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Written by: John Kotsko on Saturday, August 28th, 2021
When Scranton went up 13-0 on Wilkes-Barre Area with 2:29 remaining in the first quarter, there was quite a possibility that the Knights would come out on top with a blowout victory. However, the Wolf Pack regrouped and got their spark plug in sophomore Mekhi Nelson who is playing in his first varsity game. “We have alot of young kids playing, as soon as they got their breath and once something positive happened, it just kept coming.” Wilkes-Barre Area Head Coach Ciro Cinti said. The Wolf Pack would score 35 unanswered points as the Wolf Pack turn down the Scranton Knights 35-13 at Spartan Stadium.
The Knights would start with the ball and would go on a long drive that would take up half of the first half. The drive took up 14 plays and ended with an Arvel Chandler two yard touchdown and would lead 7-0 with 6:28 remaining in the first quarter. The Knights would recover a fumble in good field position and would score on a Charlie Thompson one yard touchdown run to take a 13-0 with 2:29 left in the first quarter. It would only take two plays as Javant McClary would find Mekhi Nelson for a 50 yard touchdown to cut the Knights lead to 13-7 and that would be the score at the end of the first quarter. Scranton would go three and out on the next drive and the snap from the punt would botched and recovered by the Wolf Pack at the Scranton 25 yard line. Wilkes-Barre Area would capitalize on the field position and take the lead on a 15 yard touchdown run by McClary and it would be 14-13 with 10:02 remaining in the second quarter. The Knights would drive the ball down and would get to the Wilkes-Barre 4 yard line but on fourth and goal, Chandler’s pass would be intercepted by Nyquan Hollman in the end zone. The Wolf Pack would lead at halftime 14-13. The Wolf Pack would start with the ball and would increase their lead as Nelson would go through a bunch of tacklers en route to a 54 yard touchdown for his second score of the game. The Wolf Pack would lead 21-13 with 8:05 remaining in the third quarter. The Knights would drive the ball into the red zone once again, but they would fumble and the Wolf Pack would recover. Scranton coach Steve Shumbres believes that the turnovers were the turning point of the game. “We just made a bunch of mistakes inside the red zone with two turnovers. You can’t win a tight football game with turnovers like that.” At the start of the fourth quarter, McClary would throw to Nelson behind the line of scrimmage and he would throw to Anthony Nguyen for a 60 yard touchdown pass to make it 28-13 with 11:34 remaining. The Wolf Pack would add a one yard touchdown run by Howie Shiner to end the scoring. Cinti on his young sophomore. “He’s an outstanding athlete and can play anywhere on the field” Nelson on his varsity debut. “I feel like I proved alot today. I knew I wasn’t gonna be able to do the same thing I was able to do on varsity but I didn’t let it get to me.”
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