KINGSTON — When it comes time to watch Friday night’s game tape, Wyoming Valley West might want to skip the first quarter. It was kind of a horror show.
The Spartans had more penalty yards (39) than offensive yards (26). They had an interception lead to a Berwick scoring drive. A short punt led to another Berwick score.
After that, it was an award-winning performance for Valley West as it scored four TDs in an eight-minute window of the second quarter on the way to a 48-24 victory over Berwick in a Wyoming Valley Conference interdivisional game.
Valley West improved to 6-2. Berwick fell to 5-3.
“They came out in a front we didn’t expect them to come out in,” said Valley West coach Pat Keating, explaining the poor first-quarter output. “They came out in a 3-4 instead of their base 4-3 stuff. We didn’t think they were going to play that as their base tonight, but they did.
“I think it took our kids two or three series to adjust to that stuff.”
Three series to be exact. Valley West’s second possession lasted one play as Berwick safety Mike Force intercepted a pass. Running back Evan Klinger scored on a 2-yard run 10 plays later. Klinger, subbing for 1,000-yard rusher Len Wyda who was hobbled by a leg injury, scored on another 2-yard run to give Berwick a 14-0 lead going into the second quarter.
“I made a really bad mistake on one of the first plays of the game,” Valley West quarterback Aaron Austin said. “I didn’t see that safety. But we told everyone on the sideline we just had to regroup. We weren’t out of it.”
The Spartans regrouped with a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive after Klinger’s second touchdown. Austin carried in from 10 yards away to ignite the comeback.
Valley West put together an 11-play, 75-yard TD drive the next time it got the ball. Running back Sean Judge, who went over 4,000 career yards from scrimmage on the possession, capped it with a 3-yard run.
The momentum then swung way to Valley West’s favor as Berwick fumbled on its first play after the kickoff and Logan Myers pounced on the ball. Running back Chris Melovitz scored on the next play, pin-balling off defenders to complete a 20-yard TD run.
Judge made it 28 consecutive points with a 1-yard TD run set up by a 53-yard catch-and-run by wideout Darrian Tyson.
“Turnovers are always bad,” Berwick coach Frank Sheptock, “but it’s when they occurred that I thought really gave them some big momentum. The first one, it’s 14-14 and we’re still moving the ball and things and then you give them good field position and momentum.
“Then the one down here just compounded our problem.”
Sheptock was referring to a fumble at the Valley West 16-yard line in the third quarter recovered by Valley West’s Dylan Jockel. Berwick was down 34-24 at the time with 5:15 left in the quarter. The Spartans turned it into a 1-yard TD run by Judge. Austin had the big play of the drive, a 48-yard run.
Wyo. Valley West 48, Berwick 24
Wyo. Val. West`0`28`13`7`—`48
BER — Evan Klinger 2 run (Ken Marshman kick), 4:08
BER — Klinger 2 run (Marshman kick), 1:23
WVW — Aaron Austin 10 run (Jake Gurtis), 9:56
WVW — Sean Judge 2 run (Gurtis kick), 4:23
WVW — Chris Melovitz 20 run (Gurtis kick), 4:00
WVW — Sean Judge 2 run (Gurtis kick), 1:55
BER — K.Marshman 30 FG, 0:00
BER — Klinger 41 pass from Jared Marshman (K.Marshman kick), 10:27
WVW — Judge 16 run (kick blocked), 7:04
WVW — Austin 1 run (Grutis kick), 1:27
WVW — Austin 16 run (Gurtis kick), 1:51
RUSHING — Berwick, Len Wyda 7-16, J.Marshman 13-24, Klinger 15-77, Damon Beckhorn 1-0, Anthony Cicini 1-0, Thomas Smith 6-31. WVW, Judge 25-151, Austin 20-125, Zach Davies 2-13, Sean Mikovitch 2-1, Chris Melovitz 6-56.
PASSING — Berwick, J.Marshman 11-22-0-187, team 0-1-0-0. WVW, Austin 5-7-1-101.
RECEIVING — Berwick, Matt Champ 4-63, Mike Force 1-1, Beckhorn 2-34, Cicini 1-29, Harrison Kuchka 2-19, Klinger 1-41. WVW, Judge 1-6, Jake Shemo 1-30, Darrian Tyson 2-55, Mikovitch 1-10.
INTERCEPTIONS — Berwick, Force 1-0.
MISSED FGs — None.