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EasternPAFootball.com - Your source for High School Football in Eastern PAEasternPAFootball.com - Your source for High School Football in Eastern PA

Girard – Wilmington Area Preview

Written by: on Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

The Game: Girard (10 AA) @ Wilmington Area (10 AA)

Date: Saturday, Nov. 8th, 2008, from N. Kerr Thompson Stadium at Slippery Rock University

2008 Record: Girard (7-3), Wilmington Area (9-1)

About Girard: The Yellowjackets may have surprised a few people this year in earning a playoff berth, but Girard does have a productive ground game.  Ironically, it’s the second straight year the Greyhounds have drawn an opening-round opponent that loves to run the football.  Last year, Wilmington crushed Fort LeBoeuf 44-6.

Girard’s rushing attack, which averages 248 yards per game, is led by Billy Sobucki’s 1,022 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.  It’s the second straight year that Sobucki topped 1,000 rushing yards.  Adding to the ground game are Josh Williams (653, 7), Tyler Tome (233, 3), and Kyle Marzalen (207, 3).

Girard does not pass the ball all that often, and only averages 22 passing yards per contest.  No Yellowjacket receiver has topped the 100-yard mark this year.

Girard is coached by a 200-game winner, Mina George, who has won 225 career games.  George, a former head coach at Erie Cathedral Prep, led the Ramblers to the 1991 “AAAA” state finals and a runner-up finish.  George coached during a stretch of Erie Prep history in which the Ramblers went 83-13-1.

About Wilmington Area: Wilmington is Wilmington is Wilmington.  The Hounds have won 36 of their past 40 games, and are the two-time defending “AA” western runners-up and District 10 champions.  Wilmington has won a total of 10 district championships – two WPIAL crowns and eight District 10 titles.  The Hounds have appeared in five PIAA Western Finals, and lost the 1988 “AA” state title to Bethlehem Catholic.

Wilmington, which averages 41 points per game, is fresh off of a 22-21 loss to defending District 9 champion Karns City.  But prior to that, Wilmington was rolling, having only been held below 30 points once in the previous nine games.

Shane Wagner leads a Greyhound offense with 817 passing yards and an impressive 16 touchdowns, which might be a school record.  Wagner’s favorite targets are Matt Wagner (24 rec., 329 yards, 6 TD), Dallas Hartman (7, 189, 4), and Carson Sharbaugh (11, 151, 3).

The Hounds’ rushing attack is always potent, and is led by Derrick Burns, brother of former Wilmington running back and current Pitt redshirt DB Chris Burns.  Derrick leads the team with 704 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.  Sutton Whiting has run for 408 yards and six scores; Luke Yohman 323 yards and seven touchdowns; and Jake DeMedal 194 yards and five touchdowns.

The Greyhounds are coached by Terry Verrelli, also a 200-game winner in his career.  Verrelli’s 227 victories make him the second-winningest coach in Lawrence County history, behind New Castle’s Phil Bridenbaugh, who won 265 games and seven WPIAL championships in his brilliant career.

 

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