NEPA Sports Nation

Executive Ed ends Lakeland season

By Tom Robinson,

DUNMORE – Executive Education Academy used speed on defense, both in the rush up front and with the closing ability in the secondary, to disrupt the Lakeland passing game while ruining the Chiefs’ unbeaten season with a 42-15 romp in a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class 2A football playoff game Friday night.

The Raptors produced 7 sacks for 62 yards in losses and intercepted 4 passes, including a 74-yard touchdown return.

The District 11 champions, a second-year program from Allentown, scored 6 touchdowns from at least 29 yards each to offset a 31:53-16:07 time of possession advantage for Lakeland.

Lakeland got as close as the Executive Education 20 five times before the midway point in the third quarter, but only reached the end zone twice.

Executive Education then pulled away with the game’s last three touchdowns after its lead had been cut to 22-15.

The Chiefs outgained the Raptors, 128-64, in the first half while holding the ball for more than 19 of the 24 minutes, only to trail at the break, 16-8.

That was largely the result of Matthew Martinez’s interception return with Lakeland threatening to tie the game early in the second quarter.

Executive Education had a net of minus-7 yards in two possessions before embarking on a seven-play, 91-yard drive for the game’s first score.

Damon Young caught a third-and-seven pass on the right sideline on the second play of the second quarter. Young made two Chiefs miss then headed through the middle of the field to complete a 45-yard touchdown reception from Darmel Lopez.

Lopez passed to Jyhmiek Roman for the two-point conversion and 8-0 lead.

Lakeland reached the 18 before Isaiah Muldrow hit Dominico Spataro attempting to pass. The hit altered Spataro’s throw, popping the ball into the air and into the arms of Martinez before the lineman took off for the touchdown.

Kvhon Lewis ran for the two-pointer and 16-0 lead with 8:37 left in the second quarter.

Spataro played all but one offensive play of the first three quarters, but his mobility was hindered by a leg injury that knocked him out of last week’s District 2 championship game in the third quarter.

The quarterback, who accounted for 3,214 yards and 48 touchdowns combined rushing and passing, led a second-quarter drive to close the gap to 16-8.

Spataro went 3-for-3 passing and had his only two positive running plays of the night to convert a fourth-and-one and a third-and-four. One play after Spataro’s third-down conversion, Lacota Dippre slammed into the end zone from the 2 to complete a 10-play, 59-yard drive.

Adam Wormuth pulled in a lateral swing pass and ran in for the two-point conversion to make it 16-8 with 2:24 left in the half.

The Chiefs threatened to catch up before the break.

After three straight incompletions, Executive Education had to punt. Under pressure, the kick went just 4 yards after the Raptors had punted only 19 and 7 yards on two tries in the first quarter.

Spataro hit Dippre for 14 yards to the 19 on the first play, but a sack led to an interception on third-and-long with 15 seconds left.

After defenses dominated the first half, offense decided the game in the third quarter.

The first three drives resulted in touchdowns – two by the Raptors and one by the Chiefs.

After consecutive sacks helped Executive Education come up with the first stop of the half, the Raptors offense made it 3-for-3 with another score to break the game open and take a 36-15 lead into the fourth quarter.

Lopez went from going 4-for-13 in the first half to completing all nine of his second-half passes for 125 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Lopez converted two straight third downs, including rolling right to throw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Emery Plummer to cap the first third-quarter drive.

Spataro, who finished 10-for-19 for 134 yards, was 3-for-4 for 60 yards on the next drive. After dropping the shot-gun snap, he picked up the ball and hit Jon Seamans with a 9-ayrd touchdown pass to make it 22-15 with 6:38 left in the third.

Lopez hit six straight passes in the seven-play drive that followed. On second-and-27, he found Young wide open on the right side for a 50-yard touchdown.

Executive Education scored on two straight offensive plays with Roman running 38 yards for a score with 27 seconds left in the quarter.

Freshman David Naniewicz took over at quarterback and went 3-for-8 for 60 yards, but he was the victim of the last four sacks.

Sylis Styles broke a 37-yard run for the last touchdown and Executive Education took a knee rather than add extra points with 3:09 left.

Matthews, Roman and Josiah Floyd led the Raptors defense.

In addition to his pick six, Matthews also had 3 tackles for 10 yards in losses as part of 7 total tackles and 4 assists. Roman had 6 tackles, 2 assists, 2 broken-up passes and an interception that he returned 44 yards. Floyd had 3 sacks for 33 yards in losses and finished with 4 total tackles and 3 assists.

Dippre had two sacks for 24 yards in losses for Lakeland.

The Chiefs, the Lackawanna Football Conference Division 2 and District 2 Class 2A champion finished the season 12-1.

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