SCRANTON, Pa. JP Antosh tossed three touchdown passes and Mannie Stewart hauled in a touchdown reception and returned a kickoff 78 yards as the Northeastern Pennsylvania Miners downed the Watertown Red and Black, 30-12, in an Empire Football League game on Saturday at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
Northeastern Pennsylvania (7-1 overall, 6-0 league) scored the games first 24 points, including 17 in the first quarter. The Miners scored quickly off of two turnovers by Watertown (4-3, 3-3) to get out to an early lead.
We never got started offensively, said Watertown head coach George Ashcraft. We shot ourselves in the foot a lot.
Antosh connected on a 10-yard touchdown strike to Cody Elgin and a 40-yard touchdown pass to Brando Decker in the second quarter for NEPA. Cody Homer registered a safety to start the scoring, and Matt Jones made an interception.
The Red and Blacks Rob Hughes punched in a touchdown run of two yards with five minutes, seven seconds left in the second quarter to make the game 24-6 before Stewarts kickoff return put the game out of reach.
Jeremy Brennan supplied a touchdown run of six yards for the Red and Black. Josh Landrum paced the defense with 10 tackles and returned an interception 58 yards to set up the Hughes score.
Charles Noell made seven tackles and recorded two sacks and Demetrius Dial also earned two sacks.
The win was the seventh in a row for NEPA, which leads the EFL by two games over Plattburgh and Syracuse. The Shock beat the North Stars, 50-27, to move into a tie for second place at 4-2 in league play. NEPA does not have a game until it travels to Syracuse to face the Shock on Sept. 14.
Watertown is off until Sept. 7 when it hosts Syracuse at 7 p.m. at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.