The Comets wiped out nearly half the fourth quarter – 5:29 to be exact – on an eight-play drive that gave Pittston Area only 2:17 to rally. The odd part is the Comets had just one first down and netted 2 yards on the possession due to penalties and a couple negative-yardage plays.
Advanced tickets will be available today and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Wyoming Valley West high school, middle school and central office. Price is $4 for adults and $2 for children.
It would be a good idea to buy in advance because this game usually packs them in.
Due to errors in rosters available at stadiums, a pair of WVC players have been misidentified at times.
Lake-Lehman's John Van Scoy has been mentioned as Josh due to the mistake. Considering the number of kids named Josh on the Black Knights' roster, it probably makes things easier on the coaching staff.
Also, Crestwood's running back is Evan Callaghan. The ‘G' has been missing this season in the program.
Williamsport running back Devin Miller was held without a touchdown for the first time in his last four games. He scored six touchdowns in that span.
While George Curry has won his first three games back at Berwick, the Dawgs also won their final eight in 2011 under Gary Campbell.
Campbell resigned to head back to Wahconah Regional in Dalton, Mass., and has continued winning.
His Warriors have started the season at 2-0.
Teams are ranked based on performance. Number in parentheses is last week's ranking. NR means not ranked.
1. (2) Scranton (3-0)…Close out September with Prep and Valley View.
2. (3) Berwick (3-0)…Rolled to 11th consecutive victory vs. Dallas.
3. (1) Dunmore (3-0)…Defense hasn't allowed a point this season.
4. (4) Delaware Valley (3-0)…Rare home Saturday game vs. Abington Heights.
5. (5) Scranton Prep (3-0)…Showdown Friday at Scranton will be telling.
6. (6) Old Forge (3-0)…Has Dunmore then rivalry game with Riverside.
7. (8) Abington Heights (3-0)…Wasted little time in disposing Williamsport.
8. (11) West Scranton (2-1)…Went for win against Dunmore in 7-6 loss.
9. (9) Coughlin (3-0)…Last-second field goal was needed to top Western Wayne.
10. (13) Valley View (3-0)…Next five opponents are a combined 15-0.
11. (14) Lackawanna Trail (3-0)…Doing it on both side of the ball thus far.
12. (12) Riverside (2-1)…Defense is allowing more points than usual.
13. (10) Wyoming Valley West (1-2)…Here comes Berwick after consecutive losses.
14. (NR) Lake-Lehman (2-1)…Gambled and won 15-14 against Wyoming Area.
15. (7) Wyoming Area (1-2)…Offense is way off pace of last year's production.
Dropped out: Mid Valley (1-2).
Given consideration: Lakeland (2-1), Wallenpaupack (2-1)
RB – Lake-Lehman
Jones ran for a two-point conversion with 24 seconds to play as Lake-Lehman upset Wyoming Area 15-14 last Friday. The 240-pound junior finished with 135 yards rushing on 20 carries. His 3-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter started the Black Knights' rally from a 14-point deficit.
Matt Cashman – RB -- Berwick
Zac Evans – RB – Coughlin
Josh Robinson – RB – Tunkhannock
Mike Baur – QB – Wyo. Valley West
Jay Popson – QB – Crestwood