Wellsboro blanks Troy at Green Hornet Homecoming.

By: Joe Wagner | Wellsboro Gazette | October 1, 1997


The touchdown cannon was heard regularly last Friday night at Wellsboro High School football field as the Green Hornets got back on the winning track in their homecoming game with a 28-0 shutout against the visiting Troy Trojans.

The Hornets kept the ball on the ground despite starting tailback Jaime Jones' injury that kept him on the sidelines for the game. Andy DeLeonardis moved from his fullback spot to the halfback position while reserve fullback and linebacker Matt Nickeson took over the blocking back position.

DeLeonardis put up career numbers with his two touchdowns and 149 rushing yards on 20 carries. Nickeson ran the ball 10 times gaining 55 yards and scoring a touchdown as well. In all the Green Hornets ground out 309 yards on 39 carries against the Trojan defense. Quarterback Kyle Norton was seven of 12 in the passing department with one interception.

The one thing that Wellsboro did not do well that could be attributed to the position realignment was handle the ball. Wellsboro gave up four out of six fumbles.

"Our offense did a little bit better this week," said Wellsboro Head Coach Russ Manney. "I am disappointed at all the fumbles. We had some new backs and they coughed up the ball a little."

The Wellsboro offensive, however, line did some things to prove themselves this week. They blasted holes for the new running backs as well as providing good protection for Norton.

The Green Hornets scored their first touchdown on the last play of the first quarter when DeLeonardis busted into the end zone from four yards out. The score was set up by a 41 yard offensive drive that contained nothing but running plays. The Hornets converted the extra point to go up by seven.

DeLeonardis pulled the Hornets one touchdown further ahead two offensive series later when he broke through the line and jaunted for 18 yards to paydirt. DeLeonardis' second touchdown made the score 14-0, with the point after, at the end of the first half.

Wellsboro's next touchdown came on a Norton one yard sneak into the end zone on the second play of the fourth quarter. This time the Trojans blocked the extra point holding the Hornets to a 20 point lead.

Nickeson put the capper on the game for Wellsboro as he blasted for eight yards and a touchdown with less than five minutes left in the contest to ice the game for the Green Hornets.

Linebacker Nate Debockler led the Hornet defense with eight tackles and a sack against the Trojans. DeLeonardis had seven tackles while Adam Gruzlewski and Josh Zimmerman added six stops a piece.

Zimmerman also had an interception as did Tim Allen and Jarred Regina.

Chris Morgan led the Trojan offense as he rushed for 69 yards.

"All in all we improved a little bit," Manney said. "Our defense played well and our offensive line came around a little bit."

The Green Hornets travel to Sayre next week to take on the Redskins.

"We are getting better," Manney said. "Sayre is getting better too. They played Athens to a good game last week. We expect a good game."