D2 FOOTBALL: Delaware Valley Rolls Hazleton Area

November 10, 2018

MILFORD — As a quarterback, Zach Scillia tries to avoid interceptions. On defense, that’s a different story. Scillia made a leaping interception in the end zone early in the fourth quarter to swing momentum back to Delaware Valley and the top-seeded Warriors pulled away for a 35-14 win over No. 2 Hazleton Area to capture their third straight District 2 Class 6A championship on Saturday at Warrior Stadium. Delaware Valley (9-3) will face District 6 champion, State College, in the first round of the state tournament. State College beat McDowell, 55-20, on Friday in the District 6-10 subregional championship. Hazleton Area (7-5) had cut the deficit to 28-14 midway through the third quarter and then forced two straight punts. Damon Horton then broke a 45-yard run down to the Warriors’ 24. On the next play, Scillia jumped in front of his man on a pass into the end zone for an interception. “I saw the ball and I wanted to make a play for the team and I went up there and got it,” Scillia said. Starting at the 20-yard-line after the touchback, Delaware Valley went 80 yards on 15 plays. The Warriors converted two third downs on the drive, the second on an 11-yard run by Scillia on third-and-4 from Hazleton’s 44. “He made a lot of really big plays for us today,” Delaware Valley coach Keith Olsommer said. “Sometimes the kids get caught up in the excitement and he’s smooth with what he wants to do.” Later in the drive, Scillia hit Josh Balcarcel on a swing pass for a 17-yard gain. Then on second-and-goal from the 4, Scillia faked a hand off, ran around left end and dove to the pylon, beating a defender for the touchdown. Delaware Valley took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when Scillia hit Colin Walters for a 41-yard touchdown pass. On fourth-and-1, Scillia rolled out to his right and found Walters, who turned up field and raced to the end zone. “I saw the open field and I heard coach say ‘run it,’ but I saw Colin wide open so I just threw it,” Scillia said. Horton tied the game at 7 with a 13-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter, but Delaware Valley answered on its next drive. Balcarcel returned the kickoff 31 yards to the Cougars’ 40. On the six-play drive, Scillia completed two passes, including a 29-yarder to Hunter Klein on third-and-6. Then on third-and-goal from the five, Scillia ran around the right end for a touchdown. Later in the second quarter, Hazleton Area tried a fake punt, but was stopped at midfield with 2:52 left in the first half. Delaware Valley put together a nine-play drive and Balcarcel scored on a 3-yard run to give Delaware Valley a 21-7 lead with three seconds left in the first half. “When we needed to we made some big plays and that was the difference,” Olsommer said. “We made a few plays in some key situations and we were able to get the ball and turn it around and put points on the board.” Contact the writer: hsmith@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9125; @sportsTT on Twitter

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