PA Football News Scoreboard
The Funding Zone
SAFR: Safer Through Science

Abington Heights soars over Western Wayne, 34-14

Tagged under: District 2, Gameday Hub, News, pfn

| September 16, 2023


The Abington Heights Comets arrived at the Pit in Clarks Summit off of nice back-to-back road wins over Wilkes-Barre Area and Berwick. The Western Wayne Wildcats were feeling good after a big win last Friday night at Old Forge. With both teams having winning records, it appeared to be a close matchup and the winner would have some momentum heading into the middle of their schedule. The Pit was packed on both sides and with many of their fans travelling to see this big game, Western Wayne hoped for a big win.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the Comets soared high in this one. A flurry of scoring near the end of the first half gave the Comets the momentum and eventually the victory, 34-14.

After the opening kickoff, the Wildcats took the ball at their own 35, and QB Frankie Leyshon hit WR Sean Owens for a sizeable gain into Comets territory. A late hit on the play added more yardage and put the Wildcats at the Abington Heights 30 yard line. Western Wayne wasn’t able to move much further though, and a field goal attempt from the Comets 19 yard line was wide right.

The Comets made good on their defensive stand and started their first drive with nice runs by WR Kevin Schmidt and QB Nick Bradley. After a bad snap cost them 5 yards, Bradley hit WR Gavin Anders for a nice 17-yard gain. Then on a 3rd and 5 from their own 48 Bradley hit TE Cayd Sespico for a big 29-yard catch-and-run to the Wildcat 23 yard line. On the next play, Bradley hit Schmidt for a 23-yard TD that made it 7-0 for the Comets with 3:39 left in the first quarter.

Western Wayne started their second drive at their own 39, and it was a RB Josh Vinton who got the Wildcats rolling with 2 hard runs that advanced his team to midfield. After 2 personal fouls against the Comets including a sideline warning, the Wildcats drove down to the Comet 5 yard line as the 1st quarter expired. Vinton started the 2nd quarter with a 1 yard run and then capped the drive with a 4-yard TD run that tied the game at 7 with 11:19 left in the half.

The Comets responded immediately with a strong drive of their own, as runs by Bradley, Schmidt and RB Anthony Curra got them into Wildcat territory. WR Mason Fedor then got in on the action with a nice 9 yard catch down to the Wildcat 22, and more runs by Bradley and Schmidt drove the Comets to the Wildcat 2 yard line. Curra then capped the drive with a 2-yard dive into the end zone for the score. The extra point missed and Abington Heights had the lead 13-7 with 5:43 left in the half.

The momentum of the game changed quickly on the very next play. As the Wildcats began their next drive on their own 44 after a nice kick return, it was a big interception by Anders for the Comets that gave them the ball back at the Wildcat 49. After a run by RB Dominic Vegnetti moved the Comets to the 46, Bradley hit Schmidt for a 46-yard touchdown that extended the lead to 20-7 for the Comets with 4:39 left in the half.

The Wildcats, determined to atone for this turn of events, started on their own 35. A big catch and run by Vinton of 22 yards got Western Wayne to the Comet 39. Runs by Owens and Vinton advanced the Wildcats to the 24, and then Leyshon threw it to WR Ethan Grodack for a 24-yard score that made it 20-14 with only 1:08 left in the half.

The Wildcat momentum was very short-lived though, as Schmidt took the ensuing kickoff for the Comets and ran it back 99 yards for a touchdown. With 52 seconds left in the half, the Comets had again extended their lead to 27-14. With little time left, the Wildcats drove down to the Comet 30 yard line but their drive stalled to end the half.

As the 2nd half began the Comets started strong again, with nice catches by Fedor and Schmidt that drove Abington Heights to the Wildcat 45. 2 runs by Curra and another Fedor reception got the Comets to the Wildcat 17, and a run by Schmidt for a 17-yard touchdown made it 34-14 for Abington Heights with 9:00 left in the 3rd quarter.

Western Wayne could not get anything going on their next drive and had to punt it away. The Comets had several nice runs by Curra to drive down to the Wildcat 20, but a costly fumble was recovered by Wildcat DL Hayden Mundrake at the 18. The Wildcats then relied on the legs of Vinton, who had 4 straight runs to end the 3rd quarter. As the final quarter began, the Wildcats could not sustain the drive as a costly holding penalty put them back at their own 21 and eventually forced a punt.

Abington Heights then started what would be their final drive of the game at their own 40. Vegnetti ran 3 straight times and advanced the Comets to the Wildcat 49. Sespico then had a huge 39-yard catch-and-run down to the Wildcat 10, but also committed a face mask penalty on the play that pushed the Comets back to the Wildcat 30. The Comets then drained the clock with short runs and sealed the 34-14 victory.

After the game I spoke with TE/DE Cayd Sespico about his team’s victory: “At halftime we got each other pumped up….this is an amazing team to play with, I love it.”

Abington Heights improved to 3-1 and will travel next Friday to play Wallenpaupack. Western Wayne fell to 2-2 and will look to get rolling again next week at home against Carbondale.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery of the game, courtesy of Sherryl Samuel:

Follow PA Football News on Twitter @PaFootballNews

Rainbow Lettering
Turf Tank