Millionaires stumble against unbeaten DV

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette
Joe Fagnano of Williamsport is hit by Delaware Valley’s Jason Henderson Friday night at Williamsport.

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Joe Fagnano of Williamsport is hit by Delaware Valley’s Jason Henderson Friday night at Williamsport.

By CHRIS MASSE

cmasse@sungazette.com

As Marcus Simmons made a nifty cut, sent a defender tackling air and sprinted 73 yards into the end zone, it seemed like Williamsport’s Comeback Kids were at it again. Simmons’ spectacular play cut what had once been a 13-point deficit to three early in the second quarter.

But that is where the comeback ended. Delaware Valley scored the next 28 points and quickly snuffed out those hopes. The Warriors also made an emphatic statement and showed Friday night at STA Stadium, that they are now the team to beat in District 2-4 Class AAAAAA. And if Williams­port hopes to change that later this year, it will have to make its best comeback yet.

Ryan Obiso ran for 183 yards and five touchdowns, Dylan Kelly ravaged Wil­liams­port through the air and on the ground and Delaware Valley dominated all facets Friday as it romped to a 55-17 win in a rematch of last year’s district championship.

“We finally we ran across a team that was capable of making us pay and that’s exactly what they did,” Williamsport coach Chuck Crews said. “We can’t keep doing the same stuff and expecting the same results. I have to put the blame on myself because something I’m doing is wrong if we’re coming out and doing the same thing time and time again.”

Williamsport (5-2) had won its last three games after overcoming double-digit deficits. The most im­pressive came last week when the Millionaires rallied from 18 down in the third quarter and defeated Scranton, 38-34. But Dela­ware Valley is not like those other teams Williams­port defeated and this was a night when it had to play four strong quarters.

Instead, Delaware Valley (7-0) scored on five of its first six first-half possessions, dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides, built a 34-10 halftime lead and inflicted the mercy rule with a little more than two minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Warriors also all but assured themselves of earning homefield advantage throughout districts while exacting a measure of revenge after Williamsport pounded it in last year’s final.

“We got a little bit of momentum early with some big plays and that just continued,” Delaware Valley coach Keith Olsommer said. “These guys (the Million­aires) have been a team that has been dynamic. People have had big plays against them and they answer and they answer again. The whole week it was prepare for 48 minutes. Our trend al week was get a little bit every day and they were really good tonight.”

Kelly opened the game with a 48-yard catch and Obiso scored two plays later as the Warriors showed they could quickly score and cover ground. Kelly’s 30-yard catch a series later set up Obiso’s four-yard touchdown run and the Warriors went up 13-0. The Millionaires answered with a 15-play drive that produced an Angelo Girardi 21-yard field goal. Simmons then took a 1-yard pass and showed how dynamic he can be, bursting down the sideline and across the field for his 73-yard touchdown.

But it seemed like that sequence was just a ruse, tricking Williamsport fans into thinking that this game would be like those other comeback wins. Kelly took an inside reverse 44 yards for a touchdown less than two minutes later and the rout was on as Delaware Valley scored on its next two series and took a 34-10 halftime lead. Delaware Valley moved the ball at will, took advantage of poor Williamsport tackling, a problem that has dogged it all year, and gained 326 of its 503 yards in the first half.

“We’re in position and we didn’t make the tackle,” Crews said. “It’s the same old thing. I swear it’s like Groundhog Day.”

Any hopes of a remarkable second-half comeback quickly evaporated on Williamsport’s first third-quarter possession when a botched snap resulted in a 24-yard loss and forced it to put from its end zone. Obiso then broke a series of tackles near the line and went 50 yards for a touchdown. Obiso has worn out Williamsport the last two seasons, running for 276 yards and nine touchdowns in two regular-season wins.

Obiso was never tackled for loss Friday and never gained fewer than two yards on a carry. He also scored on a 1-yard touchdown on a 4th-and-goal during the first half.

“Ryan is a tremendous tailback. He’s as tough a runner as you’re going to find,” Olsommer said. “Ryan is a special running back and he does a really nice job for us.”

Simmons provided one of the lone Williamsport bright spots, catching eight passes for 155 yards. The junior’s 37-yard catch and run set up Blaze McClements for a 1-yard touchdown in the third quarter, cutting it to 41-17. Williamsport then had Delaware Valley pushed inside its 10-yard line and would have had a 2nd-and-27 from the 9. In a play that symbolized the game, however, Williamsport was called for roughing the passer.

Delaware Valley gained a first down and quickly moved the final 76 yards as Obiso scored again. Four plays later James Secor blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown. What looked like would be a heavyweight battle between title contenders became a mercy-rule game.

“We were very sharp Thursday and I thought maybe we have a shot at this,” Olsommer said. “I was really nervous because you watch these guys on film and they keep getting better and better and their coach does a great job, but we played well and we were fortunate.”

Delaware Valley held Williamsport to eight yards rushing and the Millionaires’ longest run went for four yards. Joe Fagnano threw for 197 yards but was sacked three times. All the problems those comebacks covered up were exposed last night. Now Williamsport will try and take the road back upward.

“What we thought and what actually is are sometimes two different things,” Crews said. “We have to put our whole emphasis and energy on getting us together and beating Coughlin next week.”

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