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Game of the Week

Wilmington falls in battle of unbeatens

Wilmington (20) vs. Hickory (28)
Written: Oct 15, 2016
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By Ed Farrell

CNHI News Service

HERMITAGE — Down two scores to an unbeaten, state-ranked opponent, all Hickory High backup quarterback quarterback Hayden Gallagher had to do was play the game of his young life.

Which he ultimately did...with a little help from his friends.

“Hey, you can’t look at it that way, anyways. It’s not like the backup can’t come in there and do the job, especially when all you’ve really gotta do is hand it to Carr,” Wilmington High coach Terry Verrelli said.

Essentially, exactly. To be precise Gallagher gave the ball to Chuck Carr, and Carr carried for 201 yards and four touchdowns Friday night, hoisting Hickory to a 28-20 District 10, Region 2-AA win over Wilmington.

“We asked Hayden to manage the football game for us. He made a couple mistakes, but, my goodness gracious,” Hickory coach Bill Brest said. “In the summer he performed, in camp he performed, in the scrimmage he performed. We get him reps in practice.”

“We’ll see what happens in the future, but right now we’re very proud of him,” added Brest, who became Hickory program’s career coaching wins leader (73-14, seventh season).

Hickory (8-0 region, 8-0 overall) has captured the last five District 10 Class AA championships.

For his career Carr eclipsed the 6,000-yard rushing plateau as he pursues the all-time D-10 record (Lakeview’s Blake Reddick 6,548). Also, he surpassed the 100-mark in career TDs and now has 101 — 34 this season.

Unofficially, Carr has 6,140 career yards. Former Sharon standout T.J. Phillips (6,241) is his next target among Mercer County running backs.

With Wilmington leading 14-0 with 10:56 remaining to intermission, Gallagher got his opportunity. Hickory’s staring signal-caller Luke Brennan sustained a right-leg injury after releasing a pass. Brennan did not return.

“Listen, the shock-effect’s gotta go through you. We got it out of our system, and my mind goes immediately to what we’re gonna do with this football team, what’s in the best interest of Hayden so he can manage this game,” related Brest, reflecting on Hickory’s suddenly-dire situation. “We knew there were some attributes of his that we could capitalize on, and we tried to do that.”

Gallagher gave the ball to Carr, who scored on 3-yard and 1-yard runs, and at halftime Hickory had forged a 14-all stalemate.

Spencer DeMedal and Kyle Slicker scored for the ‘Hounds in the first and second stanzas on respective 4-yard and 2-yard runs, the latter with 8:23 remaining to intermission.

In the second half Carr contributed 6-yard and 7-yard scoring sprints, Nos. 100 and 101 for his career.

The former was set up by a fumble recovery by Nathan Marchand on a muffed ‘Hounds handoff. Carr carried on all five plays of the abbreviated 17-yard drive as the Stingers assumed their initial lead (21-14), with 6:10 remaining in the third quarter.

In the final frame Hickory had 90 yards of turf to traverse following a Wilmington punt. Carr carried 7 times, including a 51-yarder that set up his own score with 4:29 left. That had Hickory ahead 28-14.

Wilmington scored with 5 ticks to play. Reese Bender’s 2nd-and-goal pass from the 5-yard line was tipped at the line of scrimmage, so lineman Matt Jamison became an eligible receiver, and he scored.

As the game progressed Gallagher gained confidence. He completed his first four pass attempts for 48 yards.

“I was very nervous. When Luke went down I just wanted to see if he was okay, first of all,” Gallagher related, adding, “Everybody’s name is called at one point, and mine was called (Friday) night and I had to step up.”

“I just want to thank my O-line for blockin’ their butts off and to Chuck Carr for running the ball hard every single carry, like always. Great running back,” Gallagher said. “It was just a great, overall win.”

“I was definitely gaining confidence as the game went on, definitely getting more comfortable back there, ready to play more downs,” he added.

Following Carr’s third TD it appeared Wilmington went in for the game-tying score with 9:14 remaining.

On a first-down play from Hickory’s 39-yard line DeMedal, on a wheel route, caught Bender’s ball along the sideline for an apparent TD; however officials ruled DeMedal interfered with Hickory defender Caleb Gagliardi, wiping Wilmington’s score off the board. Ultimately, the Hounds had to punt, setting up Hickory’s 90-yard drive for its insurance score.

