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Game of the Week

'Hounds headed for Hershey

Wilmington (29) vs. Aliquippa (28)
Written: Dec 06, 2008
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MONACA — The Wilmington High football team has had a taste for theatrics lately.

And following a stunning 29-28 overtime victory against Aliquippa last night at Center High School, many of the Greyhounds celebrated their PIAA Class AA semifinal win with a taste of chocolate ... Hershey chocolate.

For the third straight week, Wilmington won in dramatic fashion. But this time, a goal-line stand on a two-point conversion run helped the ’Hounds earn their second trip to the Class AA state championship in 20 years. Wilmington lost to Bethlehem Catholic in 1988.

The ’Hounds (14-1) will face West Catholic (14-1) in the title game at 1 p.m. Dec. 13 at Hersheypark Stadium. West Catholic, which is the top-ranked Class AA team in the state according to the Harrisburg Patriot-News, beat Lancaster Catholic (13-2) last night, 37-14.

“I didn’t think we were playing very well the last couple of weeks,” said Wilmington coach Terry Verrelli, whose team lost to Jeannette in the semifinals the past two years. “I sat them down and had a heart-to-heart talk about the right mental approach, believing and working hard, and you don’t know until you get here and actually see it and perform. And they did.

“They came through. We moved the ball when we had to and I guess you could say we played enough defense to win.”


Senior captain Carson Sharbaugh put the big hit on Quips’ star running back Maurice Carter during the game-deciding two-point conversion attempt. Aliquippa scored on its second play when Terry Patrick ran in from seven yards out.

Carter, who led Aliquippa (12-3) with 107 yards and three touchdowns on 25 attempts, was stuffed at the goal line. Carter’s knee was down before he extended his arms across the line.

“I was just waiting for it and they ran to the right — my right — and I just stayed on the back side, he cut back and I hit him on the 3-yard line,” Sharbaugh said. “He just stopped. I saw him laying there on the 1 and it was over from there.”

Carter remained stretched out and holding the ball across the goal line long after the end of the game. When asked by a crowd of Aliquippa fans whether or not he was in, he replied, “(Heck) ya, I was in.”

With the game tied at 22 at the end of regulation, Wilmington won the toss and elected to take the ball to start overtime.

Senior tight end Dallas Hartman found the end zone on the ’Hounds’ second play when he caught a 6-yard pass from senior quarterback Shane Wagner. Bryce Wilson then followed with the PAT kick.

“I took a beating,” Hartman said. “Shane found me and I just caught the ball. When the game is on the line, you just want it more than anything.

“Our team played with so much heart tonight. Coach Verrelli deserves this. He’s the best coach in the state.”


Trailing 8-0 at the half, Wilmington used a 16-play, 79-yard drive — that ate up more than eight minutes of the third quarter — to get back in the game.

Senior receiver Matt Wagner caught a 13-yard pass from his cousin, Shane Wagner, to tie the game at 8.

“I felt that if we were going to win, we couldn’t give them the ball. I guess I was right about that,” Verrelli said. “That third quarter was big because we drove it the whole way and used up most of the clock and still scored.”

Wilmington took a 15-8 lead when sophomore running back Sutton Whiting scored on a 7-yard run. Whiting finished with 50 yards on 14 carries.

Following Carter’s second 1-yard touchdown run to help the Quips retake the lead, Derrick Burns used an impressive 68-yard run to give Wilmington a 22-16 advantage with less than three minutes to go in the game.

“As soon as I knew the play and that I was getting the ball, I knew something was going to happen,” said Burns, who led all rushers with 152 yards on 16 carries. “I was surprised I scored. It definitely helped us win.”


Aliquippa got the equalizer with 59.6 seconds left in the game when Carter scored on a 16-yard run. But Brad Zaboroski came up with a big stop to squash the Quips’ two-point attempt.

“All week we practiced them going one way and then reversing,” said Zaboroski, a junior defensive end. “Defensive coach Brian Cooper told us all week to keep pursuing because they’ll be there.

“We tried to not let up the big plays all year. We knew they had a good passing game and our secondary was doing well, so we wanted them to run the power game because we knew our defensive line and entire defense could stop it.”

Aliquippa outgained Wilmington in total offense, 358-333.

Quips junior quarterback Rasheem Jones completed 9 of 12 attempts for 137 yards. Patrick ran for 102 yards on 14 carries.

Shane Wagner completed 9 of 12 for 71 yards and two touchdowns for Wilmington. Junior back Jake DeMedal ran for 56 yards on nine carries.

“Aliquippa is tough and they have the athletes,” Verrelli said. “But this is an exciting win. We made mistakes, but we played one of the best games we’ve played. We came after them.”


18 First downs 16

276 Yards Rushing 224

14 Yards Lost 3

262 Net Rushing 221

12 Passes Attempted 12

9 Passes Completed 9

0 Passes Intercepted 0

71 Yards Passing 137

333 Total Yards 358

2-2 Fumbles-Lost 2-2

1-13 Punts-Average 1-36

1-5 Penalties-Yards 3-20

WILMINGTON 0 0 8 14 7 — 29

ALIQUIPPA 0 8 0 14 6 — 28

Scoring plays

ALIQUIPPA — Maurice Carter, 1-yard run (Terry Patrick run).

WILMINGTON — Matt Wagner, 13-yard pass from Shane Wagner (Derrick Burns run).

WILMINGTON — Sutton Whiting, 7-yard run (Bryce Wilson kick).

ALIQUIPPA — Carter, 1 run (Carter run).

WILMINGTON — Burns, 68-yard run (Wilson kick).

ALIQUIPPA — Carter, 16-yard run (run failed).

WILMINGTON — Dallas Hartman, 6-yard pass from S. Wagner (Wilson kick).

ALIQUIPPA — Patrick, 7-yard run (run failed).

Wilmington 0 0 8 14 7 29
Aliquippa 0 8 0 14 6 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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