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Game of the Week

Sharon ends Wilmington’s dominance

Wilmington (7) vs. Sharon (14)
Written: Nov 22, 2010
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By ED FARRELL

Special to The News

SLIPPERY ROCK — The Wilmington High football team’s dominance in District 10 is over.

Sharon used a strong defense to shut down the Greyhounds and advance to the District 10 championship game with a 14-7 verdict in the semifinals at Slippery Rock University.

The Tigers (10-2) will meet Hickory in a rematch of the Region 3-AA matchup earlier in the season. Sharon won that contest, 13-12 on the Hornets’ home field.

The Greyhounds (7-5) were bidding for their sixth straight appearance in the district championship game and fifth straight title. Sharon, which last won a District 10 crown in 2001, recorded a sweep of Wilmington, the first time that’s happened since the Tigers did it in 1998.

“The focus has been: The stakes are high. At the end of the week you’re going to get to play in a ballgame, and if you’re not successful, you’re done, and I think our kids understand that and they go about their business Monday through Friday like that, and when they get out here they lay it all on the line,” Tigers taskmaster Bob Fromm related.

In a D-10 Class AA contest with little margin for error, the Tigers tattooed two home runs — Marc Martell’s 70-yard, second-stanza scoring sprint and Jesse Rodgers’ 41-yard run in the third period.

“I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say. It’s the second time we beat Wilmington, after they beat us ... how many times in the past,” rhetorically asked one of Sharon’s stalwarts, Justin Yuran. “It’s just great that we finally pulled out a victory against them.”

Said Fromm, “The run that (the Greyhounds) have had in the past, they’re a formidable foe, and we told the kids all week: ‘You have to respect your opponents because you never know when you’re going to end up seeing them again,’ ” Fromm reflected. “The first game certainly was a battle (a 21-14 Tigers’ triumph on a flea-flicker pass from Ian Crawford to Steven Bittler with 3.2 ticks to play), and (Saturday) was another battle, a little bit of a defensive struggle.”

Fromm’s understated description was borne out in the final stats: the Greyhounds’ great ground game was shackled by Sharon as Wilmington was limited to 59 yards rushing. Sutton Whiting’s iconic career concluded with a 15-carry, 19-yard performance. He came into the contest averaging 9.7 yards per carry, with 21 touchdowns.

Anthony Derrick dented Sharon for a 9-yard run to culminate the Hounds’ second half-opening six-play, 75-yard, two-minute scoring series. But that aside Sharon shut out Wilmington, which had a total of 179 yards on 50 snaps.

“They just have two great tackles there, and we knew that coming in,” acknowledged ’Hounds’ headmaster Terry Verrelli. “We tried real hard in practice to get (Wilmington’s O-line) ready to get to block those two, but it just didn’t happen. They’re great tackles, they really are.”

The first and fourth frames were scoreless stalemates. Martell mustered a net four yards on his first handful of carries before making his move out of the Wildcat formation with 8:21 left in the opening half. Ultimately, Martell muscled a game-high 121 yards rushing.

Josh Tekac was Wilmington’s starting signal-caller, but was relieved by Nick Vasko, and the latter directed the Hounds’ lone scoring drive, highlighted by a 41-yard pass to Cameron Rossi on a third-and-five play from midfield.

But Rodgers responded by tallying the Tigers’ second TD on a third-and-five option-read to the right. His 41-yard run and the second of Jason Sypolt’s conversion kicks with 2:22 remaining in the third quarter concluded the scoring. Rodgers responded with 97 yards rushing as he and Martell accounted for the majority of the Tigers’ total of 220 yards.

Two Tigers turnovers and a half-dozen penalties (four false starts) somewhat stymied Sharon’s offense, though Verrelli ruefully acknowledged, “Eventually, with great athletes like Sharon has, you just can’t let them have the ball too often, or somebody’s eventually gonna break one, and that’s what happened.”

Interestingly, Fromm’s referencing the term ‘expectations’ also applied to Wilmington, which won four consecutive D-10 crowns, advanced to the state’s Final Four four straight seasons, and captured the 2008 PIAA title.

“You know I mentioned to someone, here we are feeling bad and we’re in the second round of the playoffs. There’s people that would be excited about making it to the second round of the playoffs,” Verrelli related. “It’s just not satisfactory because of the past, I guess. ... But the five seniors (Whiting, Jake Devido, Curtis Bretz, Jason McFarland and Tom Bober) I feel bad for them ... but you know something? They played hard, they played their best, they hung in there every game. I think they had a much better year than people realize.”

********

WILMINGTON SHARON

7 First downs 5

59 Net Rushing 220

18 Passes Attempted 5

9 Passes Completed 3

1 Passes Intercepted 1

120 Yards Passing 22

179 Total Yards 242

2-1 Fumbles-Lost 2-1

3-29 Penalties-Yards 6-35

WILMINGTON 0 0 7 0 — 7

SHARON 0 7 7 0 — 14

Scoring plays

SHARON — Marc Martell, 70-yard run (Jason Sypolt kick).

WILMINGTON — Anthony Derrick, 9-yard run (Harrison Sturm kick).

SHARON — Jesse Rodgers, 41-yard run (Sypolt kick)

GAME SCOREBOARD
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
Wilmington 0 0 7 0 0 7
Sharon 0 7 7 0 0 14
GAME OF THE WEEK ARCHIVE
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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