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Wyoming Valley West Muscles Way To State Quarterfinals Over Whitehall

Written by: on Saturday, November 18th, 2017. Follow Brian Ptashinski on Twitter.


WHITEHALL TWP.-  Whitehall coach Brian Gilbert was concerned about the size of Friday night’s opponent. District 2 Champion Wyoming Valley West and their offensive line. In dominating fashion, that line established a punishing ground attack that accumulated 298 yards as the Spartans ended the Zephyrs season with a 32-21 win.

With the win, Wyoming Valley West will either face defending state champions Archbishop Wood or Simon Gratz, who play Saturday afternoon.

Valley West scored on three of four first half possessions to take a 17-7 lead at intermission.

The Spartans scored on their opening drive going 80 yards, capped off with a 18-yard pass from Jake Shusta to Rob Dwyer on a 4th and 13. Valley West added a 33-yard field goal by Ake Guras with 10:29 left in the half.

Whitehall got on the board with an Ethan Parvel 43-yard blast up the middle. But Dwyer answered with a  five-yard run with 3:25 left on the clock. Valley West had an opportunity to take a 20-7 lead, but a 45-yard field goal attempt came up short at the horn.

“We respect the type of football down here in the Lehigh Valley. Up and down the line it’s a tough league. But we wanted to prove we belong,” said victorious coach, Pat Keating.

Whitehall started the second with great field position after a return by Allan Negrete and a penalty placed the ball at the Spartan 21. The drive ended with Valley West picking off a Parvel pass in the end zone.

The Spartans caught another break on the ensuing drive as Whitehall forced a three and out, but the Zephyrs fumbled the punt return, giving possession back to the Spartans at their 48.

Dwyer scored from two yards out extending the lead to 24-7 with 3:15 left in the third quarter. The Zephyrs scored on a 63-yard pass from Parvel to Braxton Marrero to make the score 24-13, as the extra point was wide left. Just like all night, the Spartans answered with a four-yard run by Sean Mikovitch to make the score 32-13 with 10:01 left in the contest.

Whitehall got a meaningless score with six seconds left on a nine-yard pass from Parvel to Negrete and completed the two point conversion.

“They moved the ball at will against us tonight. We turned it over four times. You can’t give a team like that extra chances.” said dejected Whitehall coach Brian Gilbert. “I feel for our seniors who put so much time and effort to this season. It just wasn’t our night.”

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