Wilmington Overwhelms Sharon for 42-7 WinWritten by: William Albright on Friday, October 3rd, 2008
By BILL ALBRIGHT
Western PA Writer
NEW WILMINGTON — Although it is only the sixth week of the regular season, Friday night’s meeting between Wilmington and Sharon just might have been for the District 10 Region 3-AA championship.
Going into the tilt, the Tigers had never defeated the Greyhounds at Wilmington Stadium.
Combining a solid offense with a suffocating defense and a number of big plays on special teams, the Greyhounds made sure the Tigers winless streak continued at the stadium as Wilmington completely overwhelmed the Tigers for a 42-7 win in the battle between two previously unbeaten teams.
“I am really happy with the outcome of tonight’s game and the way the kids played,” said Wilmington head coach Terry Verrelli. “They are a good football team and there is no way I would have expected this (a 35-point win). I respect everybody we play and they (Sharon coaches) have done a great job. They have some great athletes and they had five wins coming in so they must have done a lot of things right.”
As for the well-balanced effort of his team, Verrelli was proud of the way his team performed.
“Special teams are a big part of the game (of football) and we work hard on that area,” he said. “That set the stage for us tonight, but defensively we are getting better each week and they did a great job for us tonight. We have some good people on that D-line and I think that is where it all starts. And offensively, we were able to move the football so I guess we did pretty well in all three areas.”
Coming up big for the ‘Hounds (6-0, 3-0) in all three areas was 6-6 senior Matt Wagner as he recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff, intercepted a pass on defense and also found time to catch a touchdown pass covering 32 yards from his cousin and Wilmington quarterback Shane Wagner on offense.
Wagner’s fumble recovery set up Wilmington’s first score of the game, a 3-yard run by Derrick Burns, while his interception of a Todd Rearick aerial set up the ‘Hounds second score of the game, a 7-yard burst into the end zone by Burns.
“I felt I had to step up because it was a big game for us,” said Wagner. “This game was between two undefeated teams and the winner coming out would be number one (in the region). All week long, coach (Verrelli) was stressing that we (outside linebackers) had to get to the blast and as it turned out, we did a good job of that with two or three interceptions so we accomplished our goals.”
Following the loss, Sharon coach Bob Fromm was almost at a loss for words to describe his team’s lackluster effort.
“I had trouble putting down on my little note card all the mistakes we made in the first half,” said Fromm. “There was just an abundance of mistakes and that all started with the first play of the game. Our first offensive play, we didn’t run right and on the second play, we had two players go in motion. Maybe our nerves got the best of us in the first half, but sooner or later you have to come out of that and you have to play some football.”
Although the Greyhound offense was solid and the special teams produced some big plays, it was the “Hound Hammer defense that kept pounding on the Tiger offense all night long, limiting the Tiger offense to just 103 yards of total offense, 71 of which came in the fourth quarter.
So dominating was the Wilmington defense that the Tigers (5-1, 2-1) didn’t pick up a first down rushing until the final minutes of the game, while the unit also held the Tigers to no less than nine three-and-out series in the lopsided win.
“In the second half, we started to do some things a little better, but offensively, we didn’t get it done, or I guess you could say we didn’t do anything,” said Fromm. “We just didn’t do anything running the football so we have to get better at that. We had some plays called that were there, but we weren’t making the right reads or throwing the ball in the right place. We played a good football team tonight and when you do that, you can’t afford to turn the football over like we did.”
Burns completed his 3-touchdown game with a 50-yard burst in the first minutes of the fourth quarter, while scoring other touchdowns for the Greyhounds were Jake DeMedal on a 21-yard run and Luke Yohman on a run of four yards with three minutes left in the game.
Burns finished the game with 132 yards rushing en route to his “hat trick” in touchdowns.
Sharon scored its only points of the game on the final play of the first half when Dustin Norcross caught a 2-yard pass from quarterback Todd Rearick, Terry Flaugher adding the PAT.
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