Western Wayne is riding a five-game winning streak heading into Homecoming 2017
Western Wayne showed some serious mettle this past weekend in powering its way to a crucial non-conference road win.
The Wildcats traveled to Tunkhannock on Friday night for an encounter with the Tigers. Coach Randy Wolff's squad arrived on the scene a bit thin due to illness and injury, but rose to the occasion.
Led by Danny Boots, Matt Valanda and Ben Burkhardt, the 'Cats scored in every quarter en route to a wild 32-24 triumph.
With this win, Western Wayne ran its record to a perfect 5-0 on the year. The local lads are tied with Scranton Prep atop the LFC Division II standings.
“I'm thrilled that we came out of this with a win,” said Coach Wolff. “This is a tough environment to play in and the kids really stepped up. We were little bit banged up coming in, but we stepped up and got the job done.”
Next up for Western Wayne is a crucial home game against archrival Honesdale.
“They are a much-improved team,” Coach Wolff said. “They're big and strong up front. They are very physical, so we're going to have to be ready to slug it out with them.”
Opening kick-off for this Week Six LFC battle is slated for 7 p.m. Friday night at Sharkey Rosetti Memorial Stadium.
On Their Way
With two-way star Cole Fuller out with an injury, Western Wayne coaches had to get creative when deciding on a line-up and game-planning.
Fortunately for local fans, the Wildcats made all the right adjustments and came away with a victory.
“It all begins with our offensive line,” said Coach Wolff. “Those kids did an outstanding job opening up holes for our backs to run through.”
Left guard Evan Coons and left tackle Gavin Lamberton in particular earned high marks from their mentor.
“Those to work very well together,” Coach Wolff said. “Evan and Gavin are playing at a high level right now. Their run blocking is excellent and their pass protection is solid.”
Boots took advantage of this superior play by the Wildcat O-Line. The senior running back saw his role expanded due to Fuller's injury and he responded with a stellar performance.
Danny only carried the ball five times in this one, but he made each of those carries count. Boots scored a pair of touchdowns, one from four yards out and other from six.
Boots also contributed on special teams and even caught two passes for a total of 40 yards.
“Danny is the kind of kid who will do anything to help the team,” said Coach Wolff. “He's a very unselfish young man. Danny ran hard, blocked well and made some big plays defensively, too.”
Several other Western Wayne backs also got into the act at Tunkhannock.
Kobe Sauter contined piling up the numbers with another big night. The junior tailback slashed his way to 70 hard-earned yards on 20 carries.
Ben Burkhardt also contributed key plays and finished up his night with 75 yards on 10 attempts.
Zane Janisewski is beginning to make his presence felt as well. Just a freshman, Janisewski is seeing time on offense, defense and special teams.
“I'm very pleased with how Zane is coming along,” Coach Wolff said. “He just flies all over the field. Zane is still just a freshman, but if he keeps working hard and stays healthy he's going to be a really good one.”
Janisewski recorded 21 yards on five carries. The highlight of his outing came on a one-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter.
Burkhardt got Western Wayne on the board in the opening stanza via a 20-yard touchdown run.
After Tunkhannock drew to within 7-3 thanks to a 31-yard field goal, Boots answered with his first scoring run.
The Wildcats led 13-10 at intermission, but the Tigers took a 17-13 advantage early in the third period. Coach Wolff's lads then reeled off 19 straight points to seal the deal.
Western Wayne's final tally came courtesy of Valanda, who cruised into the endzone from three yards away. The talented young signal caller also went 8-for-14 for 160 yards through the air.
Valanda's top target was Dylan Walck, who finished with three receptions good for 51 yards.
Walck also continued his ball-hawking ways with a key interception.
Score by Quarters...
WW (5-0) 7 6 12 7 - 32
TNK (1-4) 3 7 7 7 - 24