Hornets fall to Wyalusing, 38-28
By: Ed Weaver | WellsboroFootball.com | October 18, 2014
The Wellsboro Varsity Football team dropped their second game of the year as they lost 38-28 to Wyalusing on Friday, October 17.
For the second week in a row the Hornets got off to a strong start but found themselves trailing late in the game. Unlike last week against Bloomsburg, however, the magical comeback was not in the cards. After trading opening drives the Hornets struck first at 5:04 in the first quarter.
The Hornets put together an eight play drive that covered 62 yards. Senior Running Back Levi Mack put the Hornets up 7-0 after Senior Jack Chambers' extra point on a nine yard run. Wyalusing put together a long, 10 play drive but the Hornet defense eventually forced the Rams to punt the ball away just inside of the Hornets' 40-yard line. Pinned deep in their own territory, Wellsboro could not get anything going and would give Wyalusing a short field to set up their first score after a bad punt.
Three plays later, Running Back Luke Jennings found the end zone for the first time on the night as he took the ball 24 yards to the house to tie the game at 7-7 with 10:25 remaining in the second quarter. The Hornets would rebound on their following drive to take back the lead. After a few runs by Mack and a 16 yard gain by Senior Quarterback Michael Pietropola on fourth down, Pietropola hit Mack on a middle screen that got Wellsboro down to the Rams nine-yard line. On the next play Pietropola found Junior Anthony Cooper in the back of the end zone. The snap on the extra point was bad but Freshman Quinn Henry picked the ball up and hit Junior Nick Tremper for a two-point conversion to take a 15-7 lead with 7:00 remaining in the first half.
The Rams went right back to work on the ensuing drive. The Rams ran the ball five times on the drive highlighted by a 27 yard run by Jennings. Ryan Kipp eventually found the end zone from nine yards out to bring the score to 15-14 with 4:59 remaining in the half. The Hornets next drive ended ended in just five plays as Pietropola was intercepted for the team's first turnover of the night. Wyalusing was unable to capitalize, however, and Wellsboro would get the ball back.
The Hornets could not generate any offense on their next drive and were forced to punt, but a bad snap gave the ball back to the Rams on the Hornets' six-yard line. Wellsboro's defense held and kept the Rams out of the end zone. Wyalusing lined up and converted a 30 yard field goal to take a 17-15 lead with 14 seconds left in the half.
Wyalusing received the second half kick and added to their lead as Jennings caught a 77 yard pass from Justin Haley to go up 24-15 with 10:26 remaining in the third quarter.
The Hornets would bounce back on their following drive. Pietropola converted passes to Seniors Nick Levindoski and Nick Marple and with a 16 yard run by Mack, the Hornets found themselves on the Wyalusing six-yard line before Pietropola found Senior Kieron Smethers to trail Wyalusing 24-21.
With new energy the Hornets forced a turnover on Wyalusing's next drive. Wyalusing took to the ground again and eventually found themselves at the Wellsboro 38-yard line before Marple intercepted Haley's next pass and returned it 37 yards to set up the Hornets on the Rams 39-yard line.
After Pietropola's opening pass fell incomplete, Mack rattled off a seven yard run and Cooper fumbled the ball back to Wyalusing on the next play to end the scoring threat. The Hornets defense would hold again as they eventaully stopped the Rams on fourth down to get the ball back at their own 20-yard line, but another turnover, this time by Mack after a 15 yard run, gave Wyalusing the ball back at the Wellsboro 36-yard line.
Jennings found the end zone for the third time as he carried the football 17 yards to put the Rams up 31-21 with 6:30 remaining in the game.
Wellsboro would take to the air on their next drive and found themselves at the Rams' five-yard line after Pietorpola hit Smethers with a 39 yard pass. After a Wyalusing penalty in the end zone moved the ball to the three-yard line, Pietropola ran the ball in a touchdown two plays later and the Hornets trailed 31-28. The score would be the Hornets last on the night.
Wyalusing put the nail in the coffin on the next drive when Jennings snuck through the Hornets defense for a 52 yard touchdown on third-and-two to take the 38-28 lead.
Pietropola completed 20-of-37 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns. Mack was the leading rusher with 64 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, and Marple led the team with 10 catches for 99 yards for a new Wellsboro Football Varsity Record*. Smethers caught four passes for 57 yards and a touchdown, Levindoski caught three passes for 24 yards, and Cooper caught one pass nine yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, Tremper recorded 18 tackles, Mack had 10 tackles, and Senior Ben Davis had nine.
With the loss, the Hornets fall to 6-2 (1-2 NTL Division 1). The team will be back in action next Friday, October 24 as they host Towanda.
* - Records may not be accurate to date due to incomplete stats. If you know of a record not currently listed on this page, or have game statistics or film from previous years, please contact us.
Ed Weaver is the owner of Circle W Sports in Wellsboro, PA, is the Sports Director for The Home Page Network and the creator of WellsboroAthletics.com and WellsboroFootball.com. You can follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.