Sep. 9—WEST PITTSTON — Wyoming Area didn't only remember last year's 42-point loss to Crestwood. Many of the current Warriors were on-field witnesses to those painful 48 minutes of football.
Friday night offered an opportunity for some payback and Wyoming Area got it.
Three Wyoming Area running backs scored touchdowns and the defense came up big when needed as the Warriors defeated Crestwood 29-22 in a Wyoming Valley Conference non-divisional game.
Wyoming Area improved to 3-0 before embarking on its WVC Division 2 schedule. Crestwood, which played in the PIAA Class 4A state semifinals a year ago, fell to 0-3 with its third seven-point loss. All three Crestwood opponents exited Friday night at 3-0.
"We're there, but we're not making plays," Crestwood coach Ryan Arcangeli said. "Players win games, coaches lose them. I have to do a better job preparing our guys in tough times and certain situations on how to make the play, period."
A big difference was Wyoming Area's Aaron Crossley was able to find running room this time. A 2,000-yard rusher last season, Crossley had just 43 yards on 12 carries in last year's 49-7 loss to Crestwood. He finished Friday night with 153 yards on 21 rushes, scored a touchdown and ran for a two-point conversion.
Crossley, though, wasn't the only difference maker. Running back Michael Crane added 58 yards on eight carries and scored twice. Running back Lidge Kellum touched the ball once, but sifted his way up the middle for a 61-yard touchdown with 10:26 left that proved to be the game-winning score.
"I said to a bunch of people that teamwork is something you can't teach. And chemistry," Crossley said. "Just knowing coming on the field, you don't have to worry about one guy. We could roll in fresh guys. From the bottom to the top of the depth chart, we have guys who can score from anywhere on the field and that can make plays and change the game."
The game-changers weren't only on offense.
The Wyoming Area defense also came up big when needed. Matt Rutkoski had a 12-yard sack on a fourth-and-4 from near midfield. Three plays later, Crane scored on a 23-yard run as the Warriors took a 22-14 lead into the fourth quarter.
Crestwood's final possession was kept alive by a pass interference penalty on fourth down. The Comets moved to the Wyoming Area 8-yard line on the running of quarterback Jaden Shedlock, who finished with 188 yards rushing. A penalty and a bad snap pushed the ball back to the 21. After an incompletion, Kellum and Josh Mruk sandwiched Shedlock as he released a pass, resulting in another incompletion.
"(Shedlock) was going to get his plays and they made their plays," Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. "In critical situations and times, the defense stood up and made those plays you have to make to win a football game."
Wyoming Area then ran out the final 4:14, giving Crestwood a heavy dose of Crossley.
Wyoming Area 29, Crestwood 22
Crestwood'0'7'6'8 — 22
Wyoming Area'0'7'15'7 — 29
WA — Michael Crane 3 run (Liam Burke kick), 11:29
CRE — Jaden Shedlock 2 run (James Barrett kick), 4:41
WA — Aaron Crossley 23 (Burke kick), 9:11
CRE — Shedlock 57 run (Barrett kick), 8:46
WA — Crane 23 run (Crossley run), 1:57
CRE — Allen Angon 15 run (Shedlock kick), 11:25
WA — Lidge Kellum 61 run (Burke kick), 10:26
RUSHING — Crestwood, Shedlock 29-188, Colin Lazo 4-24, Barrett 5-40, Angon 6-49, Jason Swank 2-12, team 1-(minus-8). Wyoming Area, Crossley 21-153, Crane 8-58, DeLucca 3-(minus-3), Kellum 1-61, team 1-(minus-1).
PASSING — Crestwood, Shedlock 2-8-0-17. Wyoming Area, Anthony DeLucca 4-8-1-80.
RECEIVING — Crestwood, Matt Sklarosky 2-17, Osten Grigas 1-14. Wyoming Area, Crane 1-26, Josh Mruk 2-50, Gage Speece 1-4.
INTERCEPTIONS — Crestwood, Lazo 1-0.
MISSED FGs — none