Scranton hands Valley West opening night loss
Spartans go down 26-20
By Frank Kastreva, WVCD2.com
Opening night 2008 for the Wyoming Valley West Spartans, new turf, a big home crowd and thoughts of an unbeaten season.
All was right in front of the Spartans as they kicked off the pigskin against the Scranton Knights on Friday night in Kingston. That is until Scranton decided to pull off one of the biggest upsets in years, a loss that could effect this Spartans team and their dream season.
Valley West did everything they could to give Scranton the opportunity to pull off the upset and to Scranton’s credit they took that opportunity. Something then many teams have had the chance to do, but Scranton went for it and took it, plain and simple.
“We just were not in it tonight, I thought we were going to break through a couple times. Every time we gained momentum, we had a penalty that crushed it. You can’t win football games, while making mental mistakes,” said coach Curry from his office after the game.
“Everyone thought we would roll over this Scranton team. I told the kids all week, Scranton is much better then you think and we have to be prepared. We practice against the QB waggle all week long and then we go out there tonight and get beat by it,” added Curry.
Scranton would score the first points after only their third touch of the ball game with Sr. QB Fabby Desir scampering 44 yards to paydirt. The PAT was good with the score Knights 7 Spartans 0.
Valley West would tie things when Sr. QB Jack Crossin broke free on a keeper rumbling 25 yards to the gold zone. The PAT was good with the score Spartans 7 Knights 7.
Scranton took the lead at the 7:13 mark of the 2nd quarter on a 54 yard TD reception from Sr. QB Brian Dunleavy to Sr. WR Shane Glacken. The PAT was once again good with the score Knights 14 Spartans 7.
The Spartans would try to crawl back in it as they scored with only 1:40 left in the 1st half with Sr. RB John Hettes capping a scoring drive on a nine yard jaunt. The PAT was missed and Valley West was still down by one with the score Knights 14 Spartans 13.
Scranton scored their final TD of the night with Dunleavy capping the scoring drive on a QB keeper. This time Scranton missed the PAT, but padded their lead to the tune of 20-13.
The Spartans would come back and tie things up one more time with Crossin again breaking free on the bootleg. The play went 72 yards to paydirt, without Crossin being touch after he broke through the defensive line. The PAT was good and we were tied up once again with the score 20-20.
Scranton would break the backs of the Spartans on the kickoff after the TD with a return all the way back to the Spartans 2 yard line. The play was really the defining factor in the game and the Spartans never recovered from it.
Desir would find the paydirt two plays later, the PAT was blocked but Scranton had they lead for good with 8:40 left in the game.
Valley West would drive into Scranton territory late in the game, but a fumble recover by the Knights salted the win away.
Scranton Sr. RB Fabby Desir was very impressive throughout the game, in a sense he ran all over the Spartans. Which really was not a surprise if you think about it. Desir ran all over Valley West in last season’s contest also.
The only difference last year was the outcome of the game. A botched snap on a punt set the Spartans up for the win in 2007 over Scranton. The Knights were only one play away from the upset last season, this time to their credit they finished what they started.
As for the Spartans, hate to say it but the playoffs start next week at Abington Heights. The road doesn’t get any easier after AH either, with Delaware Valley and Berwick on the Horizon.
Time to go get it gentleman!
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