Wolverines top Vikings in early called game
The Ellwood City Wolverines had a long travel ahead of them for their second away game against Valley in New Kensington, PA. Both teams were coming into the game at 1-3 with very slim chances of making playoff contention. However, a win was still at stake and a good non-conference chance to get the season back on track. The non-conference match was played very well and competitively by both teams...until the final minutes of the game.
The first quarter all season for the Wolverines has seem to be that of a blur - another fast-paced first quarter blew by on the evening as both teams headed into the 2nd quarter tied at 0.
The second quarter involved more success by both teams as Ellwood City was able to run and pass methodically down the field. However, the Wolverines were not able to finish off any drive in the 2nd quarter. The lone score came with 1:27 left in quarter 2 as Deonte Ross rushed up the middle for 21 yards and the lone first-half score of the game. The extra point was blocked once again by Luca Botti (4 PAT blocks, 1 FG block on the season) as the halftime score read 6-0 in favor of the Vikings.
The halftime stats were clearly in favor of the Wolverines, out-gaining the Vikings by over 100 plus yards at half. The only stat the Wolverines did not hold in their favor was the score, so coming out of the second half and finally finishing a drive was crucial.
And so did the Wolverines...by way of the starting kickoff of the 3rd quarter. Luca Botti, once again, took the kickoff and ran back for the score of 78 yards out. The extra point by Jonathan Jefferson was good as Ellwood would not give up the lead from there on.
After the first score by the Wolverines, the flood gates opened up for the Wolverines as two mores scores in the 3rd quarter gave them the lead 20-6. The scoring was as follows - 4:36 mark, Toby Kelly caught a pass by Ryan Gibbons 49 yards out for a touchdown and the PAT kick by Jefferson was good; 3:25 mark, Andrew O'Brien with a QB sneak from 1 yard out and the PAT kick by Jefferson was failed.
Everything looked good for 11 minutes of the third quarter until the Vikings broke through with 19 seconds left when Evan Anderson caught a 5 yard touchdown pass by Tyler Green. The Vikings went for 2 points and the pass was failed, giving us a score of 20-12 going into the 4th quarter.
The first portion of the 4th quarter was back and forth, with both teams fighting for field position and somewhat playing protective of the ball. When it came to crunch time, the Wolverines stood tall - a late score by Deonte Ross 16 yards out cut the score to 20-18, but the Wolverines held tough once again as the 2 point conversion pass was failed.
As the closing minutes counted down to the 1:42 mark, it looked like the Wolverines would hold on if they could recover the on-side kick (Vikings did have 3 timeouts left). The Vikings did a "trick" on-side kick, but went directly to the Wolverine returner who sat down on the field to be considered down.
With this in mind, "push-came-to-shove" as the Vikings players were desperately trying to rip out the ball. The Wolverines responded back and unfortunately, chaos ensued - players from both teams starting pushing and players/coaches came off the sidelines to help separate players as a fight at mid-field commenced.
As security and referees helped separate teams, the coaches and head chief referee met to discuss what would happen next. Together as a group, the coaches and referees determined it was best to call the game and have the game end with teams leaving to their respectable locker rooms. So as the game was called, so was the score, as the Wolverines won the game 20-18 and improve to 2-3 on the season.
Stat leaders from the game are as follows:
- Passing: Ryan Gibbons - 3/7 Passing, 0 INT, 1 TD, 84 Yards, Long of 49 Yards
- Rushing: Rick Pitrelli - 16 Carries for 66 Yards, Long of 15 Yards
- Receiving: Toby Kelly - 1 Reception for 49 Yards, 1 TD
- Defense: Luca Botti - 5 Tackles, 2 Passes Broken Up, 1 INT, 1 Blocked PAT
You can view season stats and game stats @ Valley on our stats page!
Notes, Numbers, and Information
- PENALTIES - 9 to 5: Penalties continue to be an issue for the Wolverines as they committed 9 penalties that were accepted as well as 5 penalties that were offset by both teams. Valley had 5 penalties and 5 offset with the total being 121 yards between the two teams.
- KICKOFF RETURN - 120: The Wolverines racked up 120 kickoff return yards, with 78 of them being big as Botti returned one kickoff for a touchdown.
- POSSESSION - 33:27 to 14:33: The Wolverines seemed settled with playing their game and being methodical with possessing the ball during the game.
- TURNOVERS - 4 to 1: When the Wolverines win the turnover battle, they win, they don't, they lose. 3 interceptions and a fumble by the Vikings proved costly in the end result.
The Wolverines come back home to play host to the Bobcats of Beaver for Homecoming Week. Beaver comes off of a good win over Central Valley, improving to 4-2 (1-2) on the season. Coverage of homecoming will begin early (TBD) on our website live stream.