KINGSTON — On the rare moment where something went wrong for Wyoming Valley West — say, a pick-six that was called back because of a low block on the return — it didn’t take long to fix.
In that case, it was three straight rushes for 49 yards to pick up the touchdown anyway. The score even helped the Spartans get out of the driving rain faster, triggering a running clock in the second half of a 47-0 win over Crestwood on Friday.
As it turned out, the worst weather of the season led to Valley West’s best performance.
“Absolutely,” Spartans coach Pat Keating said. “Start to finish. We were finally able to put it together. Last week was a great performance, but we started slow. We’ve been on both ends, whether it’s starting slow or finishing slow. But they put a complete game together tonight. Very happy.”
Aaron Austin (113 yards rushing, 91 yards passing) and Sean Judge figured in on three touchdowns apiece in the first half, taking advantage of four Comets turnovers before the break.
The Spartans (7-2) found the end zone on their first five drives and took over the game with two Austin to Judge touchdown passes within 19 seconds of each other, sandwiched around a Crestwood fumble on a kickoff.
Austin had a 54-yard rushing score and Judge had a 4-yard touchdown before the two connected for scores of 55 and 22.
The lone concern for Valley West was that Judge and backup tailback Chris Melovitz were both banged up in the second quarter and did not return. Judge injured a finger on a defensive play and will have to get checked out for a fracture.
Melovitz, Zach Davies and Sean Mikovitch all found the end zone after Judge left.
“We knew with the weather that we were going to come out and have to establish the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball,” Keating said. “Just glad that our guys were able to come out and do that.”
On offense, the Spartans line, including standout tackle Chris Bleich, paved the way for 302 yards on the ground. Penn State assistant coach Ricky Rahne was in attendance to watch Bleich, a junior who has given a verbal commitment to the Nittany Lions for the 2018 signing class.
The defense was just as impressive in forcing turnovers and holding Crestwood’s Lance Blass to just 33 yards rushing a week after he had 325 in a win over Hanover Area.
With the Comets (3-6) trailing big, Blass took more snaps at quarterback after playing mostly as a running back since returning from an injury.
For Valley West, it was a continuation of a big surge that started against rival Berwick a week ago. The Spartans trailed the Dawgs 14-0 before firing back to win and have now outscored opponents 95-10 over the last seven quarters.
“I think (it helped) a lot. I think they have a lot of confidence right now,” Keating said. “Our offensive and defensive lines are starting to get a lot of cohesion up front and starting to trust each other and work with each other well.
“It’s happening at the right time. Hopefully we can carry that here into the playoffs.”
Valley West 47, Crestwood 0
WVW — Aaron Austin 54 run (Jake Gurtis kick), 10:29
WVW — Sean Judge 4 run (Gurtis kick), 8:07
WVW — Judge 55 pass from Austin (Gurtis kick), 11:39
WVW — Judge 22 pass from Austin (Gurtis kick), 11:20
WVW — Chris Melovitz 1 run (Gurtis kick), 7:40
WVW — Zach Davies 3 run (kick failed), 0:52
WVW — Sean Mikovitch 6 run (kick failed), 10:17
RUSHING — CRE, Lance Blass 14-33, Pat Rother 5-30, Nick Grosek 6-24, David Wint 3-19, Liam Stone 6-18, Mike Macri 6-13, Kevin Frisbie 1-6, Chase Passman 4-5. WVW, Aaron Austin 7-113, Chris Melovitz 6-53, Sean Mikovitch 7-52, Zach Davies 3-38, Quaid Braddy 3-19, Sean Judge 5-15, Jake Shusta 1-12.
PASSING — CRE, Blass 3-10-0-35, Passman 0-1-1-0. WVW, Austin, 4-6-0-91.
RECEIVING — CRE, Rother 1-15, Macri 1-11, Kyle Richards 1-9. WVW, Judge 2-77, Derek Doreskewicz 1-9, Rob Dwyer 1-5.
INTERCEPTIONS — WVW, Logan Myers.
MISSED FGs — None.