Weather delays loss as the Bulldogs air attack prevails
Sports fans around the Western Pennsylvania area knew that weather would become a factor in most of the high school football games played, but did not expect many games to end early. Some local games were actually called off early and some were to be resumed on the following day.
For the Wolverines and Bulldogs, their week 4 matchup was extended on the night, bringing back memories of when games were played at 7:30 PM and not finished until about 10 or later. In a game where one delay accounted for 46 minutes and another delay counting for 12 minutes, the Wolverines vs. Bulldogs game ran until 10:30 PM on the night.
With the weather making an impact, most fans would believe that the run game would be heavenly favored by both teams, but this was not the case. In a game where Bulldogs QB Zach Rosa threw for 5 touchdowns and 215 yards alongside of Wolverines QB Ryan Gibbons throwing for 104 yards, the passing game seemed the way to go as the Bulldogs used the air attack to prevail in a 3 hour and 32 minute game, 35-13.
Zach Rosa connected on 13 of 18 passes with 5 of those going for touchdowns while accumulating 215 yards passing.. Rosa threw touchdowns to Noah Yeck (2), Max Ujhazy (1), Noah Henderson (1), and Jake Pail (1). Although this doesn’t describe how close the game was right before halftime, it showed that the Bulldogs are not only able to run the ball, but now also have an aggressive passing game.
The key play on the evening came right before halftime (1:29) where the score was only 14-7 in favor of the Bulldogs. The Wolverines had the ball at their own 40 yard, but were bumped back to the 45 after a penalty. The following play the Wolverines used a trick play where QB Gibbons handed the ball off to RB in motion Rick Pitrelli who then turned and threw a pass downfield in hope of a long pass. Unfortunately the Bulldog DB Zach Rosa (who is also the QB) read the play and picked off the pass returning it 41 yards back to the Wolverines side of play. This led to one of the 5 touchdown passes for the Bulldogs as the Bulldogs took a 21-7 lead to halftime.
Halftime festivities included both bands performing on the track due to the weather as well as the courting of the 2018 LHS Homecoming Queen, who was Mia DeCaria. You can catch the replay on our Youtube Page. During the halftime festivities, another lightning strike occurred similar to the one that occurred three plays into the game, but this time only delayed the game a couple minutes.
The Wolverines came out hopeful to get back into the game, but unfortunately another turnover held the Wolverines from driving down the field. Off the turnover, Zach Rosa and company were able to capitalize via the pass adding his 4th passing touchdown on the night.
The Bulldogs would add another passing touchdown in the fourth quarter, accounting for their 35 points. PATs for the Bulldogs were all good by Kicker Nick Dinardo.
The two scores for the Wolverines came off of drives that involved passing, but were finished by rushing touchdowns - one by Rick Pitrelli 1 yard out in the second quarter (PAT good by Colin Smith) and the other by Donavin Chambers from 6 yards out in the fourth quarter (2PT Conversion Failed).
For just the second time this year, the Wolverines were outgained in yards and first downs. QB Ryan Gibbons finished 7-10 for 104 yards and 1 interception. RB Chambers finished with 54 yards on 13 carries and RB Pitrelli added 11 yards rushing and 79 yards receiving.
The Bulldogs now improve to 4-1 (3-1) on the season atop of the MAC conference while the Wolverines fall to 0-5 (0-3) at the bottom of the MAC conference. Next week, the Wolverines will take on the Beavers of Western Beaver which will be played at 12:30 PM Saturday due to Western Beaver not having lights at the field. Coverage of the Saturday game will start around noon on our social media pages and our Youtube Channel - Ellwood City Wolverines.