Hornet football tops Troy, 26-17
By: Ed Weaver | WellsboroFootball.com | September 7, 2013
The Wellsboro Varsity football team held on to knock off the "top dogs" in the NTL with a 26-17 win against the Troy Trojans.
It was a tale of two halves for the Hornets, as they dominated Troy in the first half and accounted for nearly 300 yards of total offense. The second half, however, the Hornets were held scoreless and racked up over 100 yards in penalties.
After Wellsboro's first drive ended with a turnover on downs, the Hornet defense dug in and recovered a fumble to give the Hornets excellent field position. The offense was able to take advantage of that field position as Junior Quarterback Michael Pietropola found Junior Kieron Smethers for a 10 yard touchdown. Following a kick by Junior Jack Chambers, the Hornets led 7-0.
Two Troy offensive plays later, the Hornets recovered another fumble, and wasted little time scoring as Pietropola connected with Senior Brandon Owlett on a 21 yard strike. The snap on the extra point attempt was bad and the Hornets were up 13-0 with just over four minutes remaining in the first quarter.
On the ensuing kick, Troy's Brandon Mattocks returned the ball 80 yards to put the Trojans on the scoreboard. The Hornets didn't hang their heads and went right back to work. The Hornets put together an 8 play drive capped off with a one yard run by Senior Wyatt Covert to put the squad up 20-7.
Following a Trojan punt, Senior Dylan Prough caught a 62 yard pass from Pietropola to setup a first-and-goal at the one-yard line. Junior Nick Marple caught the ensuing pass from Pietropola to put the Hornets up 26-7.
Troy added another score with just over six minutes remaining in the half to cut the Hornets led to 26-14.
Coming out of the locker room, the tides turned for the Hornets as they were held scoreless and racked up over 100 yards in penalties. The team overcome their mistakes and after a field goal, held on for the 26-17 victory.
"The first half we looked great," said first year head coach Matt Hildebrand. "The second half was much more of a struggle. It seemed that every time we ran the ball we got a penalty and that's something that we'll take a look at on film and clean up for next week.
"The little things are what separates a good football team from a great football team," Hildebrand continued. "I really liked the kids' effort the whole way through, we fought from start to finish and never gave up a single time. We're very exciting right now."
Pietropola completed 15 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns on the night. Covert led all rushers with 96 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown, and Owlett caught 7 of Pietropola's passes for 139 yards and 1 touchdown. Covert and Senior Brian Doty each had 10 tackles on the night.
"We can out focused and played hard right from the start," Pietropola said. "I give a lot of credit to our offensive line. They pushed hard all night and got the job done up front."
"Defnesively we just did what we practiced all week," Covert said. "That's it."
With the win, the Hornets improve to 2-0 (2-0 NTL Division 1). The team will be back in action next Friday, September 13 as they travel to Cowanesque Valley.
"Next Friday is a big week for us," Pietropola continued. "CV beat us last year and they're a good team this year so we need to work hard this week in practice so we can get some revenge for last year."