Bittersweet first WVC win for the Trojans

With Nanticoke Area leading 24-19 late in the fourth quarter, Lake-Lehman quarterback Nathan Volkel led his team 45-yards down to the Trojans 33-yard line. On first down, pressure forced the quarterback to scramble out of the pocket. Volkel tried to juke a defender but, before he could be tackled, the wet field gave out from under him.
The ball came loose and Nanticoke Area recovered to preserve the victory over Lake-Lehman on a miserable night in Nanticoke. Volkel was seriously injured on the play. An ambulance carted the sophomore off the field and the game was stopped with 1:24 left on the clock.
Volkel finished the game 12 of 24 passing for 120 yards and a touchdown; he also ran for 42 yards and a touchdown.
“This is my first Wyoming Valley Conference win, but it doesn’t feel like a win,” said Nanticoke coach Bob Colatosti. “The kids aren’t celebrating like they should. We feel terrible about what happened. We didn’t cheer because the kid was hurt. We didn’t even know what happened until after the play. We were celebrating because we recovered the fumble and won the game.”
Lehman scored 19 unanswered points to take a 19-12 lead in the third quarter.
But, Colastosti started feeding senior tailback Jordan Lynch the football. Lynch, who missed the first five weeks of the season with a ruptured spleen, ran for 80 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns to give the Trojans their second win overall.
After swapping a number of punts to open the game, Volkel scrambled after a shotgun snap sailed over his head and recovered on his own 2. Nanticoke capitalized on the field position, scoring on the second play of the drive, a 26-yard deep post from Kevin Schinski to Joel Fetterman. The extra point failed, but the Trojans still led 6-0 with 3:14 left in the first quarter.
Nanticoke followed the score with an onside kick and recovered at the Lake Lehman 49-yard line. The Trojans pounded the ground game on an 11-play drive, capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Josh Mitkowski to put NA up 12-0.
Lake Lehman was forced to a quick three and out, and just when the game looked like it was going to turn into a romp, Golden Knights sophomore defensive tackle Brett Steele pressured Schinski into a bad pass and Derek Shurmanek jumped the crossing route, returning an interception 55-yards for a touchdown.
Lake Lehman’s momentum continued to build as the defense forced the Trojans to turn the ball over on downs on Lake Lehman 34 with 2:57 left in the half. Helped by a pair of 15-yard penalties, Volkel ran the two-minute drill to perfection, marching the Golden Knights into the red zone. With 1:20 left, Volkel ran a quarterback draw, followed his blocks inside the 10, broke a pair of tackles and dove into the endzone for the game-tying 18-yard touchdown run. Bobby Peron hit the only extra point of the game to put the Knights up 13-12 at half.

Trojans are ‘lights out’

With less than one minute remaining in the first half and Nanticoke Area on the move deep in Bishop O’Reilly territory, a set of lights went dark at the Trojans’ stadium. The incident forced officials to halt play and jump-started the maintenance crew into action, but more importantly proved to be the only thing able to stop Nanticoke in its 35-0 romp over the Queensmen.
Trojans built a steady lead, scoring a pair of touchdowns in each of the first two quarters and went into halftime with a convincing 28-0 lead.
They did so according to coach Bob Colatosti’s balanced blueprint, a crafty design of pass and run that spread the ball to a variety of skill position players.
You could look at starting quarterback Kevin Schinski, who threw for 138 yards and two touchdowns on 8-for-11 passing, and ran for another score. You could look at running backs Josh Mitkowski and Shane Hempel, who combined for over 100 yards and two scores, or the three wideouts who caught passes of 20 or more yards. Who would you defend?
“We tried to show everything,” Colatosti said. “We’re not just the wing-T offense anymore.”
Behind an offensive line that Colatosti said “sure did pave the way,” Schinski ran the offense smoothly. Already up 15-0 midway through the second quarter, the Trojans took the ball at their own 26. Mitkowski and Hempel rushed the ball on the first three plays to bring the ball to the 40, at which point Schinski went to the air. He completed consecutive throws to Fetterman for 25 and 21 yards, and Mitkowski finished the drive with a 14-yard rush. Six plays and 74 yards later, Nanticoke’s efficiency was crystallized.
“He’s really become a quarterback now that he’s a senior,” Colatosti said of Schinski. “It’s nothing new. We’ve had some good yardage against everyone I think except Wyoming Area.”
But for how well Nanticoke executed, O’Reilly didn’t give themselves much of a fighting chance courtesy of untimely turnovers and penalties. After they fumbled the ball on the kickoff, resulting in the Trojans’ first score, the Queensmen essentially emptied a revolver on their feet.
“Penalties killed us. Penalties and turnovers,” head coach Lenny Selinski said.

