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Bulldogs Rally to Top the Spartans Saturday Afternoon in Long-Running Rivalry. @BerwickBulldogs @wvwfootball

Written by: on Saturday, October 9th, 2021

 

Berwick spots Wyoming Valley West 14 points, then rally to score 21 unanswered points in much needed win.
@BPtashinski on Twitter

KINGSTON- In a fierce and an intense rivalry such as that between the Berwick Bulldogs and the Wyoming Valley West Spartans, momentum is everything. The Spartans jumped out to 14-0 lead but a late second quarter score by Berwick was a shot in the arm as the Bulldogs defense posted a shut out in the second half, while the offense posted two scores en route to a 21-14 win at Spartan Stadium before a less than sparse crowd Saturday afternoon in a key Wyoming Valley Conference interdivisional game.

Berwick had the field position advantage early in the game as they took the opening kickoff 60 yards to set up shop at the Spartan 25, however the drive would stall inside the five and an attempted field goal would be blocked. On the Dawgs next drive again inside the red zone an interception would prevent Berwick from scoring at the seven.

The Spartans would hit pay-dirt twice in the second quarter on explosive plays, the first a 46 yard score by Isaiah Cobb on a toss sweep as he avoided two Bulldog defenders along the sidelines with 11:01 left. Then on a 73 yard pass from quarterback Luke Buss to Conner Olisewski, who made a fingertip catch along the visitor sidelines with 6:48 before half.

After an exchange of punts, Berwick took possession at their own 40 and sustained the drive inside the Spartan five an illegal procedure call pushed the ball back to the six with just three seconds left, quarterback Matthew Lonczynski found Spencer Kishbaugh on a quick slant at the goal line for a 14-7 deficit at intermission.


Wyoming Valley West was dealt a blow in the third quarter when Cobb was injured and did not return, he finished with 138 yards on 19 carries and the one score. The Spartans could not find the rhythm to control the ball and keep the Berwick offense on the sidelines.

Berwick had two touchdowns called back via penalties in the second half, but that did not deter them from dialing up the pressure on a depleted Spartan defense. Running back Ben Knorr capped a five play 52 yard drive by going in from five yards out to tie the score at 14 with 6:51 left in the third quarter.

Berwick caught another break on the ensuing kickoff as WVW fumbled it right back to the Bulldogs, but Berwick could not take advantage of the gift. Buss then got injured after being sacked by the rabid Bulldog defense.

Berwick forced a Spartan punt and took over at their own 19 yard line, using a running backs Ryan Bankes(135 yards) and Knorr(55 yards). The Bulldogs went on a thirteen play drive that culminated in a three yard score by Lonczynski score with 8:11 left in the game.

After gaining nearly 160 yards in the first half, Valley West could only manage barely ten yards in the second half. But the Spartans had one last chance with under two minutes left but Dray Wilk ended any last minute hopes as he picked off a pass near midfield to seal the deal.

Berwick coach was pleased with his teams overall performance after the game.

Berwick improves to 4-3 and will be home with Pittston Area(2-5) Friday at Crispin Field. The Patriots lost to Dallas 28-6 Friday night. Valley West (3-4) will be on the road to Williamsport(3-4) The Millionaires were shutout by Del Val 26-0.

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