Mountaineers Claim Latest Conquest
NANTICOKE — Dallas’ offense has its defense and special teams to thank.
The Mountaineers had good field position all night, pinning Nanticoke Area deep on special teams and scoring three touchdowns off turnovers. An efficient offense paired with a short field made for a 35-0 victory over the Trojans on the road Friday night.
“Up until this year, we haven’t had a lot of the turnovers going to scores,” Dallas head coach Rich Mannello said. “When you get that short field position, you have to be able to take advantage of it.”
Dallas (7-0) established the run game early, marching the opening drive 78 yards in under five minutes. Michael Starbuck completed the series with a 15-yard touchdown pass to his favorite target, Luke DelGaudio.
Nanticoke Area’s first drive of the night ended in quarterback Colby Butcynski’s first interception of the season. The Mountaineers capitalized on the turnover as Starbuck and the Dallas offense capped another time-consuming drive with a five-yard touchdown pass to Jack Farrell.
The Trojans (3-4) ran just eight plays before Dallas took a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter, converting another turnover into points when Leonard Kelley juked a defender and scored his first rushing touchdown of the night.
“It’s all three phases,” Mannello said. “We did a great job on special teams pinning them with the kick cover unit, played well on defense giving us good field position. … We’re throwing the ball well enough to where they have to play pass in the secondary, and now that opens up the run game. All of it’s together.”
Dallas cashed in its second interception of the night with a 13-yard touchdown run by Kelley on the ensuing drive, taking a 28-0 lead into halftime. Kelley rushed for 123 yards in the first half, finishing the night with 138 yards and two scores.
“Against a team like (Dallas), you can’t turn the ball over,” Nanticoke Area head coach Ron Bruza said. “We turned the ball over three times in the first half, they scored 21 points.”
Dallas’ defense held Nanticoke Area to 26 yards passing, and it was also tough sledding for the Trojans on the ground with 3.6 yards per carry.
As far as mistakes, the Mountaineers played as perfect of a game as they could. Dallas committed zero penalties and zero turnovers.
“I don’t really have to say much to them,” Mannello said of the Mountaineers. “This is an internally driven group, and usually that’s what brings success. When you’ve got a bunch of guys who can lead from within, it works.”
Dallas put the cap on the win when Starbuck reached for a two-yard touchdown sneak midway through the third quarter. The junior rushed for 29 yards and passed for 84.
Joe Ammons led the Trojans with 71 yards rushing, followed by Pierson Park’s 31 yards.
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