Mental mistakes hurt Wellsboro.

By: Lee Ed Thomas II | Wellsboro Gazette | September 24, 2003

 

"The last two weeks we've out gained our opponents and lost. That is a tough pill to swallow and it goes to turnovers and mental mistakes," Wellsboro head football coach Chris Morral said. "A few things that don't go our way. Any good team will capitalize on mistakes and Muncy did that."

In the past two weeks mental mistakes have cost Wellsboro (2-2) two non-league losses.

This week mental lapses cost the Green Hornets another non-league loss to Muncy, 22-14.

Coming in to the game, Wellsboro was aware of Muncys passing threat. The Hornets limited Muncy to 60 yards passing. Although Wellsboro's task was completed, Muncy found success with their running game.

"I knew going in we needed to put pressure on their quarterback and contain their big strong receivers I knew it was the biggest test the secondary would face and they did a nice job," Morral said. "Unexpectedly their running game came about."

Indian running back Matt Crawford made up for the missing potential by rushing for 120 yards rushing which accounted for all but 23 yards of Muncy’s total rushing yards.

"Matt Crawford stepped up and played awesome. He was very physical," Morral said. "The loss was due to the combination of our being flat at the beginning of the game and Muncy taking advantage of a couple of opportunities."

Wellsboro out-gained their opponent for a second consecutive week but once again were unable to come out on the winning side.

"We did limit their passing game," Morral said. "This is the second game we've out-gained our opponent and it's unfortunate we lost."

Muncy got on the board first when Trevor Egh connected with Craig Knight on a seven yard touchdown completion with 7:49 remaining in the first quarter. Following the extra point, Muncy took a 7-0 lead.

Wellsboro answered back on the ensuing drive by driving the ball to the Muncy one-yard line.

Senior quarterback Will Osgood pulled Wellsboro within one point of the lead by punching the ball into the end zone from one yard out with 1:21 remaining in the first frame.

Shawn Tom earned Wellsboro a 8-7 lead by dozing over the goal line on the two-point conversion run.

Muncy struck back in the second quarter with another touchdown pass.

This time Egli found John Polcinaski open and fired a 11 yard completion to give Muncy a 12-8 lead with 9:39 remaining. The duo joined forces again on the ensuing two-point conversion to put the Indians up, 15-8.

Muncy increased their lead to 22-8 in the early minutes of the third quarter.

After the Indians drove to the Wellsboro six-yard line, Jason McCafferty capped the successful drive with a six yard plunge into the end zone with 9:10 remaining. The extra point attempt split the uprights giving Muncy a substantial lead.

But the lead wouldn't have been as big had it not been for a Wellsboro touchdown being called back for holding that call had a big impact on Wellsboro, Morral said.

"We had been in the red zone but were not able to put it in. But that call was a turning point in the game," Morral said. "Our field position was not good all night. Position is crucial when facing teams like Muncy."

To their credit, Wellsboro later regrouped and put together a successful drive.

With 1:44 remaining in the third frame Brandon Keck showcased his speed by breaking through the line and laced his way through the Muncy defense on a 50 yard touchdown run.

Wellsboro failed on the ensuing extra point attempt and was unable to overcome the 22-14 lead during the fourth quarter.

"Our special teams is still not where they need to be. We had a lot of mistakes. Right now it's mental mistakes not lack of effort," Morral said. "We need to eliminate those to win football games."

"I think in order to get going in right direction we need to eliminate turnovers and mental mistakes," Morral said. Wellsboro committed three fumbles.

Morral said the team will stick to taking the season one game at a time but knows the key will be for the team to stay mentally focused.

"In order for success our special teams needs to improve and our offensive line needs to step up and take over the football game," Morral said.

Wellsboro returns to league play when they travel to Canton this Saturday, September 27. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.

"Canton is a very well coached team. Our guys need to take it one game at a time and start putting together four quarters and come out playing aggressive instead of coming out flat," Morral said.