Green Hornet gridders pick up first win of season.

By: Joe Wagner | Wellsboro Gazette | September 30, 1998


Jarred Regina did everything but catch his own passes in the Green Hornets 47-26 victory against the Sayre Redskins last Friday night, their first of the 1998 campaign.

Regina, Wellsboro's signal caller, nearly pulled a hat trick, by scoring on offense, defense, and special teams. He had three rushing touchdowns, one passing touchdown, and an interception return for a touchdown. He also had two returns for 90 yards.

His three rushes went for a total of 140 yards. He was five of 10 passing and his defensive touchdown came on a 105 yard interception return out of Sayre's end zone.

"That was probably the best football game that I have ever seen a high school player ever have," first year Wellsboro Head Coach Keith Dils said. "He's got skills. He's not real big and he's not real fast but he combines his competitiveness with his athletic talent and his desire to win to make things happen. Players like that are the reason why I am glad that I took the head coaching job this year."

The first quarter was a scoring marathon in itself. A total of five touchdowns were scored by both teams.

"During the first quarter it looked like one of those games were whoever has the ball last is going to win," Dils said.

The Hornets started the game by taking a short kickoff to their own 41-yard line on a Dave Russell return. They took advantage of the short field and scored their first touchdown with 9:38 left in the first period.

Ike Rivers scored first for Wellsboro from 40 yards out on third and one. He went straight up the middle on a quick hitting dive and kept on running until he reached the end zone.

"Coach Morris has done a real good job for us and made some moves on our offensive line," Dils said about his first year offensive line coach. "We made a couple of moves and got some people healthy and that was very good for us. Your offensive line is only as strong as its weakest link and it looks like we found the right combination."

Akbar Aiken returned from the academically ineligible list to start at guard for Wellsboro while Brad Wilson moved to center. Joe Andrews stayed healthy throughout the entire game for Wellsboro and anchored the line from his tackle spot.

The Wellsboro defense looked strong their first time out as well when they made Sayre go three plays and out. Sayre was forced to punt from their own 15-yard line which gave Wellsboro another short field to work with.

The Green Hornets scored again just two minutes later. After a one yard plunge by Rivers at the midfield stripe, Regina tuned up his one man show and scrambled 49 yards around the left side for his first touchdown of the night.

The touchdown marked the first time this year that Wellsboro has been up by two scores. That, however, would soon change. Sayre's Luke Wheeler set up his own seven yard touchdown run with a 69 yard scamper around Wellsboro's right flank.

That score, along with the missed extra point, made it 12-6 with 5:26 left in the first quarter.

In their second consecutive possession, Wellsboro scored on their second play from scrimmage. This time it was Shane Mascho who scored on a long run, a 59 yarder. He took Regina's hand off up the middle and cut it out to the left and speeded in for the score less than a minute after Sayre's touchdown. This time Dave Laczi's kick was good and Wellsboro found themselves with a 19-6 cushion.

Sayre went to the passing game on their next possession. David Payne connected on two passes and took advantage of a pass interference call against Wellsboro to move the ball into Wellsboro territory. Sayre scored on a 10 yard touchdown strike from Payne to Bradley. Payne's kick was good to finally end the scoring in the first quarter.

While the first quarter's scoring could be considered nuclear, the first 14 minutes of the second quarter was little more than a firecracker. But late in the period, Sayre's offense adjusted to the Wellsboro defense and found a weakness they could exploit: lack of size.

The Redskins lined up in a double tight end formation with a wishbone backfield and bludgeoned their way down the field on 14 plays from their own 19-yard line. The touchdown that knotted the game at 19 came on a two yard Tom Hiralez touchdown run with 58 seconds left on the clock.

But Regina and the special teams cavalry came to the rescue. Regina fielded the kickoff on his own 14-yard line and returned it 66 yards behind solid blocking to the Sayre 20-yard stripe.

The next play he fired a pass to slotback Derrick Watters for 11 yards. He then threw two incompletions before connecting with wideout Pete Coolidge for a nine yard touchdown pass. Laczi hit the extra point to put Wellsboro up 26-19.

"We never gave up. When the game was tied just before halftime we took control and kept looking ahead," Dils said. "We never got down on ourselves and we made things happen."

Sayre put together another steamroller drive on their first possession of the third quarter. They drove 50 yards to the Wellsboro 18-yard line and then Regina made his presence felt once again. This time he picked off a Payne pass and returned it for a touchdown from five yards deep in the end zone. That and Laczi's extra point made the score 33-19.

Sayre came storming back. They put together another double tight end, full house backfield bruising march down the field. This time they strung 19 plays together to come up with their first score of the second half. Payne connected with Bradley for a 16 yard touchdown pass to make the score 33-27.

But, the Wellsboro offense and Regina would not be quieted. The quarterback scrambled for two more touchdowns, one a 42 yarder and the next a 49 yarder, to ice Wellsboro's first win of the year, 47-26.

Regina was not the only running threat for Wellsboro. Mascho got his first 100 yard game of the year on 10 carries and Rivers toted the ball eight times for 66 yards. In all, Wellsboro had 388 yards of offense.

Sayre had a very respectable offensive night as well. Hiralez had 115 yards on 22 carries and Wheeler had 101 yards on 11 carries. The Redskins amassed 336 total yards of offense.

Wellsboro will take on the Black Knights in their next NTL game this Friday night at Towanda.