KINGSTON – Josh Wesneski scored four touchdowns and Jacob Hunter accounted for four Saturday night when Holy Redeemer routed Holy Cross, 70-8, in a non-league football game played at Wyoming Valley West’s Spartan Stadium.
Injuries limited Holy Cross team leader Logan Tierney and forced the team deep down the quarterback depth chart.
The Crusaders fumbled a dozen times, many of them in the offensive backfield, and turned the ball over seven times on five of the fumbles and two interceptions.
Holy Redeemer took advantage of the miscues and the offense provided quick strikes, scoring from 36 or more yards 5 times.
Wesneski carried 9 times for 136 yards and the 4 touchdowns. Hunter went 7-for-10 for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns while running 4 times for 63 yards and 2 more scores.
Holy Redeemer averaged more than 15 yards per play, needing just 26 offensive plays to rack up 397 yards and 9 touchdowns.
D.J. McDermott added the last score on a 64-yard interception return with 1:29 left.
The rout started early with Holy Redeemer opening a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.
Hunter intercepted a pass to stop a Holy Cross threat on the game’s opening possession.
Wesneski went 64 yards for the touchdown on the next play and Tyler Tarnalicki added the first of his 8 extra-point attempts in 9 tries.
The Royals scored in two plays on the next possession. Hunter passed 33 yards to Lussi and Wesneski scored from the 5 on the next play.
Hunter hit Jake Griffin for a 62-yard touchdown to cap the first-quarter scoring.
Holy Cross struck back 9:08 before halftime when Tierney scored on a 1-yard run and the two-point conversion that followed. After running for 111 yards on 12 carries, Tierney was unable to continue in the second half.
While the Crusaders struggled offensively, the Royals ran off the game’s final 49 points. They led 35-8 at halftime and tacked on 21 points in the third quarter and 14 more in the fourth.
Hunter’s running provided the last 14 points in the first half. He scored from the 6, tracked down a bad extra-point snap and ran in for the two-point conversion. Hunter then broke off a 51-yard run for the next score.
Holy Redeemer held Holy Cross to two first downs in the second half and pushed the game into the Mercy Rule with 9:27 left in the third quarter.
Wesneski sandwiched 24- and 36-yard, third-quarter touchdown runs around a 12-yard, Hunter-to-Lussi touchdown pass.
Luke Kopec provided the last offensive touchdown on a 53-yard run with 8:01 left.
Holy Redeemer did not commit a turnover while bouncing back strong from a 44-12 loss to Susquehanna in the opener.
Holy Cross fell to 0-2 and has been outscored 91-8 since taking a two-touchdown lead over Hanover Area in its opener.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was produced from the reporting of NEPA Sports Nation Student Journalist Spencer Decker.