KINGSTON — Everytime Wyoming Valley West got within striking distance Friday night …
“They’d score,” Valley West coach Pat Keating said.
They were the Williamsport Millionaires, who used the constant big-play ability of sophomore running back Treyson Potts to defeat Valley West 35-22 in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 6A-5A game.
Williamsport (4-0) snapped a 13-game losing streak against Valley West (2-2). The Millionaires last defeated the Spartans 26-20 in 2002.
“When all is said and done, we had every opportunity to win this game,” Keating said. “They just made more plays than we did. That’s what it came down to.
Potts finished with 230 yards rushing on just 13 carries, scoring on runs of 62 and 78 yards in the second half.
The 62-yard TD dash came on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter as Potts zipped through the defense untouched. It also came after Valley West pulled within 7-6 with seven seconds left before halftime on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Austin to Sean Judge.
Then when the Spartans moved within 28-22 on Judge’s 37-yard TD run with 4:33 left in the fourth, Potts struck again. His 78-yard touchdown run came three plays after Judge scored.
“They spread their line out,” said Potts, who entering the game averaging 10 yards per carry. “All week, we worked on getting our linemen to the linebackers. Once I got to the backers, I just made a move and tried to get as much as I could.”
The quick-strike offense offset Valley West’s desire to control the ball and the clock. The Spartans ran 73 plays to Williamsport’s 40, but hurt themselves with mistakes at critical junctures.
Trailing 21-12, Valley West had a fourth-and-goal from the Williamsport 8-yard line. But two negative-yardage plays, including an 11-yard sack of Austin by Potts, forced the Spartans to settle for a 40-yard field goal by Jake Gurtis.
Special teams didn’t help matters after Gurtis’ field goal as Potts returned the ensuing kickoff 61 yards to set up a 2-yard run by quarterback Isaiah Hankins.
After Potts’ 78-yard run, Austin was sacked three more times. Defensive end Ross Stebbins, an all-state pick last year, had his hands in two of them. The Millionaires trapped Austin in the backfield six times.
“We grew up tonight,” Williamsport coach Chuck Crews said. “When there were plays to be made, different guys made plays. And then the stars played like stars against a quality opponent. We’ll enjoy tonight and then get ready for Shikellamy.”
The Spartans were without tackle Chris Bleich, a Penn State recruit who was on crutches. Keating hopes to get Bleich back for Friday’s game at Dallas. Judge finished with 136 yards on 18 carries and caught six passes for 59 yards. Austin was 14 of 21 for 154 yards.
Williamsport 35, Wyo. Valley West 22
Wyo. Valley West`0`6`6`10`—`22
WIL — Marteze Clark 3 run (Angelo Girardi kick), 8:02
WVW — Sean Judge 10 pass from Aaron Austin (kick failed), 0:07
WIL — Treyson Potts 62 run (Girardi kick), 11:50
WVW — Judge 5 run (pass failed), 7:13
WIL — Clark 1 run (Girardi kick), 5:18
WVW — Jake Gurtis 40 FG, 9:22
WIL — Isaiah Hankins 2 run (Girardi kick), 6:43
WVW — Judge 37 run (Gurtis kick), 4:33
WIL — Potts 78 run (Girardi kick), 3:35
RUSHING — Williamsport, Potts 13-230, Hankins 11-19, Elliott Walker 1-9, Clark 3-53, team 2-(minus-2). WVW, Judge 18-136, Zach Davies 4-19, Sean Mikovitch 2-9, Austin 22-29, Chris Melovitz 4-5, Quaid Braddy 1-15.
PASSING — Williamsport, Hankins 7-10-0-48. WVW, Austin 14-21-1-154, team 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — Williamsport, Potts 1-12, Jalen Jackson 4-45, Walker 2-(minus-9). WVW, Rob Dwyer 5-40, Darrien Tyson 2-17, Judge 6-59, Jake Blaski 1-38.
INTERCEPTIONS — Williamsport, Potts 1-0.
MISSED FGs — None.