Wyoming Area’s Nick O’Brien outruns a Western Wayne defender on Friday night.photo by tony callaio
Above, Wyoming Area’s Nick Bartoli is about to pounce on a fumble during the Warriors loss to Western Wayne on Friday night in West Pittston.Below left, Jeff Skursky runs in the open field for Wyoming Area. The freshman made his debut with 81 yards on 17 carries against the Wildcats. Below right, Cody Schmitz tries to break away from a Western Wayne defender.photos by tony callaio
Wyoming Area seemed to be unstoppable as the first half came to an end.
The Warriors led 34-12 and had piled up 308 yards of offense against Lackawanna Football Conference Division II member Western Wayne. The Wildcats themselves had only accumulated 76 yards. Nick O’Brien had nearly tripled that number by himself.
The junior quarterback had accounted for 210 yards of offense and four touchdowns in the first half, rushing for 124 and three touchdowns and passing for 86 and another score.
However, the second half told a different story as Western Wayne turned the tables, holding the Warriors to just 67 enroute to a stunning 40-34 come-from-behind victory on Friday night at Jake Sobeski Memorial Stadium in West Pittston.
O’Brien opened the scoring on a 56-yard quarterback keeper to give the Warriors an early 6-0 lead just 1:55 into the game. Aaron Carter booted the first of four extra-points on the night and WA led, 7-0.
Western Wayne fumbled their first snap on its ensuing possession, and the ball was recovered by the Warriors who then only needed one play before O’Brien found the endzone again this time through the air as he hooked up with Joe Adonizio on a 21-yard fade route to push the lead to 13-0.
After the Wildcats returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, the Warriors took the ball right back down the field in nine plays - eight of them on the ground - and finished it off with a 8-yard sweep by O’Brien who danced past a defender before diving across the goal line to give WA a 20-6 lead with 5:03 left in the first quarter.
Wyoming Area forced Western Wayne to punt and needed only four plays to go 76 yards to paydirt.
O’Brien ran for 15 yards before Corey Popovich went for 16 yards himself. O’Brien then hooked up with Trent Grove for 55 yards to the Western Wayne 2, and freshman tailback Jeff Skursky plunged into the endzone for the 2-yard touchdown, giving WA a 27-6 lead after the first quarter.
Skursky had a fabulous debut for the Warriors, rushing for 17 times for 81 yards.
Western Wayne scored on a 36-yard TD run to cut the lead to 27-12, but after forcing a WA punt, Ahmad Bouie picked off a Wildcats pass to give the Warriors great field position with less than three minutes left in the half.
WA used five plays and a Western Wayne late hit penalty to get the ball to the 5-yard line before O’Brien found the endzone again to push the Warriors lead to 34-12 at the half.
But the second half would go in a completely opposite direction for Wyoming Area as Western Wayne tailback Robbie Siclari exploded with 86 yards and three touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone after the Wildcats had cut the deficit to 34-18 entering the final stanza.
Wyoming Area had a chance to put the game away while leading 34-32 late in the game after recovering an onside kick. But on fourth and short from midfield, the Warriors decided to go for it instead of punting the football. Western Wayne came up with the big stop with less than a minute to go, and turned to Siclari.
The junior rushed three times, including a 14-yard touchdown run with 18 seconds left to give the Wildcats the improbable victory. Siclari finished with 195 yards and five touchdowns on 23 carries.