SCRANTON — Some pretty big players were already missing from Wyoming Valley West’s lineup.
Sean Judge made sure the big plays weren’t.
Filling the shoes of injured top tailback Bill Davison, Judge ran for 214 yards and three touchdowns Friday as Valley West remained unbeaten in nine games by thrashing Scranton, 41-6 at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
“Bill wasn’t in there,” Judge said. “I just knew I had to step up a little bit.”
Judge - normally a flanker who spends his games shifting between the running back and wide receiver slots in Valley West’s game plan - stepped around, over and through Scranton’s defense to snap a sluggish Spartans offense to life.
He broke free for a 65-yard touchdown run on the first possession of the second half, giving the Spartans some breathing room with a 14-0 lead.
Near the end of the third quarter, Judge was at it again - darting 29 yards for a score that gave the Spartans a three-touchdown lead.
And with 7:06 to play in the game, Judge pretty much iced things with a four-yard touchdown run on fourth down that boosted Valley West’s advantage to 34-0.
“Sean did a great job,” Valley West coach Pat Keating said. “Someone goes down, other guys filling in, that’s the mark of a great team.”
Davison, suffering from a hamstring problem, is the team’s starting tailback and the best linebacker on a stingy defense that’s been dominant all season. He’s expected to return next week, but the Spartans also lost a couple linemen who are regularly key contributors during the game.
“He means so much, in all three facets,” said Keating, noting Davison is also the team’s punter. “He’s one of our true leaders. We faced some adversity there. Got some guys in positions where they were comfortable doing what they needed to do.”
One of them was Judge, who looks right at home whether he’s running the ball or catching it.
He averaged nearly 12 yards on 18 carries - a career-high out of the backfield for the speedy and elusive Spartans junior.
“I like the feeling,” Judge said. “It gave me a chance, after things weren’t going great the first half, in the second half to be able to come out and get more yards.”
There was one drawback, to his increased ball-carrying workload, though.
“I’m very tired,” Judge said.
He didn’t show it, and neither did his Valley West teammates.
They struggled through a turnover-filled first half - where both teams played sloppy by throwing two interceptions and the Spartans added a lost fumble to their turnover spree.
But Devon Weidman broke free for a 35-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Austin to give Valley West a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter, and the Spartans defense made sure that one score would have been enough.
Just to be sure, Judge added two of Valley West’s four interceptions while playing defensive back and broke out for his three-touchdown second half. Austin added a four-yard touchdown keeper and Chris Melovicz boosted Valley West’s lead to 41-0 with his 17-yard touchdown run with 3:13 to play.
“I can’t say enough about our players,” Keating said, “especially defensively, the way they’re playing on that side of the ball. We’re always just coming out with an attitude on that side of the ball that we don’t want to let anyone in the end zone.”
Wyoming Valley West 41, Scranton 6
Wyo. Valley West`7`0`14`20`—`41
WVW — Devon Weidman 35 pass from Aaron Austin (Jake Gurtis kick), 3:07
WVW — Sean Judge 65 run (Gurtis kick), 9:53
WVW — Judge 29 run (Gurtis kick), 2:36
WVW — Austin 4 run (kick failed), 10:23
WVW — Judge 4 run (Gurtis kick), 7:06
WVW — Chris Melovicz 17 run (Gurtis kick), 3:13
S — Reggie Dickey 21 run (conversion run failed), 0:08
RUSHING — WVW, Sean Judge 18-214, Aaron Austin 13-52, Chris Melovicz 4-43, Devon Weidman 2-13, Michael Baird 3-13, TEAM 1-0. SCR, Reggie Dickey 6-35, Jacob Watts 11-34, Josh Williams 9-23, Nate Corby 2-11.
PASSING — WVW, Austin 10-18-2-153, TEAM 0-1-0. SCR, Watts 7-19-4-45, Bobby McAndrew 0-1-0.
RECEIVING — WVW, Weidman 5-82, L.J. Wesneski 2-27, Judge 2-9, Jake Shemo 1-35. SCR, John Marichak 4-32, Corby 2-5, Josh Williams 1-8.
INTERCEPTIONS — WVW, Judge 2-0, Weidman 1-18, Nick Mooney 1-14. SCR, Carlos Acevedo 1-0, Watts 1-0.