KINGSTON — Sean Judge scored a 30-yard catch-and-run touchdown with 1:10 left and Wyoming Valley West finally stopped Scranton quarterback Jacob Watts as the Spartans opened the season with a marathon 48-41 victory in a non-conference game Friday night.
The game started a few minutes before the scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff. When Valley West quarterback Aaron Austin knelt out the final seconds, it was 10:22 p.m. The game was slowed by 26 penalties, which didn’t include those declined, and the expected hot-weather cramping in the second half.
Oh, and the stoppages for 12 touchdowns, a field goal and a safety didn’t help matters.
Valley West appeared to be easing away control in the third quarter as a 1-yard run by Judge and a 14-yard run by Chris Melovitz gave the Spartans a 37-27 lead. Melovitz’s score came after Derek Doreskewicz recovered a fumble on the kickoff after Judge’s touchdown.
But Watts rallied the Knights and his 77-yard TD pass to Reggie Dickey and ensuing two-point conversion run gave Scranton a 41-40 lead at 7:05 of the fourth quarter.
Four plays later, Melovitz had a 65-yard touchdown run negated by a penalty. However, Valley West endured and moved the the Scranton 35-yard line with 1:26 to play.
Austin spiked the ball on first down to stop the clock. He followed with two incompletions, making it fourth-and-10. A Scranton offside flag moved the ball to the 30, where Judge showed his elusiveness to score.
Austin tossed a short pass to Judge on the fourth-and-5. Judge slipped a tackle at the 21 and raced in for his third touchdown of the night. He also scored on a 91-yard kickoff return in the second quarter.
Austin then threw to wideout Darrian Tyson for the two-point conversion to bump the advantage to 48-41.
Still, the Valley West defense had to contend with Watts, who up to that point had run for four touchdowns and passed for two more.
Scranton took over at the 35 after the kickoff rolled out of bounds. Watts completed a 19-yard pass on first down, only to have the play wiped out by a holding penalty. After two incompletions, he launched a long pass downfield to Dickey, but Judge was able to break up the play.
An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Valley West after the third-down play gave Scranton a fourth-and-6. Watts threw to receiver Damel Wright, but Valley West’s Rob Dwyer stopped him short of the first down.
The victory was the seventh consecutive time Valley West won its season opener. The Spartans’ last loss in their first game was 18-15 to Scranton in 2009.
Watts finished 10 of 21 for 246 yards. He also rushed 23 times for 116 more. Scranton, though, committed five turnovers with Judge intercepting two passes and linebacker Zach Davies picking off another.
Wyo. Valley West 48, Scranton 41
Wyo. Valley West`9`14`14`11`—`48
WVW — Safety, Scranton recovers punt snap in end zone, 9:54
WVW — Aaron Austin 14 run (Jake Gurtis kick), 8:32
SCR — Reggie Dickey 56 pass from Jacob Watts (pass failed), 3:40
WVW — Austin 6 run (Gurtis kick), 6:29
SCR — Watts 22 run (Akash Darjee kick), 4:50
WVW — Sean Judge 91 kick return (Gurtis kick), 4:37
SCR — Watts 16 run (pass failed), 2:11
SCR — Watts 9 run (James Vieira run), 0:49
WVW — Judge 1 run (Gurtis kick), 7:32
WVW — Chris Melovitz 14 run (Gurtis kick), 5:20
SCR —Watts 3 run (Darjee kick), 11:56
WVW — Gurtis 30 FG, 7:53
SCR — Dickey 77 pass from Watts (Watts run), 7:05
WVW — Judge 30 pass from Austin (Darrien Tyson from Austin), 1:10
RUSHING — Scranton, Watts 23-116, Rheyse Green 6-27, Dickey 2-62, team 2-(minus-20). WVW, Judge 11-73, Austin 20-130, Sean Mikovitch 1-4, Melovitz 7-45, Zach Davies 1-12, Rob Dwyer 2-10, team 1-(minus-2).
PASSING — Scranton, Watts 10-21-3-246. WVW, Austin 9-16-1-69. Dwyer 0-2-2-0. team 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — Scranton, Damel Wright 4-35, Green 2-12, Dickey 2-133, Aidan Santorsa 2-66. WVW, Judge 5-31, Tyson 1-8, Nick Mooney 2-2, Dwyer 2-28.
INTERCEPTIONS — Scranton Jerrod Brown 1-0, Wright 1-7, Green 1-0. WVW, Judge 2-43, Davies 1-17.
MISSED FGs — None.