WEST PITTSTON — Five first-half possessions, five touchdowns. Wyoming Area even got a sixth score without the offense even touching the ball.
Two weeks out from the District 2 playoffs, the Warriors are rolling toward the top seed in Class 2A, flattening Northwest 55-37 on Friday night.
Wyoming Area (7-2) clinched at least one postseason home game with the win and can finish first in the district by beating rival Pittston Area next week.
Northwest staged a spirited rally in the fourth quarter, forcing Wyoming Area to put its starters back in on defense before the game was over. The Rangers (5-4) were eliminated from the district playoff race but remain alive for an Eastern Conference berth.
The Warriors only needed to run 20 plays on offense to build a 41-7 halftime lead, adding a defensive score for good measure.
With star Nick O'Brien on the sideline for the first quarter, Warriors coach Randy Spencer turned to a long list of contributors that came through. Cody Schmitz. Jordan Zezza. Zack Lanunziata. Trent Grove. Jeff Skursky. All but Grove (three catches, 88 yards) found the end zone.
We've got some outstanding players, Spencer said. They played well tonight, they stepped up, they did what we asked.
O'Brien, one of the league's most dynamic players, spent the first quarter on the sideline with his helmet on before returning for the opening play of the second.
I really don't want to comment on that because the issue wasn't necessarily football-related, Spencer said. It was just some housekeeping stuff we did. He took care of his responsibilities and did a great job.
Wyoming Area didn't miss a beat with fellow senior Zezza under center. Zezza threw a 58-yard touchdown pass and then took an interception back all the way for another 58-yard score to open up an early 20-7 lead.
Schmitz had a hand in the Warriors' first four touchdowns, hauling in that deep pass and scoring two more on the ground. He also got the initial deflection on the pass that Zezza picked off.
O'Brien (193 total yards) returned to run and throw for a touchdown before the half to make it 41-7 at the break. He added his third score of the game to open the second half to trigger the mercy rule.
Northwest, however, responded with three touchdowns against the Warriors reserves before recovering an onside kick and recording a fourth score against Wyoming Area's reinserted starters.
We're young, but we're not a bad football team, Rangers coach Carl Majer said. And we showed that tonight. … In the second half they came out and said, ‘Hey we're gonna play some football.'
Tony Politz and Austin Mazonkey each had an 82-yard touchdown run for Northwest.
Wyoming Area's Jeff Skursky closed out the score-fest with a 53-yard run.
The last three weeks, we've built some momentum, Spencer said. And I think that's what's (most) important for us.
Wyoming Area 55, Northwest 37
WA — Cody Schmitz 6 run (A.J. Lenkaitis kick), 4:47
NW — Tony Politz 82 run (Tyler Pegarella kick), 3:07
WA — Schmitz 58 pass from Jordan Zezza (Lenkaitis kick), 2:23
WA — Zezza 58 interception return (kick failed), 10:46
WA — Schmitz 5 run (Schmitz run), 4:35
WA — Nick O'Brien 50 run (Lenkaitis kick), 3:14
WA — Zack Lanunziata 34 pass from O'Brien (kick failed), 0:26
WA — O'Brien 8 run (pass failed), 8:15
NW — Logan Womelsdorf 1 run (Tyler Meininger pass from Womelsdorf), 3:06
NW — Austin Mazonkey 82 run (Meininger pass from Womelsdorf), 11:25
NW — Meininger 33 pass from Marcus Welliver (run failed), 7:40
NW — Adam Schechterly 3 run (Meininger pass from Womelsdorf), 5:13
WA — Jeff Skursky 53 run (O'Brien run), 4:46
|Team Statistics||Northwest||Wyo Area|
RUSHING – NW, Tony Politz 11-92, Austin Mazonkey 4-84, Logan Womelsdorf 9-59, Adam Schechterly 4-12, Rich Dillon 1-8, Marcus Welliver 1-7, Eric Gurzynski 1-(minus-1); WA, Nick O'Brien 10-99, Jeff Skursky 1-53, Cody Schmitz 8-51, Jordan Zezza 1-19, Zack Lanunziata 2-10, John Urban 4-10, Shawn Fernandes 2-7, Isiah Peoples 3-(minus-1), Tyler Higgins 1-(minus-3)
PASSING – NW, Womelsdorf 11-15-1-174, Welliver 3-8-1-79; WA, O'Brien 3-5-0-94, Zezza 2-3-0-86
RECEIVING – NW, Nick Long 6-92, Tyler Meininger 3-62, Tyler Pegarella 2-67, Gurzynski 2-25, Mazonkey 1-7; WA, Trent Grove 3-88, Schmitz 1-58, Lanunziata 1-34
INTS – WA, Zezza, Kyle Davis
MISSED FGS – None