Hazleton Area pulls away in second half in victory over Williamsport
Tagged under: District 2, Gameday Hub, News
John Kotsko | October 22, 2022
With Williamsport tying the game just before halftime, it looked like the Millionaires had all the momentum going into the second half. Hazleton Area got the ball to start the second half and on the first play of the second half, Connor Kundrat brought the momentum back to the home team and he also added a touchdown catch in the second half as the Cougars took down the Millionaires 28-14 to go to 7-2 on the season. Hazleton Area Head Coach Dennis Buchman on the team’s victory tonight. “It’s another big step for us heading into senior night. We made big plays in big time spots tonight.”
Williamsport started the game with the ball but were unable to get out of their own territory and ended up punting the ball to Hazleton Area. On the first play of the drive, Tyler Wolfe found Matt Cusatis for a 42 yard completion to the Millionaire 32 yard line. Wolfe went to Connor Kundrat for a 21 yard completion on a second and 14 to the 13 yard line. On a third and 3, Matt Buchman ran for three yards then on the next play, he scored from three yards out for an 8-0 Cougars lead with 5:26 remaining in the first quarter.
On the first play of the Williamsport drive, George Whaley’s pass ended up being intercepted by Buchman and returned to the Millionaire 31 yard line. It took all of two plays as Wolfe ran for 15 yards on the first play then on the second play, scored from 16 yards out to make the score 14-0 with 1:29 left in the first quarter. Williamsport ended up punting on their next possession.
The Millionaires forced a three and out at the start of the second quarter. Williamsport faced a third and 6. Whaley found Caden Holt for an eight yard completion. On a third and 7, Whaley found Yazhir Slaughter for a 31 yard touchdown to cut the Cougar lead to 14-7 with 7:25 remaining in the second quarter.
After Hazleton Area gained a first down with a Buchman 11 yard run, they faced a fourth down and 10. The Cougars lined up in punt formation but Cusatis ended up running it himself and it looked like he ended up being short. The pile pushed forward for an 11 yard run and a first down. The Cougars were unable to capitalize as they punted the ball away with 1:43 remaining in the first half.
Whaley found Jamaire Harden for a 22 yard completion as they got into Hazleton Area territory. Whaley then found Holt 17 to the 26 yard line. After a sack, the Millionaires pulled some trickery as Harden went to Whaley for a 23 yard completion for a first and goal at the seven yard line. On first and goal, Whaley found Slaughter for the second time tonight to tie the game at 14 with 24.6 seconds remaining in the first half and that ended up being the score as we head to halftime.
The Cougars started at their own 43 and on the first play of the second half, Kundrat went on the right side and broke away for a 57 yard touchdown to give Hazleton Area a 22-14 lead with 11:40 remaining in the third quarter. Kundrat on his momentum swinging touchdown score. “We went into the locker room and we knew we had to step up and come out strong in the second half.” Williamsport got as far as the Cougar 42 yard line but were unable to move the ball past that and punted the ball back to Hazleton Area.
Wolfe found Connor Shamany for a 25 yard completion on the first play of the Hazleton Area drive. It looked like the Cougars ended up punting the ball but Kundrat ran for 21 yards on the fake punt to give Hazleton Area a first down. Buchman ran for 27 yards to the Millionaire 10 yard line for a first and goal. The drive looked like it was going backwards and Hazleton Area faced a fourth and goal at the 19 yard line and Wolfe found Kundrat for a 19 yard touchdown catch for a 28-14 Cougar lead with 4:57 remaining in the third quarter.
Williamsport looked like the momentum can flip back as Whaley found Harden for 49 yards to the Cougar six yard line but an unsportmanlike conduct moved the ball back to the Hazleton Area 21. The Millionaires faced a fourth and 12 and Whaley ended up getting sacked as Hazleton Area took over on downs. The score remained as the third quarter came to a close.
Williamsport looked to get back in but were unable to capitalize as they were forced to punt on their next possession. On their final possession, Whaley’s pass ended up being intercepted by Buchman for his second pick of the night. Cougars safety Matt Buchman on his two interception night. “I saw the quarterback and saw the route and knew he’d come to the middle of the field.”
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