Western Wayne opens the 2019 season with a big non-league win

Western Wayne was nothing short of dominant on Opening Night of the 2019 high school football season.

The Wildcats hosted Lake Lehman in a non-league game Friday night at Sharkey Rosetti Memorial Stadium. It was an interesting Week One assignment considering that these same two teams squared off in last year's district playoffs.

Coach Randy Wolff's squad cruised to a 30-20 win in that one, advancing to the Class AAA semifinals before falling to eventual champion Scranton Prep.

On this particular night, the 'Cats were even more impressive. Led by the power running of tailback Shane Janiszewski, the local lads hammered out a 33-7 victory … much to the delight of their veteran skipper.

“We have a pretty young and inexperienced team, so I wasn't sure going in what I was going to see,” Coach Wolff said. “But, I'm very pleased with the way they responded. We played hard on both sides of the ball and executed well.”

Western Wayne will face its first stern test of the year with a Week Two road trip to North Pocono. Opening kick-off is slated for 7 p.m. Friday in Moscow.

Stepping Up

The Wildcats drew first blood against the Black Knights, scoring three times in the first half and never looking back.

Janiszewski was the ring leader. A talented multi-sport standout who also excels in basketball and baseball, Zane powered his way to 170 yards and four touchdowns on 30 carries.

He gave Western Wayne a lead that it never relinquished via a five-yard TD run with 6:09 left in the opening stanza.

Janiszewski added a two-yard scamper in the second quarter, then broke loose for scoring runs of four and five after intermission.

“Zane just had a huge game,” Coach Wolff said.

“We put a lot on his shoulders tonight. I mean, we gave him the ball 30 times, but he never stopped running hard. It was an impressive performance.”

Matt Valanda also earned high marks from his mentor. The senior signal caller

“I'm very happy with what I saw from Matt,” Coach Wolff said. “He managed the game very well. Matt made some really good throws and he made good decisions with the ball.”

Valanda gave his team a 21-0 lead at halftime via a 10-yard touchdown run. He finished the night with an efficient 9-of-13 effort through the air, good for 101 yards. He also chipped in with 38 on the ground.

Defensively, Western Wayne was paced by the play of Caleb Brumgard.

A hard-hitting senior who constributes on both sides of the ball, Brumgard recovered fumble to stifle the Knights' first drive. He then made a spectacular diving interception to stymie their second.

“Those were two huge plays,” Coach Wolff said. “If Caleb doesn't make those two plays, maybe it's a different game. He really set the tone early for us on the defensive side of ball.”

Ezra Tetreault and Derek Mason made their presence felt as well. Tetreault led the team with five catches for 39 yards, while Mason added three receptions good for 55 yards.

Looking Ahead

North Pocono is coming off an equally impressive Week One win over West Scranton.

The Trojans took on the highly-regarded Invaders and simply overpowered them, rolling to a 42-6 victory.

Coach Greg Dolhon's squad is led by Jacob Owens. The senior tailback exploded for 172 yards and five touchdowns on Opening Night in Moscow.

Senior quarterback Mike Scutt also contributed key plays in the win. Scutt threw just two passes, but completed them both for a total of 70 yards. He also added 48 yards rushing behind a powerful O-Line.

“That's a very good team,” Coach Wolff said. “North Pocono is gigantic up front. They're big and physical and they just want to run over people.

“Playing at their place is always tough, but we'll work hard this week in practice and we'll be ready. We're looking forward to the challenge.”