Scranton unable to slow down Hazleton Area
MOOSIC — For a chilly night on Montage Mountain at PNC Field, the offenses started off red hot.
Both teams had scored before 30 seconds ran off the clock.
It was Hazleton Area’s offense that stayed hot and delivered a 38-14 triumph over Scranton in a nonconference game.
Both offenses worked efficiently throughout the game with none of the touchdown drives lasting longer than two plays.
Scranton (1-7) scored
quickly on its first offensive play when Rodo Brown ran a sweep around the Cougars defense for a 65-yard touchdown, giving the Knights a very short-lived lead.
The rest of the quarter belonged to Hazleton Area (3-5).
Twelve seconds later, Hazleton Area’s Jacob Hunsinger ran the ensuing kickoff back 83 yards to tie the game at 7-7 just 29 seconds into the game.
Hazleton Area quarterback Sparky Wolk took over, throwing two touchdown passes in its next two possessions. The first was a 65-yard pass to Nolan Schneider and then a 34-yard strike to Hunsinger.
Hazleton Area’s Will Barrientos tacked on a 37-yard field goal with 27 seconds left in the first quarter to give the Cougars a 24-7 lead.
The score stayed that way until halftime.
Scranton opened the second half with an 85-yard touchdown run by Kaleb Sherman on its second play of the half, cutting the lead to 24-14.
But Hazleton Area struck back 45 seconds later when Dallas Solomon ran through the Scranton defense for a 39-yard touchdown to give the Cougars a 31-14 lead.
Wolk threw for 210 yards and two touchdowns for Hazleton Area.
Scranton piled up 309 yards total offense with both Brown and Sherman running for more than 100, but they had trouble moving the ball consistently when they weren’t breaking off long TD runs.
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Scranton’s Terry Nakazi, left, gets a block from teammate Rodo Brown during Friday night’s game against Hazleton Area at PNC Field.