Derry stays unbeaten, best record in school history beating the Wolverines
Derry has been one of the bigger surprises in WPIALs, coming into last night's game 7-0 (5-0) playing an extra game during week 0. Derry has had several historic teams and is rich in tradition, but only has gone to the playoffs once since 2002. That will change this year.
Derry came into the match-up against the Wolverines already locking up a playoff berth in the WPIALs. The question of the night was how would Derry match up against a team from the toughest 3A conference? At first things looked gloomy, but football is a two-half game.
The first half was in favor of the Wolverines. A late second quarter score by Luca Botti from a pass by Jordan Recce 31 yards out was the only score of the half. Up till this play, both teams were not able to establish any offensive rhythm, and even the score itself was of abnormal display - the pass was defended well where a Trojan defender partially batted the ball, but the ball tipped into the air where Luca Botti was able to reach out and bring ball into his chest. The score at half was 6-0 Ellwood with a muff hold on the PAT attempt. [6-0 EC]
After holding the Trojans to only 22 yards of offense on 19 plays, The Wolverines seemed in great shape; however, Derry was eventually able to take over the game via turnovers and big plays.
The third quarter involved two scores by Derry - Tyler Balega 23 yard touchdown run and a Tyler Balega 37 yard reception from QB Ryan Polinsky made the score 14-6 Derry with the two PATs good by Justin Huss. [14-6 Derry]
The fourth quarter has been the most-dramatic quarter at home for the Wolverines all year as it should, but this one like most fell in favor of the opponent. Tyler Balega added a third score on the night late in the fourth quarter (1:52 mark) to make the game seem more out of reach. The PAT was partially blocked, making the score 20-6 Derry with less than two minutes to play.
The final drive of the game occurred when the Wolverines drove all the way down to the 7 yard line where a quick pass by Jordan Recce was intercepted by Gannon Lenhart and returned for 98 yards to tack on the last score of the game (PAT by Huss), making the final tally 27-6 in favor of Derry. [27-6 Derry]
The Wolverines seemingly had a great first half holding Derry to only 22 yards of offense and 192 yards at the final whistle. The Wolverines were led by Richard Pitrelli who had 17 carries for 122 yards in the running game and by Luca Botti who had the touchdown reception and 35 yards rushing. The defense was led by Andrew O'Brien who had an interception, a sack, and a total of 3 tackles.
Up next for the Wolverines is the Riv-Ell Cup game between the Wolverines 0-7 (0-6) and the Panthers of Riverside 5-2 (5-1). The game is at 7PM on Friday @ Riverside, who has locked up a position into the playoffs.