Wellsboro Green Hornets unbeated after two.

By: Joe Wagner | Wellsboro Gazette | September 10, 1997


The Wellsboro Green Hornets came from behind to score the game winning touchdown against the perennial NTL powerhouse Wyalusing Rams last Friday night.

The score ended in a 20-15 heart-stopper that gave the visiting Green Hornets their second win of the season.

In the first quarter, Wyalusing promptly moved the ball down the field and scored on a disoriented Hornet defense. Two of the big plays on the drive came on passes infiltrating a not so aggressive Wellsboro secondary.

"Basically the game started out a lot different than we thought," said Wellsboro Head Football Coach Russ Manney, "They ran the same plays, but they came from different looks. It really confused our defense."

Wellsboro then put together a scoring drive before the end of the first half culminating in a Jamie Jones touchdown. Kyle Norton , Wellsboro's signal-caller, scampered into the end zone for the two-point conversion to put the visiting Green Hornets up 8-7.

Wellsboro's defense stiffened up and came together for the remainder of the half. The secondary soon caught on and snagged two Wyalusing passes. Jarred Regina picked off an interception against the Rams to stop a Wyalusing drive as did Josh Zimmerman. It was Zimmerman's second interception of the year.

The Green Hornet offense gelled in the second half as well when Jamie Jones capped off a Wellsboro drive by storming into the end zone for the second time on the night. Wellsboro failed to make the extra point kick, leaving the score at 14-7.

Wyalusing then scored another touchdown late in the third quarter. The Rams lined up for a sneak play on the point after attempt. Wyalusing lined up the entire team in a huddle far to the light of the ball, leaving only the center, the holder and the kicker near the football. The Rams then completed the controversial play by throwing a pass to the long snapper for the two-point conversion.

"Now we were down fifteen to fourteen and I guess that our team could have lost it all at that point," Manney said.

Wellsboro took the ball on the kickoff but could not move the ball ahead of the sticks for the first down. Jones had to come out of this series because of a leg cramp.

Wyalusing then took over the ball and started up their time consuming ball control offense, eating up precious minutes for the visiting Green Hornets. As the clock ticked down to 5:00 in the final quarter, the Hornet defense stiffened, forcing the Rams to punt.

The Green Hornets took over possession on their own 20-yard line and started to march downfield. Norton mixed passes to Krys Callahan and runs to Andy DeLeonardis to navigate the way toward paydirt.

After Callahan hauled in a pass at the five-yard line, DeLeonardis took the ball and powered into the end zone behind the Green Hornet offensive line for the winning score with less than a minute left on the game clock.

"It was a thirty-five dive, between the guard and the tackle. We were confident," DeLeonardis said. "I knew those guys would block for me and they did. I just lowered the shoulder and went in."

Wellsboro did not score on their attempted two-point conversion. They did not need to as the Wellsboro defense stymied any attempt by the Wyalusing Rams to score in the waning moments of the game.

Larry Otis, Wyalusing running back, was the game's leading yardage gainer. He compiled 170 yards on the ground on 23 carries.

Norton was Wellsboro's combined yardage leader by completing six of 14 passes for 80 yards.

Norton also scrambled for 32 yards. Jones was the leading ground gainer for Wellsboro. He compiled 97 yards, most of them in the first half. DeLeonardis contributed 96 more yards on the ground on 19 carries.

Wellsboro now improves to 2-0. Their next game is at home against Jersey Shore next Friday.