Verrelli refused to offer an alibi or second-guess the call.

“I really didn’t get a look...I don’t know. They’re a good football team, they’re a good football team defensively, too. Hey, we did our best; it wasn’t good enough, that’s all,” Verrelli said.

“(The Greyhounds) hung in there and didn’t quit, and that’s what you’re looking for, especially for the new kids who were in there in the big time, the big game. We got a little bit behind, but they didn’t give up,” Verrelli continued.

“I thought we played a good game, so I can’t complain,” added Verrelli, who remains five wins shy of 300 for his coaching career. Wilmington is now 7-1, both in the region and overall.

“It’s tough to lose. Nobody likes to lose and it’s a downer for (the Greyhounds),” Verrelli admitted. “But I think they’re aware that they played a good game, could even have been a little closer. But they’ll bounce back, that won’t be a problem.”

(Ed Farrell writes for the Sharon Herald).


18 First downs 14

142 Rushing yards 216

194 Passing yards 106

29-20-0 Att-comp-int 14-8-0

336 Total yards 322

1-1 Fumbles-lost 0-0

2-15 Penalties-yards lost 5-37

WILMINGTON 7 7 0 6 20

HICKORY 0 14 7 7 28

Scoring plays

WILMINGTON – Spencer DeMedal, 4-yard run (Jacob Winters kick)

WILMINGTON – Kyle Slicker, 2-run (Winters kick)

HICKORY – Chuck Carr, 3-yard run (Scarton kick)

HICKORY – Carr, 1-yard run (Scarton kick)

HICKORY – Carr, 6-yard run (Scarton kick)

HICKORY – Carr, 7-yard run (Scarton kick)

