VARDEN — Heading into Friday night's Week Two clash with Scranton Prep, the area was buzzing about Western Wayne.
The Wildcats had opened their 2012 campaign with a 50-0 massacre of Susquehanna, unveiling a high-octane offense and opportunistic defense.
On the heels of that big road win, Coach Allen "Butch" Keller's squad appeared poised to make a statement in the race for a Lackawanna Football Conference division title.
Alas for the hometown faithful, Prep had other plans. The Cavaliers rolled onto the Sharkey Rosetti Memorial Stadium turf and simply dominated their hosts. When the final whistle mercifully sounded, Western Wayne had suffered a lopsided 53-22 loss.
Griffin DiBileo did the majority of the damage. The Cavaliers' senior signal caller carved up the Wildcat secondary for more than 230 yards passing and three touchdowns.
With the win, Prep upped its LFC record to 2-0, while the 'Cats fell to 1-1.
Next up for the local lads is a non-league encounter with Wilkes Barre Coughlin. That contest is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start Friday night in Varden.
Prep had Western Wayne back on its heels almost from the opening kick-off.
The Cavaliers tallied twice in the opening stanza, scoring on the ground and through the air in building a 14-0 lead.
Marshall Kupinski got the visitors on the board with a 3-yard touchdown run. Prep's senior tailback would finish off the evening with a game-high 104 yards on 18 carries.
Aaron Para upped the advantage to double digits when he hauled in a 19-yard scoring strike from DiBileo. Para, a senior tight end who's listed at 6'1" and 185 pounds, caught only three balls against the 'Cats...but, he made each one count.
Para turned a short pass over the middle into a 73-yard TD jaunt, thanks in large part to a pair of nifty moves and poor Western Wayne tackling. He ended up with three catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
DiBileo was nearly perfect on this late summer evening. Prep's gunslinger completed 9-of-10 passes for 233 yards and three TDs.
Western Wayne worked feverishly to get its offense back on track, but one costly mistake after another doomed the 'Cats.
Quarterback Johnny Rhodes struggled all evening long, hitting on just 5-of-19 attempts for a meager 51 yards. Rhodes threw two interceptions, each of which Prep returned to The House.
In fact, Western Wayne's biggest pass play of the game came courtesy of Rob Siclari. The 'Cats versatile senior faked a punt and hit Jayson Figueroa for a 49-yard gain.
Siclari finally got the home team on the board as time wound down in the first half. Rob broke loose on a 7-yard TD run with nine seconds left on the clock. Frank Juhasz tacked on the PAT, but Prep still enjoyed a comfortable 34-7 lead at intermission.
Page 2 of 2 - Over & Out
Brandon Hadden pulled Western Wayne a bit closer midway through the third period.
A tough-as-nails senior who plays both ways on the offensive and defensive lines, "Bubba" pounced on a Prep fumble and rumbled 45 yards to paydirt. Siclari ran for the 2-point conversion and suddenly the fans began to stir.
Unfortunately for this big partisan crowd, Prep put the game away with two quick retaliatory strikes.
Senior wideout Jake Stafursky hauled in a 33-yard TD toss from DiBileo at the 4:10 mark. Then, junior running back Cory Kopicki galloped in from 25 yards out with 1:30 left in the third period.
Western Wayne closed out the scoring with one last touchdown late in the game. Rhodes hooked up with James Berger on a 35-yard pass and Juhasz once again banged home the PAT.
Berger ended the evening with three grabs, good for 51 yards.
Score by Quarters...
WW (1-1) 0 7 7 8 - 22
SP (2-0) 14 20 19 0 - 53