Second Half Surge Propels Rangers Over Trojans
By Brian Ptashinski @BPtashinski on Twitter
SHICKSHINNY- Games are usually won by those who dominate in the trenches. On Friday night before a packed house at Lewis and Miller Memorial Stadium the battle was won by the Northwest Area Rangers as they bullied their way to a dominating 35-16 win over the visiting Trojans of Nanticoke in a WVC showdown.
Nanticoke held a 8-7 lead at intermission as Northwest opened the scoring on a Jake Anderson four-yard run with 8:33 left in the first quarter. Nanticoke answered back late in the quarter when Trojan quarterback Darren Boseman hooked up with Matt Wrubel for a 43-yard pass play. Dawson Hughes scored on the two point conversion to give the visitors the lead.
A 30-minute weather delay, due to lightning in the area with 3:48 left in the half, stalled the momentum. The teams finally came back to the field with Northwest in possession on their side of the field. QB Dave Piestrak threw an interception and setup Nanticoke with great field position, however the Ranger defense stepped up and stopped the Trojans with a goal line stand inside the one at the horn.
That stop seemed to have an effect on the Ranger offense in the second half as they outscored Nanticoke 28-8, including 22 straight to start the half. Piestrak, making up for that interception, hit paydirt with a three-yard scamper capping the opening drive. Brandon Hardiman connected with Connor Hazlet for the conversion and a 15-8 lead at 9:21 mark. Jake Anderson got his second score of the evening on a 52-yard jaunt, breaking several would-be tackles on his way to the end zone giving the home team a 22-8 advantage at the six minute mark.
“Nanticoke was taking it to us in that first half,” said an exhausted Ranger coach Lon Hazlet. “That stand on the goal line was huge for our momentum coming out in the second half. They(Nanticoke) are a good football team, very well coached, but we made some adjustments at half and put a few things together to get things rolling. Our coaches did a great job and our kids, though young, executed brilliantly,” he concluded.
Anderson hit the trifecta with his third score on a 15-yard sweep with 6:30 left in the contest. Anderson was the workhorse as he collected 221 yards on 16 carries. That score came after another goal lline stand by the Ranger defense at the four-yard line. Nanticoke managed to stop the bleeding with four-yard pass again from Boseman to Wrubel to cut the lead to 29-16 with 5:26 to play. The Rangers capped the night with a 54-yard run by Ezra Judge at the four minute mark.
Both team records stand at 2-3. Next week Nanticoke will host Crestwood, still clinging to playoff hopes. The Rangers will try to stay on the winning ways with a trip to Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium and a matchup with Holy Redeemer(1-4), who lost 50-6 to Meyers on Thursday night.
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