WILMINGTON – Matt Jamison, 5-yard pass from Bender (kick failed)
Wilmington 7 7 0 6 0 20
Hickory 0 14 7 7 0 28
One step short 12/3/16 Neshannock season comes to end 11/27/16 The (im)perfect season 11/19/16 WPIAL championship game 11/18/16 New Castle advances to WPIAL Class 4A title game 11/11/16 Neshannock routs Serra Catholic 11/4/16 Neshannock hosts Serra Catholic 11/4/16 Thriller 10/28/16 Union at Shenango 10/28/16 'Canes stumble; playoff berth on line in finale 10/21/16 New Castle hosts Ringgold on Senior Night 10/21/16 Wilmington falls in battle of unbeatens 10/15/16 Wilmington at Hickory 10/13/16 On the defensive 10/8/16 Neshannock hosts Riverside 10/7/16 New Castle struggles in home loss to Mars 9/30/16 New Castle hosts Mars 9/30/16 'Canes hope to even score against Mars 9/30/16 Stayin' alive 9/23/16 Union hosts Western Beaver 9/23/16 Ground assault 9/17/16 Wilmington hosts Sharpsville 9/16/16 Too many mistakes for Laurel 9/10/16 Riverside travels to Laurel 9/9/16 Neshannock routs North Catholic 9/3/16 Canes quipped 8/31/16 A good mix 8/27/16 Black Friday 11/14/15 Wilmington vs. Cambridge Springs 11/13/15 Defense steps up for Lancers 11/7/15 Neshannock vs. Bentworth 11/5/15 No doubt about it 10/31/15 Neshannock vs. Union 10/30/15 Crowning effort 10/24/15 Shenango vs. Riverside 10/23/15 Playoff hopes dashed 10/17/15 Laurel vs. Beaver 10/16/15 A costly brawl 10/10/15 New Castle vs. Central Valley 10/9/15 Inching closer 10/3/15 Union vs. Shenango 10/2/15 'They had us on our heels' 9/26/15 South Side Beaver at Union 9/25/15 Shootout 9/19/15 Neshannock at Riverside 9/18/15 Pivotal 9/13/15 Neshannock, Shenango clash Saturday 9/11/15 Under the weather 9/5/15 New Brighton at Laurel 9/4/15 Heartbreaker 11/15/14 Neshannock vs. Clairton 11/14/14 Weathering the storm 11/8/14 Neshannock vs. Jeannette 11/7/14 Fast and furious 11/1/14 Springdale at Shenango 10/31/14 Opportunity lost 10/25/14 Sharpsville at Wilmington 10/24/14 One for the books 10/18/14 Ellwood City at Laurel 10/17/14 Ground war 10/11/14 Ellwood City at Mohawk 10/10/14 Drenched with happiness 10/4/14 South Side Beaver at Shenango 10/3/14 The perfect storm 9/27/14 Moon at New Castle 9/26/14 Coming up short 9/20/14 West Middlesex at Wilmington 9/19/14 Back in the saddle 9/13/14 Neshannock at Riverside 9/12/14 Tough act to follow 9/6/14 New Brighton at Ellwood City 9/5/14 'We will get better' 8/30/14 West Allegheny vs. New Castle 8/29/14 End of the road 11/16/13 Neshannnock vs. North Catholic 11/15/13 'Sharks in a frenzy' 11/9/13 Lancers advance to WPIAL semifinals 11/9/13 Neshannock vs. Monessen 11/8/13 The best defense 11/2/13 Neshannock vs. Brentwood 11/1/13 'We battled to the end' 10/26/13 New Brighton at Mohawk 10/25/13 Costly blunders 10/19/13 Sto-Rox at Laurel 10/18/13 West Allegheny rallies in fourth to defeat 'Canes 10/12/13 West Allegheny at New Castle 10/11/13 Mohawk wins thriller behind McConahy, Barber 10/5/13 Ellwood City at Mohawk 10/4/13 Spartans ride big second half to win over Union 9/28/13 Laurel at Union 9/27/13 Burkes stars as Lancers escape upset bid 9/21/13 Shenango at Neshannock 9/20/13 So close ... 9/13/13 Neshannock at Sto-Rox 9/12/13 Run to glory 9/7/13 Laurel at Neshannock 9/6/13 Dando, Spartans roll over South Side Beaver 9/5/13 South Side Beaver vs. Laurel 8/30/13 Turnovers spell doom for Wilmington in D-10 title game 11/26/12 Wilmington vs. Hickory 11/24/12 Caught in a 'Bear' trap 11/17/12 Neshannock vs. Clairton in WPIAL Class A semifinals 11/15/12 Neshannock advances 11/10/12 Neshannock vs. Monessen 11/9/12 Neshannock vs. Monessen 11/9/12 Neshannock vs. Monessen 11/8/12 Neshannock advances 11/3/12 Neshannock vs. Jefferson-Morgan 11/2/12 Down and out 10/27/12 New Castle at Hopewell 10/26/12 Pugh paces Wilmington to win over Sharon 10/22/12 Wilmington vs. Sharon 10/19/12 Mohawk falls to Beaver 10/13/12 Beaver vs. Mohawk 10/12/12 ‘We tip our hats to them’ 10/8/12 Neshannock at Rochester 10/5/12 Big-play display for Union 9/29/12 Union vs. Laurel 9/28/12 Lancers rout Shenango for fourth win 9/24/12 Blend of old, new sparks Union win 9/22/12 Union hosts Western