Tyler Wolfe passed for 249 yards and 3 touchdowns Friday night and Hazleton Area came within less than two seconds of posting a shutout at Scranton during a 27-6 victory in a non-league game between District 2 Class 6A football teams.
The two teams, who could meet again in the Class 6A playoffs, each entered the night with 3-3 records.
A strong team defensive effort and Wolfe’s passing, however, kept the Cougars in control throughout.
Wolfe twice hit touchdown passes on fourth downs during the second quarter when Hazleton Area stretched a 6-0 lead to 20-0 at the half.
Matthew Cusatis caught 5 passes for 101 yards and three of his teammates caught touchdown passes from Wolfe, who finished 14-for-20. Cusatis also picked up 60 yards on 3 punt returns.
The Cougars ran just 12 times with Matthew Buchman handling 11 of those carries for 68 yards and 1 of his 2 touchdowns.
Buchman went in off the right side with ease on first-and-goal from the 2 with 4:49 left in the first quarter.
On fourth-and-six in the first minute of the second quarter, Wolfe found Buchman down the middle for a 25-yard touchdown.
Buchman and Connor Shamany each had three catches, including a touchdown.
Wolfe went to Shamany for the score on fourth-and-goal with 3:55 left in the half and Ryan Matyas ran for the two-pointer.
Matyas had a strong all-around game with 2 catches for 60 yards and a share of the team lead in tackles with seven.
Hazleton Area added to its lead midway through the fourth quarter when Wolfe spotted the blitz and hit Christian Price just across the line of scrimmage for what became a 26-yard touchdown.
Scranton’s Arvel Chandler scrambled and reached the ball out, just getting to the pylon in the left corner for a 5-yard touchdown with 1.6 seconds left.
Qay’von Minor, Trevyon Corcado and Mitchell Masten joined Matyas among the leaders of the defensive effort that shut out the Knights to that point.
Minor had seven tackles. Corcado’s six tackles including a sack and another tackle for a loss. Masten had five tackles and two interceptions.
MORE FRIDAY FOOTBALL COVERAGE
Crestwood-Abington Heights: https://nepasportsnation.com/schultz-carries-crestwood-to-victory/.
Dallas-Pittston Area: https://nepasportsnation.com/bolesta-defense-lead-dallas-victory/.
Mid Valley-Dunmore: https://nepasportsnation.com/spartans-top-bucks-take-lead/.
Delaware Valley-Williamsport: https://nepasportsnation.com/dv-shuts-out-williamsport-26-0/.
Lakeland-Western Wayne: https://nepasportsnation.com/chiefs-prevail-by-halting-ww-rally/.
North Pocono-West Scranton: https://nepasportsnation.com/chiefs-prevail-by-halting-ww-rally/.
Friday scoreboard: https://nepasportsnation.com/fridays-football-scoreboard-4/.