Wilmington waxes Girard
Written by: Josh Funk on Sunday, November 9th, 2008
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Girard head coach Mina George stood by himself on the Slippery Rock stadium after his postgame address to his team.
“You shoulda, you coulda, you woulda,” George, a 225-game winner, said.
“But against them (Wilmington), you can’t shoulda. You just have to (execute).”
The Yellowjackets (7-4), making their first playoff appearance in some time, were stung by an unrelenting Wilmington (10-1) defense that surrendered just one completed pass and forced two turnovers in a 41-0 rout at Slippery Rock’s N. Kerr Thompson Stadium.
With the win, Wilmington will take on General McLane (9-2), a 42-28 winner over Greenville Area in a District 10 “AA” semifinal at a site and time to be determined.
The Greyhounds found momentum early, gaining 116 yards of offense on their first nine plays from scrimmage while racking up six first downs and 14 points.
The Hounds’ first score came on a Derrick Burns 15-yard touchdown run.
After forcing a Girard punt, Wilmington made it 14-0 when Shane Wagner found his cousin, Matt Wagner, behind the Yellowjacket defense on a 50-yard pass-and-catch.
“No question that was a great start,” Wilmington head coach Terry Verrelli said. “But we got some mistakes that we need to correct.”
Those mistakes: only two completed passes in 11 attempts from Wagner, and a couple of fumbles, one which was turned over to Girard.
“The passing game isn’t working out as well as I’d like it to,” Verrelli said.
The Jackets also got two drives going on the Hounds’ defense, stringing three first downs on each, but Girard was held out of the end zone.
“They’re a very tough football team,” George said of Wilmington.
Sutton Whiting extended the Hound lead to 20-0 in the second quarter with a 40-yard touchdown run. Whiting ran for 62 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the game.
Whiting pushed the margin to 27-0 in the third quarter with a three yard scoring run.
Wagner’s second completed pass also went for a touchdown, this a 17-yard rainbow to Carson Sharbaugh, which widened the gap to 34-0.
Josh Phillian capped the scoring with a one yard run, invoking the PIAA mercy rule with 1:43 left in the game.
Burns, the brother of former Wilmington running back Chris Burns, ran for 119 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
Jake DeMedal ran for 38 yards on four carries and passed for another 22. Phillian ran for 17 yards on four carries for the victors, and Matt Wagner hauled in a pair of passes for 72 yards and a touchdown.
Girard, which averaged over 240 rushing yards per game entering the playoffs, got 53 yards on 16 carries from junior feature back Billy Sobucki and 59 yards on 22 carries from junior Josh Williams, a transfer from East.
Girard, which gained 103 yards of offense and eight first downs, ran the ball a total of 47 times and attempted only four passes the entire game. The Yellowjackets completed just one of those four passes for 10 yards.
There was one thing that Mina George was certain of in his postgame comments.
“McLane better strap up their helmets next week,” he said.
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