KINGSTON — Wyoming Valley West seemed to be able to move the ball at will in the first half against Abington Heights on Friday night.
Still, Valley West trailed by a touchdown heading into the locker room at halftime.
But thanks to a steady dose of Isaiah Cobb in the second half the Spartans were able to pull away with a 21-7 non-conference victory.
“The difference was finishing and execution,” Wyoming Valley West coach Jack Baranski said. “You get in that red zone and it’s time to turn it up, and I thought we relaxed in the first half. …
“Our mantra at halftime is finish. We need to finish.”
Cobb made sure they finished, scoring on touchdown runs of 14, 4 and 21 yards. He finished the game with 223 yards on 42 carries.
“I was just following my blocks,” Cobb said. “The line came out in the second half and played their hearts out. Our coaches did what they had to do, and we came through some rough calls and we just played like a team. We played like a family.
“We did what we had to do, we finished business.”
Cobb got the Spartans on the board for the first time with 6:26 left in the third quarter. His powerful 14-yard touchdown run capped a nine-play, 56-yard drive and tied the score at 7-7. He carried seven times on the drive for 50 yards.
Connor Olisewski then set the Spartans up in Abington Heights territory when he picked off a Comets’ pass at the Spartan 7 and returned it 49 yards to the Abington Heights 44.
Seven plays later Cobb plowed into the end zone from 4 yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter to put the Spartans up 14-7.
Cobb then put the game away with his 21-yard touchdown run with just 2:05 left in the game. The scored capped a four-play, 24-yard drive that started when Abington Heights turned the ball over on downs at its own 24.
“Isaiah Cobb is a special young man,” Baranski said. “He’s a good football player, but he’s a special young man.
“And some of the credit has to go to our offensive line and our fullbacks because they are very physical.”
Abington Heights opened the scoring after a partially blocked punt gave the Comets the ball at the Spartans 26-yard line.
It took just two plays for the Comets to find the end zone when quarterback PT Cutrufello found tight end Nico Bossi over open over the middle for a 16-yard touchdown toss for a 7-0 lead.
Valley West nearly tied the score before half, driving to the Comets’ 9-yard line. Maki Wells set the Spartans up on the drive with a 59-yard kickoff return to the Comets’ 26. The drive would end in frustration, however, as Abington Heights record two sacks on the final two plays of the half.
“Credit Abington,” Baranski said. “They have no quit in them. That’s a well-coach football team, a talented football team.
“They gave us all we wanted.”
Wells ended Abington Heights final drive with an interception with just 1:14 left in the game.