GNA’s offense has its way vs. O’Reilly
QB Kevin Schinski throws for two TDs and runs for another score in the blowout victory.

By JEFF MIRRO - For the Times Leader

The Greater Nanticoke Area Trojans put on a show Friday night in front of the home crowd at Frank Chicknoski Stadium, but the fans almost did not get to see the second act.
Half of the stadium lights went out with 53 seconds left in the first half of the Trojans’ 35-0 shutout victory over Bishop O’Reilly. The officials moved both teams to the opposite end of the field to finish the half, and the lights were restored for the start of the second half.
Nanticoke (2-4) did not wait for the lights to come back on to take total control of the game. Quarterback Kevin Schinski scored on a 15-yard run in which he took advantage of a tremendous block by wide receiver Joel Fetterman at the 3-yard line on the first play after the lights went out. The score with 43 seconds left before halftime put the Trojans ahead 28-0.
Schinski produced several big plays for Nanticoke. He threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to tight end Wes Shultz with 9:39 to go in the first quarter to put his team ahead 7-0, and he completed two consecutive passes to Fetterman for gains of 25 and 21 yards to set up a 14-yard touchdown run by Josh Mitkowski that put the Trojans ahead 21-0 with 9:51 to go in the first half.
The final score of the game was a 14-yard pass to Josh Niewinski to make the score 35-0 with 6:40 left in the third quarter. Schinski finished 8-of-11 for 127 yards and two TDs to go along with his rushing score.
“We try to show everything so that everyone has to prepare for it,” said Nanticoke coach Bob Colatosti. “We are not just a Wing T offense anymore. We played a pretty good game… we got on a roll.”
Colatosti is happy to see his quarterback have some success in his senior year after a rough start.
“The poor young man has taken so many hits since his freshman year. Now we have our offensive linemen in the weight room during the off-season and they stayed with us in this system. This is our second year in this blocking system and they are blocking better than last year. The offensive line sure did pave the way today.”
The Trojans took advantage of several O’Reilly miscues, starting with a fumble on the opening kickoff that set up Schinski’s first TD pass. The Queensmen (1-5) committed six penalties for 40 yards and fumbled five times, with three recovered by Nanticoke.

Nanticoke Area runs over Bishop Hafey
By JEFF MIRRO For the Times Leader

Josh Mitkowski had 15 rushes for 212 yards and three touchdowns to lead Greater Nanticoke Area over Bishop Hafey 41-0 in both teams’ non-conference season opener.
“He’s a great young man,” said Nanticoke head coach Bob Colatosti. “He has a lot of vision. He is on a team that doesn’t intend to quit and he’s a big part of it.”
Mitkowski was part of a dominating Nanticoke rushing attack that produced 387 yards and controlled the game from the outset. Nanticoke had 17 first downs to Hafey’s seven.
Quarterback Kevin Schinski completed five of six passes for 82 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Receivers Joel Fetterman and Jesse Stine each caught touchdown passes from Schinski. Fetterman hauled in a 34-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline in the first quarter, and Stine caught a 20-yarder down the right side.
“We played as a team,” Colatosti said. “We blocked well up front. They spent a lot of time in the weight room. You have to realize that Hafey will be a team to be reckoned with next season. I wish them luck the rest of the way.”
Nanticoke struck early with Schinski’s 34-yard pass to Fetterman with 6:04 left in the first quarter.
Mitkowski scored the first of his three touchdowns with 6:55 to go in the first half on an 18-yard run down the left sideline after a broken tackle to make the score 14-0.
Nanticoke took advantage of good field position after a 25-yard punt by Hafey that put them on the Vikings’ 46-yard-line. The Trojans found their way into the end zone seven plays later when Schinski hit Stine with a 20-yard pass to take a 21-0 lead 26 seconds before halftime.
Nanticoke pulled away in the third quarter with three rushing touchdowns. Mitkowski scored again with 9:22 to go in the quarter for a 27-0. The kick failed.
After Hafey punted the ball to the Trojans’ 23, Mitkowski ran 77 yards on the next play for his third touchdown to put his team ahead 34-0 with 6:44 left in the third quarter.
Nanticoke’s final touchdown drive featured fullback Shane Hempel, who ran the ball on four of five plays for 24 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown run.

Improved Trojans battling to be competitive
By jraub@leader.net

“The team is getting better. … We want to be competitive.”
Bob Colatosti GNA coach
Nanticoke split into three groups for a routine station drill in its fourth preseason practice. As one group began to hit the blocking sled, three of the five pads on the sled continually fell off with each hit.
It seemed to be a theme for the Trojans in this preseason – they were in need of repairs.
The Trojans struggled on offense and defense last season, averaging just 6.6 points per game and allowing more than 35.5 points a game, getting shut out five times.
Greater Nanticoke Area head coach Bob Colatosti saw it differently.
“We don’t need to change anything we did a year ago,” Colatosti said. “We just need to do it better.”
It wasn’t all bad news for Nanticoke, though. Colatosti was happy to report that the team’s numbers were up from 21 players when he took over the program in March 2005 and 32 by the end of last season to the 42 players that reported to this season’s camp.
The Trojans dropped the final eight games of Colatosti’s first season after winning the first two.
“(The players) were in great spirits through every game last season,” Colatosti said. “Even after losing their final game, they didn’t look down on themselves.”
The Trojans want to use the leadership they have in their two senior quarterbacks to utilize the pass to open up the running game.
To do that, they’ll be looking toward probable starter Kevin Schinski, who’ll be expected to take command of the Trojan offense this season, with Paul Yanus at backup.
Senior Jordan Lynch, last season’s starter at running back, will be out for at least the first four games due to a preseason abdominal injury. The Trojans will most likely rely on senior fullback Josh Mitkowski to fill the gap left by Lynch.
Matt Guzenski, Walt Mieczkowski and Shane Hempel are all possibilities to log carries at running back behind Mitkowski.
Junior Joel Fetterman, junior Josh Niewinski and junior Kevin Corley have found their way into the Trojans starting receiver rotation.
“(The receivers) are a great, talented group of kids,” Colatosti said. “I’m excited about trying to get them the ball as much as possible.”
Nanticoke’s offensive line got pushed around last season, but after a full summer in the weight room, Colatosti says it’s looking stronger.
“They’ve been in the weight room since a week after their last game last season. They haven’t gotten any bigger, but they’ve gotten a lot stronger.”
The line will see senior Brad Sugalski and junior Dan Paveletz at the guards and seniors Justin Kreitzer and John Parsons at the tackles. Sophomore Jim Hoffman will most likely start at the center position, with senior Chuck Hashagen challenging for time.
With several first-time players and underclassmen, Nanticoke will be starting several players on both sides of the ball.
The defensive line will be looking to slow down opposing offenses, which won games by an average of more than 40 points.
The ends will be Jesse Stein and Hashagen. The tackles will be Sugalski and Kreitzer. Hempel, Paveletz, and Wesley Schultz will also provide some much-needed backup for the defensive line.
“We try to use everyone we can and get all the players a break,” said Colatosti. “We have some underclassman and first-year players that have to prove themselves before they can work into the lineup.”
Mitkowski, Parsons, Guzenski and Yanus will be fighting for the starting spots at linebacker.
Niewinski and Fetterman will play at the corners. Corley will most likely start at safety.
Schinski and Yanus will also see some playing time in the Trojan secondary.
With numbers up and players continuing to file in, Nanticoke should better its record from last season.
That depends, however, on how the Trojans fare in a 2006 schedule that pits them against only one of the two opponents the team defeated last season.
Nanticoke will face Bishop Hafey tomorrow, but will not play Northwest Area this season. Instead, the Trojans will play Wyoming Area (8-3 last season).
If Colatosti can integrate the newer players into the system quickly, he’ll have fewer players going both ways, allowing more time for them to rest.