DALLAS TWP. — North Pocono ran and ran and ran some more — all the way to a berth in the District 2 championship game.
The tandem of Trojans quarterback William Soma and halfback Michael Blaine ran for over 300 yards combined, Korry Eisley added three rushing touchdowns and North Pocono raced through Dallas on their way to a 41-26 win in Friday night’s Class 4A semifinal game at Mountaineer Stadium.
“That was the key to the game,” North Pocono coach Greg Dolhon said of his team’s performance on the ground. “Once you could run the ball off-tackle, the game gets a little easier.”
The Trojans carried the ball 45 times for a total of 330 yards, and the Dallas defense couldn’t stop Soma and Blaine from doing a lot of damage, breaking tackles and picking up first down after first down.
Soma did a little bit of everything for his team Friday: 167 yards and a touchdown on the ground, a passing touchdown and an interception right before the end of the first half that snuffed out a Dallas scoring opportunity.
To say it was purely a run-based offense for North Pocono might not be entirely fair, considering it was a 41-yard strike from Soma to wide receiver Dan Smith on a flea flicker that put the Trojans on the board less than two minutes into the contest.
“We’ve worked on that play, we thought it could be something we could use if we were in the right position,” Dolhon said. “It’s not the call, it’s the players.”
That score was North Pocono’s first play from scrimmage of the night, after forcing a quick three-and-out from the Dallas offense.
The Trojans would make another stop on the next Dallas drive, then went down and scored again on a Soma keeper. The two defensive stops would prove crucial, as Dallas’ offense woke up and moved the ball well the rest of the game but couldn’t catch up on the scoreboard.
Parker Bolesta scored three times for the Mountaineers, and quarterback Jackson Wydra added a touchdown through the air to Joe Peters to go along with 258 yards passing.
Wydra and the rest of the Dallas senior class ended their high school careers with a final record of 8-3 this season, including a playoff win last week against Pittston Area.
“I’m so proud of our seniors,” Dallas coach Rick Manniello said. “They wrote a hell of a book as a class this year.”
North Pocono will advance to the District 2 Class 4A championship game against Valley View, which blanked Berwick 21-0 in Friday night’s other semifinal.