NEPA Sports Nation

Dallas turns showdown into rout

Pictured above: Parker Bolesta finds for yardage in win over Hazleton Area.

Parker Bolesta led a punishing ground game and Dallas made the most of opportunities created by a big-play defensive effort.

That combination turned a showdown of unbeaten teams to begin the second half of the regular season into just another Friday night game when the bulk of the second half was played with a running clock.

Bolesta carried 23 times for 185 yards and 4 touchdowns to lead the way as Dallas pounded host Hazleton Area, 42-20, Sept. 30 to take a commanding lead in Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 football.

The Mountaineers improved to 4-0 in the division and 6-0 overall in a game that allowed them to take No. 1 Big School spot in the Gaughan Auto Store Super Six Power Rankings away from Hazleton Area, which had held that status all season. The Cougars dropped to 1-1 and 5-1.

Dallas started fast.

Bolesta scored on a 48-yard run before the first minute was over.

The Mountaineers forced four turnovers while building a 35-6 halftime lead.

The most crushing of those turnovers came late in the half with Hazleton Area threatening to cut into a 28-6 deficit and stay within reach going into intermission.

Instead, Joey Peters picked off a pass at the 5 and took it 77 yards, flipping the field.

From there, Brady Zapoticky threw his second touchdown pass of the second quarter on the next play, hitting Dylan Geskey for an 18-yard touchdown 48 seconds before the break.

Bolesta had scored the game’s first three touchdowns, adding runs of 3 and 8 yards just 1:40 apart for a 21-0 lead late in the first quarter.

Hazleton Area’s explosive offense answered with a 76-yard Tyler Wolfe-to-Connor Shamany touchdown nine seconds before the first quarter ended.

Zapoticky and Nick Farrell connected for a 28-yard Dallas touchdown early in the second quarter.

Bolesta’s last touchdown, an 18-yard run with 8:25 left in the third quarter, brought on the Mercy Rule.

Hazleton Area scored twice in the last 4:08.

Wolfe passed 14 yards to Ryan Matyas for one score and Matthew Cusatis ran 16 yards for the other.

Shamany finished with 5 catches for 129 yards for the Cougars. Wolfe was 14-for-26 for 253 yards.

Follow us on social media