DALLAS – Just when it couldn't possibly get worse for Pittston Area in the first half, somehow it did.
Dallas quarterback Ryan Zapoticky dropped a shotgun snap. Then he picked up the ball, stepped up in the pocket and threw a 43-yard dart to Ryan Kozloski.
It was that kind of Saturday afternoon for Pittston Area … and that kind of Saturday afternoon for Dallas.
Dallas dominated every aspect of the game, handing the Patriots a 35-0 loss in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 3A contest.
Dallas (3-3) won for the third consecutive time. Pittston Area (2-4) has its winning streak stopped at two. The Patriots were shut out for a third time this season.
Zapoticky's touchdown pass, one of four he threw, came with 47 seconds left in the second quarter. It came two plays after a Pittston Area fumble near midfield.
"It's much better going into halftime down 14-0 than 21-0," Pittston Area coach Mike Barrett said. "It was a blown coverage. That kind of took the wind out of our sails."
The touchdown actually made the score 20-0 at halftime. But the one-point discrepancy mattered little. The Patriots couldn't muster much offense in the first half and that carried over to the final two quarters.
Pittston Area had just 64 yards of offense at halftime. The running game produced just 11 on 12 carries. And the Patriots never crossed midfield on their own. The only time they were on Dallas' half was when the Mountaineers failed to convert a fake punt.
Pittston Area had the ball only twice in the second half and its deepest penetration was the Dallas 27-yard line. The Patriots finished with 4 yards rushing on 19 carries. Quarterback James Emmett was 11 of 19 for 121 yards, but many of those completions came with the game well in hand.
"Our defense the last three weeks has done an outstanding job," Dallas coach Bob Zaruta said. "Williamsport (last week) gained just over 100 yards. (Pittston Area) was probably around that or a little less, perhaps. We're just playing tough defensive football."
Dallas punctuated its strong defensive effort on Pittston Area's final play from scrimmage. Defensive lineman Ryan Monk sacked Emmett, forcing a fumble that fellow lineman Buddy Shutlock caught in the air.
Emmett was sacked four times. Pittston Area had four turnovers after totaling five in its last three games.
"It was a tough week," Barrett said. "I thought we had them prepared, and they were more physical than us today.
"We had a few key injuries. I think about four or five of our guys went down … and we could never get into a rhythm."
Dallas 35, Pittston Area 0
DAL – Jason Simonovich 19 pass from Ryan Zapoticky (Ryan Kozloski kick), 8:13
DAL – Kris Roccograndi 10 run (Kozloski kick), 1:04
DAL – Kozloski 43 pass from Zapoticky (kick failed), 0:43
DAL – Darik Johnson 25 pass from Zapoticky (Kozloski run), 8:00
DAL – Simonovich 58 pass from Zapoticky (Kozloski kick), 3:44
|Team Statistics||Pitt Area||Dallas|
RUSHING – Pittston Area, Justin Wilk 5-11, Mark Romanczuk 4-7, Kyle Gattuso 1-(minus-5), James Emmett 5-(minus-21), Jordan Houseman 3-7, Hassan Maxwell 1-5. Dallas, Roccograndi 17-86, Zapoticky 8-27, Logan Brace 6-25, Zach Macosky 2-2, Bill Gately 3-23, Justin Mucha 5-43, Ryan Cheskiewicz 1-2, Mike Olenginski 2-2.
PASSING – Pittston Area, Emmett 10-19-2-125. Dallas, Zapoticky 9-18-0-189.
RECEIVING – Pittston Area, Houseman 1-13, Romanczuk 3-22, Joe Starinsky 2-34, Joah John 3-32, Rich Weinstock 1-13, Gattuso 1-7. Dallas, Roccograndi 1-(minus-1), Simonovich 2-77, Kozloski 3-71, Gately 1-11, Johnson 2-31.
INTS – Dallas, Macosky 2.
MISSED FGS – Dallas 39WR.