Wellsboro defense keys 19-7 win.

By: Wellsboro Gazette | September 27, 1995


Defense. Defense. Defense. It's not always the most exciting part of a football game, but a lot of times it's the most important. Nowhere was that more evident than at last Friday night's Athens-Wellsboro game.

Athens came to town with a perfect 3-0 slate, the same record as the boats sported. In addition, they were listed among the "honorable mentions" in a statewide PIAA Class AAA football poll.

When the final gun sounded, though, only Wellsboro was 4-0. The Hornets had ground out a hard fought, defense-dominated 19-7 Northern Tier League football win over their rivals from the east.

In a game which saw a total of only 340 yards of offense, 173 by Athens and 167 by Wellsboro, the Hornets won it by stuffing the vaunted Athens ground attack.

The defense, combined with some impressive running by Jared Mahon, Russ Manney, and quarterback Jay Young, produced probably the biggest Hornet win of '90's.

Wellsboro got on the scoreboard first when Mahon found the end zone on a 10 yard run in the opening period. In the second quarter, Mahon found paydirt again, this time from six yards out. Chris Fuller's extra point gave Wellsboro a 13-0 halftime lead.

The lead swelled to 19-0 in the third stanza as Manney bulled over from a yard out. The two-point conversion attempt came up short.

At that point, the Wildcats responded with their only score of the night on their next possession. Rich Shores took a handoff on his own 43-yard line, cut left and outran the Wellsboro defense to score on a 57 yard jaunt. Colin Gillette boomed the extra point through the uprights and momentum seemed to be shifting.

The Hornet defense stiffened though, and not only didn't allow any more points, they also shut the Athens offense down totally the rest of the way.

Shores finished as the game's top rusher with 88 yards on 10 carries, except for the touchdown run, though, he netted only 31 yards on nine attempts, a 3.4 yards per carry average.

Their other runner, fullback Jefferson Coombs, could do no better than three yards per tote, finishing with 27 yards on nine caries.

Mahon rushed 16 times for 55 yards and two scores for the Hornets. His backfield mate, Manney, ran the ball nine times for 48 yards and one score.

Young had his most productive rushing night to date, finishing with 39 yards on nine tries. Neither team was able to amass much offense via the airways.

Athens quarterback Jason Wanch completed five of eight passes for 49 yards. Young was two for eight for 26 yards. He was intercepted once.

Tony Dinsmore and Mahon both caught 13 yard passes to account for the Hornet pass yardage total.

Steve Angelo caught a pair of Athens completions for 38 yards.

On Saturday, September 30, the Hornets host Marian Catholic in a non-league contest. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. Wellsboro is 4-0 overall, 2-0 in NTL play.