WILKES-BARRE — Part of the Dallas special teams plan is to get the ball into the hands of Christian Motley.
Motley unexpectedly got an extra chance while playing defense and put it to good use.
The speedy, 140-pound junior defensive back picked up an errant pitch on one hop and took off for a game-breaking, 82-yard touchdown run that helped Dallas to a 42-0 shutout victory over host Meyers Saturday night.
Dallas led 14-0 in the second quarter, but Meyers ripped off three straight gains of at least 15 yards to reach the Mountaineers 13.
That’s when Motley went to work.
Motley was already coming up field as part of his responsibility to take the pitch man on an option to his side. When the pitch went awry, Motley won the race to the loose ball and took off.
“I have the pitch key on that,” Motley said. “I saw the pitch hit him and the ball go down. I picked it up and just started going.”
The first 50-plus yards were easy, but with quarterback Janssen Wilborn in pursuit, Motley could not just rely on his speed. He slowed enough to help set up Matt Maransky for the block on Wilborn that gave him room to cut back and complete the touchdown return.
The return was sandwiched between two Danny Meuser touchdown runs in a 2:43 scoring flurry that turned a 7-0 game into a comfortable 28-0 lead for the Mountaineers with 6:16 left in the first half.
Meuser carried 20 times – all in the first three quarters – for 163 yards and three touchdowns. He turned inside runs into 18- and 66-yard touchdowns in the second-quarter outburst.
Quarterback Michael Starbuck ran for the first Dallas touchdown and passed to Jack Farrell for the last score.
The Dallas defense limited Meyers to 144 yards total offense while forcing four turnovers and stopping the Mohawks’ four-game winning streak.
“It was a big day on defense for us,” Motley said.
Motley was responsible for two of the four turnovers. He made a one-handed interception.
The designed returns were also effective.
Motley’s 33-yard punt return to the 14 set up Starbuck’s 5-yard sneak on fourth-and-one with 50 seconds left in the first quarter. His 21-yard punt return (it would have been 47 yards without a penalty that negated part of it) led to the second Dallas score.
Luke DelGaudio had the other interception and Chris Murray the other fumble recovery.
Dallas 42, Meyers 0
DAL – Michael Starbuck 5 run (Nate Maransky kick), 0:50.1
DAL – Danny Meuser 18 run (NMaransky kick), 8:59
DAL – Christian Motley 82 fumble return (NMaransky kick), 7:24
DAL – Meuser 66 run (NMaransky kick), 6:16
DAL – Meuser 18 run (NMaransky kick), 4:02
DAL – Jack Farrell 24 pass from Starbuck (NMaransky kick), 0:22.9
RUSHING — DAL, Danny Meuser 20-163, Jacob Fenske 10-37, Michael Starbuck 7-7, Lenny Kelley 2-6, Matt Maransky 1-4, Team 3-minus 4. MEY, Janssen Wilborn 12-49, Kevin Dessoye 5-25, Najese Hood 1-6, Reese Patronick 1-4, Jabrail Crumbley 1-3, Sufyan Burroughs 1-2, Rajhan Woodson 2-0, Watkeem Gumbs 2-minus 4.
PASSING — DAL, Wilborn 3-6-0-44. MEY, Wilborn 5-13-2-49.
RECEIVING — DAL, Jack Farrell 2-38, Bradley Adams 1-6. MEY, Patronick 3-55, Dessoye 1-8, Hood 1-6.
INTERCEPTIONS — DAL, Christian Motley 1-0, Luke DelGaudio 1-0. MEY, None.
MISSED FIELD GOALS – None.