Dominico Spataro carried 17 times for 149 yards, including the game-winning touchdown, Friday night as Lakeland remained unbeaten by turning back visiting Wallenpaupack in a non-league game between ranked Lackawanna Football Conference teams.
Spataro ran 25 yards for a touchdown to break a 7-7 tie with 2:29 left in the third quarter.
Lakeland (4-0) entered the game ranked fifth among Small Schools in the Gaughan Auto Store Super Six Power Rankings of LFC and Wyoming Valley Conference games on NEPAFootball.com. Wallenpaupack, the fourth-ranked Big School coming in, lost to an unbeaten opponent for the second straight week to slip to 2-2.
Spataro, who passed for 632 yards and 9 touchdowns while hitting more than 63 percent of his passes in the first 3 games, turned to the run when Wallenpaupack’s talented secondary did the best job to date containing the Lakeland passing game.
With Wallenpaupack holding a 98-83 advantage in passing yards, Lakeland built a 180-79 lead in rushing yards with its defense limiting the Buckhorns to 2.3 yards per carry.
Nick Mancuso’s 3-yard run in the first quarter gave the Chiefs a 7-0 lead.
Wallenpaupack tied the game on a 1-yard run by Mabret Levant on the first play of the second quarter.
With points and yards tough to come by, two players stood out with their performances on both sides of the ball.
Lacota Dippre had a sack, another tackle for a loss, two fumbles caused and one recovered while making five total tackles and assisting on two for Lakeland. He also led the team in receiving with 5 catches for 46 yards.
Wallenpaupack’s T.J. Schmalzle had six tackles, five assists, an interception he returned 33 yards, a fumble recovery and a broken-up pass. He also led the team with 3 receptions for 51 yards.
Lakeland also got a big defensive game from Luke Smurl, who made two sacks and assisted on another. He also hurried the passer three times.
Spataro finished 13-for-22 for 83 yards passing.
Shadrak Agyei carried 16 times for 60 yards for Wallenpaupack. Levant was 8-for-17 passing for 98 yards.
Jordan Santiago forced a fumble along with making two tackles for a loss and assisting on another.
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