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Game of the Week

’Hounds rise up for win over Hickory

Wilmington (35) vs. Hickory (28)
Written: Sep 15, 2012
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By Ron Poniewasz Jr.

New Castle News

The Wilmington High football program is alive and well.

And apparently not going away in the District 10, Region 3-AA race.

A loss last week to Grove City in region play put an even bigger emphasis for a victory last night for the Greyhounds against Hickory.

Tyler Donati rolled up 203 rushing yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns to lift Wilmington to a 35-28 region home win over the Hornets. The rushing yards and attempts both are career highs for Donati, a 5-foot-10, 201-pound fullback/inside linebacker.

A loss could have been damaging to Wilmington’s playoff hopes even though it’s still early in the year.

“It’s a major victory for us,” Greyhounds coach Terry Verrelli said. “It gives us the confidence that we can be an excellent football team. It’s a big win, no doubt.”

Last year, Wilmington (1-1 region, 2-1 overall) hung on for a 28-27 win in the regular season over the Hornets. Hickory (1-1, 2-1) eventually won the District 10, Class AA title last year.

The Eagles (2-0, 3-0), who topped Reynolds last night in region action, sit alone in first place in the league standings.

“This is one of the biggest games of the season,” Donati said. “I knew from last year Hickory was going to be good and this was one we had to win.

“We’re going to see other good teams. We have to keep getting better and working hard.”

Injuries suffered last week against Grove City kept Greyhounds running backs Josiah Bloise and Nic Pugh out of action. That provided Donati an even bigger role in the offensive game plan. He came into the game with 33 carries and 270 yards this season.

“I thought I ran quite good, but I have to give all the props to my line,” Donati said. “They did a hell of a job. They worked hard for me and that’s what the team is, we work for each other.

“I had a pretty good idea I would get more carries because our other two running backs got hurt last week.”

Donati wasn’t alone in the offensive production. Alex Patton chipped in with 116 rushing yards on 20 attempts and Jacob Sotter added 60 yards on 15 totes. Both were filling in for Bloise and Pugh.

“Our two backs that filled in for our starters, I couldn’t be more proud of those guys to step in there,” Verrelli said. “Things looked a little slim when you lose a couple of starters. But they came through and I’m proud of them.

“Both Josiah and Nic wanted to play. They were both right at the edge of being able to play, but I decided to keep them out.”

The Greyhounds executed 72 offensive plays, 67 of which were rushing attempts.

“We just did what Wilmington does best, we pounded the ball up the middle like we planned to do,” Donati said. “Our line just did outstanding.”

It didn’t appear that Wilmington’s ground game would get the opportunity to be utilized nearly as much as it was, though. Hickory’s DeShawn Coleman took a screen pass on the team’s second offensive play 63 yards for a score and the extra point by Jordan Wombacker made it 7-0 with 8:45 left in the opening quarter.

Patton raced 33 yards for a score with 5:15 to play in the opening frame to tie at 7 after Slavi Pontius’ conversion boot.

But Coleman reached the end zone again in the first quarter, this time on a 56-yard run and a 14-7 advantage.

“Big plays are what they live on,” Verrelli said.

Donati’s 3-yard run and Patton’s 7-yard scamper propelled Wilmington to a 21-14 halftime bulge.

“Having the lead at halftime meant nothing to me,” Verrelli said. “You have a whole second half to play. You have to kick off to them. They have a breakaway threat with Coleman.

“It meant nothing if you don’t win the game. One touchdown isn’t much against a team like that.”

But capturing the lead helped the Greyhounds limit Coleman’s value. Coleman, a West Virginia University recruit, recorded 68 rushing yards. But he had just four carries for eight yards in the second half.

“I think what really helped us defensively was we got them into their passing game,” Verrelli said. “Any time they aren’t handing it to Coleman is a plus for us.

“Offensively, we moved the football. That’s the only way you’re going to beat a good offensive football team like Hickory is keeping their offense on the sideline. We did a great job.”

Said Donati, “It gave us a better feeling, like you were on top and you had a better control of the game. With a player like Coleman in the game though, you always know something can happen. He can make a play.”

The Greyhounds scored two straight touchdowns in the third quarter after the Hornets tied it at 21 and they weren’t seriously threatened the rest of the way.

(Email: rponiewasz

@ncnewsonline.com)

HICKORY WILMINGTON

6 First downs 21

74 Yards Rushing 380

11 Yards Lost 9

63 Net Rushing 371

20 Passes Attempted 5

8 Passes Completed 1

2 Passes Intercepted 0

153 Yards Passing 19

216 Total Yards 390

1-1 Fumbles-Lost 4-1

2-35.5 Punts-Average 3-14.3

2-15 Penalties-Yards 4-16

HICKORY 14 0 7 7 — 28

WILMINGTON 7 14 14 0 — 35

Scoring plays

HICKORY — DeShawn Coleman, 63-yard pass from Michael Nardone (Jordan Wombacker kick).

WILMINGTON — Alex Patton, 33-yard run (Slavi Pontius kick).

HICKORY — Coleman, 56-yard run (Wombacker kick).

WILMINGTON — Tyler Donati, 3-yard run (Pontius kick).

WILMINGTON — Patton, 7-yard run (Pontius kick).

HICKORY — Davon Tindall, 27-yard pass from Nardone (Wombacker kick).

WILMINGTON — Cody Llewellyn, 1-yard run (Pontius kick).

WILMINGTON — Donati, 2-yard run (Pontius kick).

HICKORY — Coleman, 41-yard fumble return (Wombacker kick).
GAME SCOREBOARD
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
Wilmington 7 14 14 0 0 35
Hickory 14 0 7 7 0 28
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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