Beaver 9/21/12 ’Hounds rise up for win over Hickory 9/15/12 Wilmington vs. Hickory 9/14/12 Milestone victory 9/10/12 New Castle at Riverside 9/7/12 699 and counting 9/1/12 New Castle vs. Central Valley 8/31/12 Turnovers lead to season-ending loss for Wilmington 11/21/11 Wilmington vs. General McLane 11/17/11 End of the dream 11/12/11 Ellwood vs. Greensburg Central 11/11/11 Ellwood advances 11/5/11 Ellwood City vs. Freeport 11/4/11 Mixed reviews 10/29/11 New Castle vs. Blackhawk 10/28/11 Wilmington rolls to Region 3 title 10/22/11 Wilmington vs. Sharon 10/21/11 It's Polka time 10/15/11 Ellwood City vs. Laurel 10/14/11 Aliquippa cruises past Ellwood City 10/8/11 Aliquippa vs. Ellwood City 10/7/11 Wilmington holds on for thrilling win over Hickory 10/1/11 Wilmington vs. Hickory 9/30/11 Union pulls away for win over South Side Beaver 9/24/11 South Side Beaver at Union 9/23/11 Big plays spell doom for New Castle 9/17/11 Central Valley vs. New Castle 9/16/11 Defense delivers for Neshannock 9/10/11 Defense delivers for Neshannock 9/10/11 Neshannock vs. Serra Catholic 9/9/11 New Castle suffers disappointing loss in opener 9/3/11 New Castle vs. Butler 9/2/11 Sharon ends Wilmington’s dominance 11/22/10 ‘Underdog’ Greyhounds move on to a rematch with Sharon 11/15/10 Wilmington vs. North East 11/12/10 Tough lesson 11/6/10 WPIAL Playoffs: Ellwood vs. South Fayette 11/5/10 Wolverines earn playoff berth 10/30/10 Riverside at Ellwood City 10/29/10 'Hounds lose heartbreaker 10/23/10 Wilmington at Sharon 10/22/10 Wolverines outlast Spartans 10/16/10 Laurel at Ellwood City 10/15/10 'Canes fall to Parkway foe Hopewell 10/9/10 New Castle to battle Hopewell 10/8/10 Lancers fall to Western Beaver 10/2/10 Western Beaver at Neshannock 10/1/10 Wolverines fall to Beaver 9/25/10 Beaver at Ellwood City 9/24/10 Shenango runs past South Side 9/20/10 Greyhounds lay hammer down on Greenville 9/11/10 Wilmington vs. Greenville 9/10/10 New Castle comes through 9/4/10 New Castle vs. Butler 9/4/10 Memorable run ends for Wilmington football team 12/14/09 Wilmington vs. Greensburg Catholic 12/11/09 Wilmington survives close call against Forest Hills 12/4/09 Wilmington vs. Forest Hills 12/4/09 Wilmington blanks Sharon 11/28/09 Wilmington vs. Sharon 11/27/09 Laurel season ends with setback 11/21/09 Laurel vs. Clairton in WPIAL semifinals 11/20/09 West Allegheny ends New Castle’s season 11/14/09 New Castle vs. West Allegheny 11/13/09 New Castle holds off Greensburg Salem 11/7/09 New Castle at Greensburg Salem 11/6/09 Wilmington routs Slippery Rock 10/30/09 Slippery Rock at Wilmington 10/30/09 Shenango blanks Union 10/24/09 Shenango at Union 10/23/09 Spartans overwhelm Monaca 10/17/09 Monaca at Laurel 10/16/09 Mohawk outlasts Ellwood City 10/10/09 Mohawk at Ellwood City 10/9/09 Rochester turns back Laurel in battle of unbeatens 10/3/09 Laurel at Rochester 10/2/09 Laurel opportunistic against Neshannock 9/26/09 Neshannock at Laurel 9/25/09 New Castle ends streak against Blackhawk 9/19/09 New Castle hosts Blackhawk 9/18/09 New Castle passes test against Indiana 9/12/09 Indiana at New Castle 9/11/09 Ellwood comes up short against Freedom 9/5/09 Freedom at Ellwood 9/4/09 Wilmington wins PIAA title! 12/15/08 'Hounds headed for Hershey 12/6/08 Wilmington vs. Aliquippa 12/5/08 Wilmington holds off Martinsburg Central 11/29/08 Wilmington edges Slippery Rock for District 10 title 11/24/08 "Down and Out" 11/19/08 New Castle outlasts Indiana in quarterfinals 11/8/08 New Castle vs. Indiana 11/7/08 New Castle vs. Indiana 11/6/08 New Castle routs Franklin Regional 11/1/08 Franklin Regional at New Castle 11/1/08 Laurel wins, but not enough 10/25/08 Shenango at Laurel 10/25/08 New Castle routs Ambridge 10/18/08 Ambridge at New Castle 10/18/08 Rochester blanks Neshannock 10/11/08 Wilmington handles Sharon 10/4/08 South Side Beaver blanks Neshannock 9/27/08 Neshannock vs. South Side Beaver 9/27/08 Neshannock holds off Laurel 9/20/08 Rochester blanks Union 9/13/08 Union-Rochester 9/12/08 Mohawk routs New Brighton 9/6/08 Butler outlasts New Castle 8/30/08
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