TUNKHANNOCK — Tunkhannock’s motto heading into this week’s matchup with Pittston Area was: Winning is an all the time thing.
For back-to-back games, the Tigers are proving that motto on the gridiron.
Tunkhannock snapped a 21-game losing streak with a win over Honesdale last week. The Tigers carried that momentum, and relied on Logan and Ryan Cywinski in a 21-14 win over Pittston Area Friday night. Tunkhannock has now won back-to-back games for the first time since 2007.
Pittston Area remains the only team in District 2 without a win.
The Cywinskis combined for 108 yards on the ground and accounted for each of Tunkhannock’s three touchdowns. Ryan finished with 50 yards and two touchdowns, while Logan had 58 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter.
“I’m just really proud of the kids and coaches,” Tunkhannock coach Jan Cechak said. “They didn’t give up.”
Logan scored from 38 yards out to tie the game at 7 to start the third quarter. Ryan had touchdown runs of 3 and 2, both in the fourth quarter.
“It was a screwy game and it’s kind of surreal right now,” Cechak said.
It was a screwy game indeed.
With a 7-0 lead, Pittston Area’s Rich Wallace intercepted a pass and returned it to the Tunkhannock 33 with 15 seconds left. Quarterback Walter Coles connected with Niko Cinquegrani for 26 yards down to the 7 with three seconds left. That’s when things got screwy.
The clock operator ran the game clock on the referee’s “ready for play” signal. The buzzer sounded just before the ball was snapped. It was eventually snapped and Mike McKitish put it through the uprights from 24 yards. However, due to the clock malfunction, the Patriots were forced to kick again.
So McKitish lined it up and the kick was blocked. A Pittston Area player scooped up the ball and ran in the wrong direction with the play still live. The referees blew an intavertant whistle, forcing Pittston Area to kick again. This time, with no malfunctions, the kick was blocked again and PA took just the 7-0 lead into halftime.
The Patriots went in front, 14-7, when Coles’ 8-yard run capped off a 69-yard drive that ate up seven minutes of clock late in the third quarter. Quickly, Tunkhannock answered.
The Tigers next drive took almost eight minutes. Ryan Cywinski capped off the drive, but the extra point failed and Pittston Area led by one with six minutes to play.
With the score 14-13, the Patriots took over with 5:57 left, and had a chance to ice the game. After Coles ran for a first down, the Patriots were forced to punt from midfield. The snap, however, slipped through punter Paul Brady’s hands and rolled down to the Patriot 30 where Tunkhannock would take over with three minutes left.
Eventually, the Tigers faced a 4-and-10. An all-or-nothing pass to the end zone resulted in a pass interference penalty on Pittston Area, moving the ball to the 15. Five plays later, Ryan Cywinski went in from three yards out to put the game away. Ryan added the two-point conversion.
“We knew it was a matter of time before Ryan and Logan would get going,” Cechak said. “They are outstanding athletes and they are giving us everything they have.”
Tunkhannock 21, Pittston Area 14
PA — Kyle Petroski 3 run (Mike McKitish kick), 1:24
T — Logan Cywinski 38 run (Brian Muckin kick), 8:50
PA — Walter Coles 8 run (McKitish kick), 1:50
T — Ryan Cywinski 3 run (kick failed), 6:04
T — Ryan Cywinski 2 run (Ryan Cywinski run), 0:19
RUSHING — PA, Coles 11-68, Petroski 9-38, Ryan Davis 8-12, Keemar Woodruff 4-9. T, Logan Cywinski 12-54, Ryan Cywinski 15-50, Mike Taylor 3-8, Connor Munley 1-2.
PASSING — PA, Coles 5-11-34-1. T, Logan Cywinski 8-14-85-1.
RECEIVING — PA, Niko Cinquegrani 2-26, Paul Brady 1-11, Petroski 2-(-4). T, Brian Muckin 3-29, Taylor 2-24, Ryan Cywinski 2-20, Jarod Bernosky 1-2.
INTERCEPTIONS — PA, Rich Wallace 1-30. T, Munley, 1-0.
MISSED FGs — PA, McKitish 1-24
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-602-0178 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick