Offensive struggles for both sides, Hopewell prevails
Points scored in football games is usually done by the offensive side of the ball. For fans who love the up-tempo offense, quick scores, and plenty of scrimmage yards, Friday night's game vs. Hopewell would have been an eyesore of drives that just didn't finish.
Between Hopewell and the Wolverines, over 100 plays were taken on the night. However, this only mounted to a game total of 431 offensive yards from both teams together. With that being said, drama did occur late in the game.
The game started with the Wolverines winning the coin toss and electing to receive. After taking the opening kickoff to the 42 yard line, Ellwood City converted a 3rd and 8 by running a sweep play to the far side of the field with Donavin Chambers rushing down the field for a 56 yard touchdown. The extra point was good by Jonathan Jefferson to make the early score 7-0 EC at the 11:02 mark. [7-0 EC]
After the quick score, finishing drives became an issue for both teams. Five drives occurred after the first touchdown that carried us into the second quarter when Hopewell finally broke through with a 5 yard rushing touchdown by Deseante Hines. Luca Botti for the Wolverines had a great rush off the wide side of the extra point attempt and was able to block the kick by Eli Loncar, making the score 7-6 EC with 9:33 to play before half. [7-6 EC]
Once again the Wolverines offense had troubles and had to punt back to the Vikings. Before the half ended, Hopewell scored a late touchdown on an exciting drive that included a potential pick six by the Wolverines defense, a running into the kicker penalty, and a big pass by William DePaul to Nicholas Bozza for a 33 yard touchdown score. The 2 point pass conversion failed and at halftime the Vikings led 12-7. [12-7 Hopewell]
The drive charts in the second half were fairly disappointing for both teams - another five drives went by until Hopewell broke through once again with a crucial 40 yard field goal by Eli Loncar early in the fourth quarter, making it 15-7 Vikings. [15-7 Hopewell]
Ellwood City never gave up though - the Wolverines were able to come back after a bad snap occurred for the Vikings on a fourth down punt, setting the Wolverines up from only 11 yards from the endzone. A couple plays later a Jordan Recce pass to Toby Kelly for 11 yards made the score 15-13 Hopewell with the pending conversion. The conversion was a 2 point pass attempt that was batted down in the endzone, giving EC only 2:11 left in the game to make any chance of pulling out the win. [15-13 Hopewell]
Hopewell took the onside kick and returned the ball back to the Wolverines side of the field - it was very clear the Vikings wanted to just "sit on the ball" and let the clock run out - that choice almost cost them the game. Ellwood was able to get the ball back after a late 20 yard sack by Anthony Agostinelli with only 7 seconds to play and only 37 yards from the endzone.
This set up the last play of the game - Jordan Recce took the snap and handed off the ball to Richard Pitrelli coming in motion from the far side of the field. Pitrelli kept running to the side and then threw back across the field to the quarterback Recce. Recce then proceeded to throw the ball down to the endzone where a very late Vikings defender came over and tipped the ball and eventually intercepted the ball to end the hopes of the Wolverines. Final score 15-13 Hopewell. [15-13 Hopewell]
Comparing to last week's game, Ellwood's offense did make progress, but needs more consistency on running the ball and converting long drives down the field. The offense was led by Donavin Chambers who ran the ball 8 times for a total of 67 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, Luca Botti played very well having 10 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 passes broken up, and an interception.
Next for the Wolverines is a trip to Geneva College where the Wolverines will play the Beaver Falls Tigers at 7pm. Check out the game stats and season stats here [CLICK HERE].