With 56 Pittston Area-Wyoming Area games gone by — 54 regular season and two playoffs — there have been some doozies: a game decided by a field goal on the final play (2017); two overtime games (2000 and 2003); two baseball final scores (7-5 in 1974 and 6-2 in 1989) and one we’ll look at now, the highest scoring game, wherein five touchdowns were scored in the last seven minutes.

It was Nov. 25, 1976, at Charley Trippi Stadium, in what would turn out to be the next to last Thanksgiving Day game.

Pittston Area came in 5-4 and Wyoming Area was 1-9 in their first season under coach Paul Marranca. Both teams were tougher outs than their records showed. Pittston Area had lost games by five and six points. Wyoming Area lost three games by three points and one 15-14 when Dallas recovered a Wyoming Area fumble in the end zone for a safety.

But Wyoming Area was what they were, a 1-9 team and it showed early in the Turkey Day game. The Patriots drove 63 yards for a touchdown after the opening kickoff. Tony Tavella kicked the point after, making it 7-0. Wyoming Area went three-and-out and muffed the punt snap setting up Pittston Area with a short field. Carmen LoPresto went 16 yards for the touchdown and Tavella again added a point, making it 14-0 halfway through the first quarter. On the next Pittston Area possession, quarterback Harry Ardoline ran two keepers, a short one for the touchdown after a 45-yard run. It was 21-0.

Wyoming Area’s Joe Radzwilka returned the kickoff into Pittston Area territory and Wyoming Area quarterback Tom McDonnell scored to make it 21-6 at the half. In the third quarter, Ardoline hit Bruce Barbini for a 35-yard touchdown, making it 28-6 in the third. It got worse. Early in the third, a Wyoming Area fumble bounced to Pittston Area’s Sam Berto and his 17-yard scoop-and-score made it 34-6.

The rout was on and with turkey waiting at home, a lot of fans left. They missed a wild last seven minutes. After the Berto touchdown, Wyoming Area pounded tailback Tony Verdine in on a 65-yard drive and it was almost respectable at 34-14.

Then,Wyoming Area’s defensive end Pete Deeb jumped on a loose ball at the Pittston Area 45. Wyoming Area scored in seven plays with Mike Manganaro scoring from the 2-yard line, making it 34-22.

Manganaro went over 1,000 yards for the season, but that was only half of what Lopresto did. He went over 2,400 yards, and popped Wyoming Area’s comeback balloon with a 55-yard touchdown run with under three minutes to go. There was no comeback, but there was another touchdown as Wyoming Area sophomore quarterback Jim Oschal was four-for-four passing on a drive ending with a touchdown to Radzwilka, as time ran out, for a 40-30 final.

It was the fifth consecutive Pittston Area win — a streak started in the Jimmy Cefalo years — and still the longest streak in the series. The 70 total points scored also is a series record.

jsmiles@pittstonprogress.com

The series

Wyoming Area leads the regular season series 30-24.

1967: Pittston Area 28-7

1968: Wyoming Area 7-6

1969: Wyoming Area 39-8

1970: Pittston Area 21-0

1971: Wyoming Area 32-23

1972: Pittston Area 14-8

1973: Pittston Area 41-0

1974: Pittston Area 7-5

1975: Pittston Area 33-6

1976: Pittston Area 40-30

1977: Wyoming Area 8-7

1978: Wyoming Area 23-0

1979: Pittston Area 20-15

1980: Wyoming Area 14-10

1981: Wyoming Area 7-0

1982: Wyoming Area 31-22

1983: Pittston Area 13-7

1984: Wyoming Area 38-6

1985: Pittston Area 14 -13

1986: Pittston Area 7-6

1987: Pittston Area 21-7

1988: Wyoming Area 19-12

1989: Pittston Area 6-2

1990: Wyoming Area 38-0

1991: Wyoming Area 21-0

1992: Wyoming Area 42-8

1993: Wyoming Area 42-13

1994: Pittston Area 32-0

1995: Wyoming Area 14-13

1996: Wyoming Area 14-12

1997: Wyoming Area 42-14

1998: Wyoming Area 34-13

1999: Pittston Area 24-7

2000: Pittston Area 14-13

2001: Wyoming Area 15-0

2002: Pittston Area 24-6

2003: Pittston Area 26-23

2004: Pittston Area 15-7

2005: Wyoming Area 41-28

2006: Wyoming Area 14-10

2007: Wyoming Area 20-16

2008: Pittston Area 28-14

2009: Pittston Area 40-19

2010: Wyoming Area 21-7

2011: Pittston Area 24-21

2012: Wyoming Area 27-20

2013: Pittston Area 28-14

2014: Wyoming Area 28-7

2015: Wyoming Area 42-10

2016: Wyoming Area 46-20

2017: Pittston Area 24-21

2018: Wyoming Area 40-0

2019: Wyoming Area 45-0

2020: Wyoming Area 28-14

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