Wyoming Area Defense Shuts Down Nanticoke Area
WEST PITTSTON — Twice in the first half, Nanticoke Area had its golden opportunity.
Both times, the Trojans were inside the Wyoming Area 10-yard line. And both times, the Warriors’ defense kept the ball from crossing the goal line.
Yes, offenses are fun and flashy. But simply put, defenses wins ballgames.
Wyoming Area shook off a shaky first half offensively to put 28 points on the scoreboard in the final 24 minutes as the Warriors pulled away from the Trojans, 35-7, Friday night.
“We just came out too slow in the first half and we weren’t executing,” said Wyoming Area quarterback Dominic DeLuca, who finished with two touchdowns and 126 yards of total offense. “Our defense kept us in this one. We were phenomenal on that
side of the ball. Our run defense is awesome. Those two stops in the first half were huge. The interior of our line came up with some big plays.”
Honestly, Ron Bruza couldn’t have asked for much more in the first half. His Nanticoke Area squad held a high-powered Wyoming Area offense to just seven points and 77 yards.
Well, he would probably like those two red zone drives back. Both times, deep inside the Wyoming Area 10-yard line and no points to show on the scoreboard.
The first one stopped on a fourth-and-goal when the interior of the Warrior line stuffed quarterback Colby Butcynski right before the goal line.
The second one halted when a 24-yard field goal appeared to be blocked at the line and fell harmlessly to the dew-covered turf.
Instead of possibly taking a lead into the break, Nanticoke Area trailed 7-0 after Wyoming Area took advantage of a short field toward the end of the first quarter – needing just three plays to cover 37 yards, capped off by Nick Elko’s short, 1-yard burst.
Wyoming Area’s defense was straight dominating. Nanticoke had just 30 yards in the first half, and out of 40 plays run, 22 were held to either zero or negative yardage.
“We just have to start believing what a good football team we are,” Bruza said. “Wyoming Area beat us tonight on fundamentals. They tackled better, they played assignment football better, and they executed when they needed to. At the end, we are a good football team. We are right there. They just don’t know how good they can be until they start believing.”
Whatever was said in the locker room lit a fire under the Warriors.
That’s because Wyoming Area looked like the team that took the field in the first three weeks of the season.
Behind a bruising running game, the boys in green and gold churned up the yardage and crossed the goal line four times — scoring on four of its six second-half possessions.
Thanks to two nice blocks by Derek Ambrosino and Patrick Nelson, Corey Mruk was able to round the line and rumble 37 yards to start the second half, giving the Warriors a quick, two-score advantage before increasing the lead to 21-0 on Darren Rodney’s 34-yard touchdown.
It was the DeLuca show in the final 12 minutes as the athletic quarterback scored on runs of 26 and 4 yards to put the game on ice.
“Our defense was stout when we needed it to be,” Wyoming Area head coach Randy Spencer said. “Credit to Nanticoke because they played hard, stood in the game and gave themselves an opportunity. We certainly needed our defense tonight. Adversity comes in many ways, and tonight, it came in some penalties. We have to address it and clean that up. It was just one of those nights where we didn’t have our ‘A’ game early. But you have to learn to play in those games, too.”