Week 2 football: Williamsport at Wyoming Area
Williamsport PPG–43, PPA–18; YPG–354, YPA–277
Williamsport facts: The Millionaires will be trying to make a statement against the defending Class AAA state champions. Williamsport opened the season strong at Nanticoke last Friday, scoring 30 first-half points and cruising to a 43-18 victory. The starting defense allowed just one touchdown and will be tested by a Warriors team which likes to try imposing its will and establishing the run. The offense clicked and an experienced offensive line helped Williamsport display excellent balance. Frankie Morrone picked up where he left off late season when he started settling in at quarterback, throwing for 183 yards and two touchdowns. Nassir Jones continued showing why he is one of the district’s premier players, igniting the defense and catching five passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Braeden Mazzante caught three passes and Nasir Hennigan and Damier Sams-Glover ran for their first varsity touchdowns. Lajear Whaley also scored and is one of the area’s premier linebackers. Defensive end Avery Campbell and fellow linemen Charles Crews and Connor Adkins are quality players and could play large roles tonight.
Williamsport player to watch–Keith Freeman: The three-year starting safety helps anchor the back end of Williamsport’s defense and also is one of its most experienced skill players. Freeman led the team in rushing last season and started strong against Nanticoke, running for 59 yards and a touchdown on five carries. He is a receiving threat as well and caught a 16-yard pass.
Wyoming Area PPG–30, PPA–6; YPG–325, YPA–151
Wyoming Area facts: A year after capturing their first state championship, the Warriors have a new look, but remain strong. Several dynamic starters on both sides of the ball graduated, but Wyoming Area started strong against Riverside, dominating the line and winning, 30-6, while not allowing a point until the fourth quarter. Quarterback Jacob Williams replaces Class AAA Player of the Year Dominic DeLuca and effectively spread the ball around, finding five different receivers for 108 yards. The Warriors ran the ball 46 times for 217 yards with three players receiving eight or more carries and producing 45 or more yards. Drew Mruk ran for 64 yards on 10 carries and Vicicenzo Giambra added 56 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. The Warriors made life miserable for Riverside’s offense, pressuring the quarterback well and allowing minus-31 yards. Riverside threw for 182 yards with many of those coming late.
Wyoming Area player to watch–Blaise Sokach-Minnick: The linebacker/safety did not play defense last year but helped ignite a stingy unit against Riverside. Sokach-Minnik, who also could see time at quarterback, collected two sacks, made four tackles and broke up a pass.
Outlook: Tonight’s game serves as a good barometer to see where the Millionaires are early this season. As games so often are, this one likely will be won up front and the Millionaires must hold up well on both sides to have a shot at doing something only one other team has the past two years.
–By CHRIS MASSE