Rangers roll past Roy­als

The Citizens' Voice - - High School Football - BY ERIC SHULTZ STAFF WRITER Con­tact the writer: es­hultz@ cit­i­zensvoice.com; 570-8212054; @CVEricShultz on Twit­ter

SHICKSHINNY — Trust­ing its strong run­ning game, North­west foot­ball fought out of an early-sea­son hole and ended Septem­ber right where it started: as a .500 team.

The Rangers took ad­van­tage of a few penal­ties to break open a com­pet­i­tive first half Fri­day night. From there, they pulled away from Holy Redeemer dur­ing a rainy sec­ond half to earn a 42-14 vic­tory at home.

“Our coach (Lon Ha­zlet) al­ways says, 1-3 isn’t re­ally the best start we can have, but it’s the way you re­act and the way you come back from it,” Rangers quar­ter­back David Pies­trak said. “We surely did th­ese last two weeks.”

With their sec­ond win in a row, the Rangers (3-3) shook off a los­ing record to get back to even foot­ing. They were last at .500 af­ter a vic­tory over Lake-Lehman on Sept. 1.

So far, North­west’s sea­son is mir­ror­ing last year, when it started 1-3 but won the fi­nal six games of the reg­u­lar sea­son.

“Last sea­son we were kind of wor­ried. Week 4 against Lack­awanna Trail we lost, (and) there were some tears in the locker room,” Pies­trak said.

“We’re not ner­vous like we were last year to come back.”

Pies­trak found re­ceiver Con­nor Ha­zlet (three catches, 54 yards) for two first-half touch­down passes to get ahead by two scores dur­ing a 5-for-12 out­ing. He later tacked on a 40-yard touch­down run.

Jake An­der­son did the ma­jor­ity of the work on the ground with 136 yards and a touch­down on just 14 car­ries.

The strong run­ning has moved North­west’s of­fense down­field through­out its past two games, but Pies­trak’s pass­ing gave the Rangers the lead for good.

They took a 15-7 lead on a drive that started with An­der­son’s 44-yard run and ended on Pies­trak’s pass to Ha­zlet in the flats. Ha­zlet took the quick pass and won a race to the py­lon for a 14-yard score.

As Roy­als (1-5) quar­ter­back J.D. Turosky kept plays alive with his run­ning (17 car­ries, 121 yards and a TD), they had a chance to tie in the sec­ond quar­ter. But a 20-yard hold­ing penalty in­side the 10 killed a promis­ing drive.

Pies­trak found Ha­zlet again, this time on a quick slant past a de­fender for a 22-yard touch­down con­nec­tion on the Rangers’ first snap of the drive.

The score gave North­west a 21-7 half­time lead, and its 34-point run con­tin­ued in the af­ter the break on touch­down runs by Pies­trak and Beau Getz, plus a 50-yard in­ter­cep­tion re­turn by Adam Bukavich.

HA­ZLET

AN­DER­SON

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