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Game of the Week

'Hounds lose heartbreaker

Wilmington (14) vs. Sharon (20)
Written: Oct 23, 2010
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Desperate times called for desperate measures.

Sharon was deadlocked at 14 with Wilmington during the waning seconds of last night’s District 10, Region 3-AA showdown. Sharon High skipper Bob Fromm decided to furnish a flashback from the playbook’s crinkled, yellowed pages. He went back to basic, backyard ball — the flea-flicker.

Ian Crawford caught Jason Ondic’s lateral, who pivoted to square his shoulder. The right-handed Crawford then connected with speedster Steven Bittler, who evaded Anthony Derrick and dove in the end zone for a 20-14 Tigers’ triumph.

“We told ’em all week, ‘We’re not gonna have many bullets left when we’re done with this thing, so we’re gonna take a shot at winning it,’ ” Fromm related from Tiger Stadium.

Wilmington had won eight straight at Sharon’s expense, including last season’s D-10 Class AA title tilt. But the win — Fromm’s first garnered against the Greyhounds as Tigers’ taskmaster — secured Sharon the region crown.

“It’s never easy, coming out on a Friday night against a team like that,” Fromm admitted. “But we secured ourselves a championship (Friday) night. You know, the mantra is to go and try to get (a championship) outright this year — and we still have business to take care of there.

“But to the seniors who were on the field, we needed them to believe they could get it done,” Fromm continued, “and beginning (Thursday) night, we could see it in their eyes.

“It’s so easy after you’ve been doing it for a while, to tell where your kids are mentally — sometimes; then sometimes it’s perplexing. But I had a good feeling (Friday) night looking into their eyes, and they came out (Friday) night and got the job done.”

Sharon (4-0 region, 7-1 overall) surged to its seventh straight victory, while Wilmington (3-2, 5-3) — which had a four-year chokehold on the district championship — has lost as many games this year as in the past two seasons combined.

“You hate to lose it that way, but it was a great effort,” Greyhounds coach Terry Verrelli said. “I’m proud of the way they stuck together, down 14 at the half. (During the first half) we really didn’t move the football at all. But we did come back, and to get two scores and tie ’em up, it was a great effort on our part.

“It’s always a great game, whenever (Sharon and Wilmington) play. This one came down to the wire. ... It was just one of those plays that got away from us.”

Jason Ondic and Marc Martell — plus a pair of Jason Sypolt PAT kicks — staked Sharon to a 14-0 margin at intermission on scoring sprints of 56 and 31 yards in the first and second stanzas, respectively.

But with Derrick digging for 3- and 4-yard TDs — culminating respective 10-play, 66-yard and seven-play, 56-yard scoring drives — the Greyhounds had themselves primed.

However, after Derrick’s second score with 2:52 remaining in the third quarter, the teams traded a handful of punts. Wilmington wasted an opportunity a minute-and-a-half into the fourth frame. Highlighted by Jake Devido’s 34-yard run, Wilmington advanced from its own 22 to Sharon’s 21. But on a fourth-and-5 reverse, Josh Tekac’s toss to Sutton Whiting in the end zone fell incomplete.

Ultimately, Tekac’s shanked 21-yard punt with 1:01 left to play helped set up Sharon’s game-winning score.

Ondic, orchestrating the offense from the Tigers’ 44, pitched a 12-yard pass to Vandell Spicer and then spiked the ball with 42.2 seconds to play. Martell was hammered by the Greyhounds for a 4-yard loss on second down. So Sharon, without any timeouts, had to hustle.

On third-and-14 from the Tigers’ 48-yard line, Ondic threw back to his left to a waiting Crawford. Crawford pivoted and passed to Bittler, who battled Derrick to the end zone’s pylon with 3.2 seconds remaining. After a series of laterals on the ensuing kickoff, Whiting was downed at Sharon’s 39 as time expired.

Ironically, Wilmington will have to hope it qualifies for the D-10 playoffs. The Greyhounds won the 2008 commonwealth crown and have advanced to the PIAA Final Four in four consecutive seasons.

“I’d have to think District 10 would take three teams,” Verrelli mused. “If that stuff comes around, that’s great. But I would think that we would make the playoffs. We’re improving, and that’s what we’re looking for.”

For Fromm, the win was vital on two levels.

“I told them all week, ‘It’s a region game; it’s a home game. We’re undefeated at home. We want to stay on pace with the region (standings) to put ourselves in position to win a region championship.’ That’s what we were talking about all week long,” Fromm related. “On the flip side of that, we haven’t beaten (Wilmington) yet — since I’ve been here. And to get over that hump is huge for us and for our kids.”

Notes: Whiting went for a game-high 121 yards rushing — helping give the Hounds’ offense a 252-148 edge in yards — offsetting Ondic’s 95-yard performance. Bittler also pilfered a pass. Sharon stalwart Justin Yuran sustained what appeared to be a shoulder injury on the last play of the third quarter.


13 First downs 9

217 Net Rushing 148

11 Passes Attempted 8

3 Passes Completed 5

1 Passes Intercepted 0

35 Yards Passing 91

252 Total Yards 239

0-0 Fumbles-Lost 2-0

6-59 Penalties-Yards 7-56

WILMINGTON 0 0 14 0 — 14

SHARON 7 7 0 6 — 20

Scoring plays

SHARON — Jason Ondic, 52-yard run (Jason Sypolt kick).

SHARON — Marc Martell, 31-yard run (Sypolt kick).

WILMINGTON — Anthony Derrick, 3-yard run (Harrison Sturm kick).

WILMINGTON — Anthony Derrick, 4-yard run (Harrison Sturm kick).

SHARON — Steven Bittler, 48-yard pass from Ian Crawford (run failed).
Wilmington 0 0 14 0 0 14
Sharon 7 7 0 6 0 20
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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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