NANTICOKE — Dallas entered Friday night’s game against Nanticoke Area as one of just two unbeaten teams in the Wyoming Valley Conference. But it could be argued that the Mountaineers hadn’t had a total team effort in any game so far.
The Mountaineers dominated the Trojans on offense, defense and special teams en route to a 35-0 victory to improve to 7-0 leading up to a showdown with Valley View in Week 8.
“I think it was a good team effort win. Everybody came together as one,” said running back Lenny Kelley, who rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns. “Once we started getting dirty, we all looked each other and said, ‘Hey, let’s keep playing clean and do what we do — just run the ball and have coach call good plays.’”
On defense, the Mountaineers created three takeaways, scored 21 points off those and held Nanticoke to just 166 total yards. Offensively, Dallas rushed for nearly 200 yards and three touchdowns, while quarterback Mike Starbuck completed 7 of 11 passes for 83 yards and two scores. All this while pinning the Trojans deep on kickoffs and not committing any penalties throughout the entire game.
“That’s something that up until this point this year, we haven’t had a lot of the turnovers going to scores and we needed it,” Dallas coach Rich Mannello said. “As coaches we talk about it, but tonight we were able to finish some drives off turnovers. When you get that good, short field position, you gotta be able to take advantage of it.”
The Mountaineers defense was on target all night, especially in the first half only allowing the Trojans to pass midfield once, while mounting a takeaway on three of Nanticoke’s five drives in the first 24 minutes and scoring touchdowns after all of them.
When the Trojans got past midfield on their first drive of the game, Colby Butczynski was picked off by Dylan Schuster.
On the ensuing drive, Starbuck hooked up with Jack Farrell for a 5-yard TD pass for Starbuck’s second scoring strike of the game.
Nanticoke’s next drive also ended on a turnover, a fumble that Dallas recovered. Three plays later, Kelley ran in the end zone for a 16-yard score and a 21-0 lead.
Another interception by the Dallas defense came from RJ Wren later in the second quarter. A long drive by the Mountaineers followed with it capped by a 13-yard TD run by Kelley as Dallas went up 28-0 at halftime.
Nanticoke was overpowered by the Mountaineers, but handing them 21 points in the first half off turnovers didn’t help the team much.
“Against a team like that, you can’t turn the ball over,” Trojans coach Ron Bruza said. “We turned the ball over three times in the first half and they scored 21 points and lose the game 35-0.”
Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLSports