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Game of the Week

Turnovers lead to season-ending loss for Wilmington

Wilmington (18) vs. General McLane (21)
Written: Nov 21, 2011
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By Joe Sager

New Castle News

SLIPPERY ROCK — The Wilmington High football team beat General McLane in every major statistic Saturday — except in the point column.

Two other categories — a pair of interceptions and a fumble — played a big part in the Greyhounds’ 21-18 loss in the District 10, Class AA semifinal at Slippery Rock University’s Thompson-Mihalik Stadium.

“I think (turnovers were the difference),” Wilmington coach Terry Verrelli said. “We were out of sync a bit offensively. They played hard and that’s all I ask of them — prepare hard and play hard. You don’t like to lose, but you have to accept it and move on. (General McLane has) an excellent team and they did a nice job. They won the game, so you have to give them credit.”

The Lancers (10-2) meet Hickory (10-1), a 35-0 winner over North East, in Saturday’s D-10 title game in their own backyard at Edinboro University.

“We’ve been getting it done all year on offense,” General McLane coach Jim Wells said. “We played a complete game, in terms of everybody contributing, including our offense, defense and special teams.”

The two run-first squads traded big-play punches late in the first quarter. Gunnar Donati struck first for Wilmington (9-2) as he burst through the middle and weaved through the defense for a 53-yard TD run.

However, the Lancers retaliated 20 seconds later. Matt Astorino took a pitch and sprinted 58 yards down the sideline for the equalizer.

Brandon Ryder’s 25-yard field goal into a strong wind put the Greyhounds back on top, 10-7, with 11:55 left in the first half.

Then, disaster struck twice for Wilmington.

The Greyhounds forced a General McLane punt following the field goal. Yet, quarterback Nick Vasko was stripped of the ball while scrambling for yardage on third down and the Lancers recovered at the Wilmington 31. Three plays later, Astorino bolted through the middle for a 27-yard TD scamper and a 14-10 lead with 7:49 left.

The Greyhounds’ ensuing drive lasted just three plays again as the Lancers’ 6-foot-5 defensive end Quinn Thompson jumped at the line of scrimmage and snagged Josh Tekac’s short pass attempt. He sprinted 42 yards for the score and a 21-10 General McLane edge with 6:21 remaining.

“I think, when you start out with any team, you have to get the feel (for what they do). You can practice against it and show them what they do, but it’s not the same as the game,” Verrelli said. “I think they got a feel for it and got up in there a little better in the second half than they did in the first half. (General McLane’s running) hurt us in the first half. That pass that got intercepted was obviously the difference maker, too.”

Wilmington appeared poised to score late in the first half as the Greyhounds drove to the General McLane 26 with little more than a minute to go. However, an offensive pass interference penalty knocked them back and wiped out the charge.

Wilmington had a chance to add more points on the scoreboard with its first drive of the third quarter. The Greyhounds drove to the 8, but Ryder hooked a 25-yard field goal try wide left.

Defensively, Wilmington put the clamps on the Lancers in the second half. The Greyhounds yielded just 45 yards and two first downs. Conversely, Wilmington picked up large chunks of real estate on the ground and dominated the time of possession. Yet, the team struggled in the passing game and couldn’t get back in the end zone until late in the game.

“We weren’t able to stop Wilmington’s offense completely. They are very tough,” Wells said. “Our kids were able to make plays when we needed it. We did a great job on coverage. Our defensive coordinator had an outstanding game plan and our kids executed it.”

The Greyhounds, who owned a 420-189 edge in total yardage, struck with 1:09 remaining. Tekac’s desperation fourth-down heave found Josiah Bloise at the near sideline and he snaked his way into the end zone for a 41-yard TD. Tyler Donati, who racked up 135 yards rushing, bulldozed his way across the line for the 2-point conversion to trim the deficit to 21-18.

However, Wilmington was not able to recover the ensuing onside kick and General McLane ran out the clock.

“We moved the football, but we also have to have the completions. As few as they are, we have to have them. We just didn’t get them, for whatever reason, and that sputters the offense,” Verrelli said. “I thought they played hard. I am not upset with them. They did the best they could.”



7 First downs 14

210 Yards Rushing 355

21 Yards Lost 9

189 Net Rushing 346

3 Passes Attempted 17

0 Passes Completed 4

0 Passes Intercepted 2

0 Yards Passing 74

189 Total Yards 420

1-0 Fumbles-Lost 1-1

5-34.8 Punts-Average 1-41

1-10 Penalties-Yards 2-20

GENERAL McLANE 7 14 0 0 — 21

WILMINGTON 7 3 0 8 — 18

Scoring plays

WILMINGTON — Gunnar Donati, 53-yard run (Harrison Sturm kick).

GENERAL McLANE — Matt Astorino 58-yard run (Kirk Dillen kick).

WILMINGTON — Brandon Ryder, 25-yard field goal.

GENERAL McLANE — Astorino, 27-yard run (Dillen kick).

GENERAL McLANE — Quinn Thompson, 42-yard interception return (Dillen kick).

WILMINGTON — Josiah Bloise, 41-yard pass from Josh Tekac (Tyler Donati run).

Wilmington 7 3 0 8 0 18
General McLane 7 14 0 0 0 21
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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