H.S. football: Abington Heights uses strong running game to top Pittston Area


By Robert Tomkavage - rtomkavage@timesleader.com



Abington Heights defensive back Brandon Hardy breaks up a Pittston Area pass during a non-conference football game on Sept. 30.


Tony Callaio | For Abington Journal

Abington Heights’ Kaleb Sherman rushed for 174 yards and three touchdowns during the Comets 49-20 win over Pittston Area on Sept. 30.


Tony Callaio | For Abington Journal

YATESVILLE — Abington Heights more than doubled Pittston Area’s offensive output and defeated the Patriots, 49-20, in a non-conference football game Friday, Sept. 30.

The Comets rushed for 321 yards with 250 coming in the first half when the team jumped out to a commanding 35-14 lead.

Kaleb Sherman, who gained 174 yards on 28 carries, started the scoring with a 46-yard touchdown run through the middle of the Patriots defense to cap a 6-play, 79-yard drive with 4:56 left in the first quarter.

“Our emphasis, all week, was to try to establish the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball,” Abington Heights head coach Joe Repshis said. “We felt if we could run the ball effectively, take time off the clock and put points on the board it would be key for us.”

After a Pittston Area punt, Abington Heights quarterback Colin McCreary ended a 12-play, 55-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge with 8:07 remaining in the second quarter. Sherman gained 23 yards on the first play of the possession to kick-start the offense.

It only took the Comets one play to score on their next drive when fullback Ben Vale busted through Pittston Area’s defense for a 65-yard touchdown with 6:56 left to play in the second quarter.

“We’ve been having trouble stopping the run all year,” Pittston Area head coach Jim Norris said. “Abington is one of the top programs in the area for a reason. They’re a well-coached and well-disciplined team, and we didn’t have an answer for their run game.”

Pittston Area got on the scoreboard when quarterback Walter Coles capped a 7-play, 45-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run with 4:57 left in the second quarter, but the extra point attempt was blocked. Coles connected with wide receiver Kevin Krawczyk for 32 yards on 4th-and-11 to keep the possession alive.

Abington Heights scored on its fourth consecutive possession when McCreary connected with wide receiver Brandon Hardy for a 43-yard touchdown with 1:54 remaining in the second quarter.

Pittston Area (1-5) answered when Coles found Krawczyk for a 12-yard touchdown on the ensuing possession. The duo also connected for the two-point conversion to cut the Patriots deficit to 14 points with 22 seconds left in the first half.

That was until McCreary scrambled down the sideline for a 50-yard touchdown on the final play of the second quarter.

The Patriots cut into the Comets lead on their first possession of the second half when Keemar Woodruff scored on a 4-yard run to end a 9-play, 42-yard drive with 6:55 left to play in the third quarter. Coles hit Krawczyk for a 19-yard completion on 4th-and-10 to set up the score.

Abington Heights (4-2) cushioned its lead when Sherman scored on a 14-yard touchdown with 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Sherman scored again, from four yards out, for Abington Heights’ final touchdown with 6:49 left in the game.

“Kaleb had some opportunities and did a great job,” Repshis said. “He has good vision and balance and ran very tough. The offensive line give him a seam and push, it was a total team effort.”

Abington Heights will host Wyoming Valley West at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 at Comets Stadium.

Abington Heights defensive back Brandon Hardy breaks up a Pittston Area pass during a non-conference football game on Sept. 30.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_Abington-Heights-Pittston-Area-ftbl-2.jpgAbington Heights defensive back Brandon Hardy breaks up a Pittston Area pass during a non-conference football game on Sept. 30. Tony Callaio | For Abington Journal

Abington Heights’ Kaleb Sherman rushed for 174 yards and three touchdowns during the Comets 49-20 win over Pittston Area on Sept. 30.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_Abington-Heights-Pittston-Area-ftbl-1.jpgAbington Heights’ Kaleb Sherman rushed for 174 yards and three touchdowns during the Comets 49-20 win over Pittston Area on Sept. 30. Tony Callaio | For Abington Journal

By Robert Tomkavage

rtomkavage@timesleader.com

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

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