Defense wins championships. It’s the famous phrase by many in football. Both teams on the field friday night proved worthy of winning based upon defensive play; however, only one team may prevail. The Hopewell Vikings were able to get that last push to win last night’s game over the Wolverines.
The first quarter accounted for only 7 total drives by both teams as the quarter only took 20 minutes of actual time. Both teams could not establish a good drive as both defenses looked stellar on the evening. Special teams played spoiler on the evening as Tyler Sabo for the Vikings took a punt 64 yards to the house to open the scoring on the evening 6-0. Joshua Progar PAT was good as the Vikings led 7-0 after quarter one.
Quarter two was more of quarter one – only 5 drives were made during the quarter. The Wolverines defense led by Coulton Cunningham’s play kept Ellwood in the game for most of the night. The defense on both sides carried us to halftime with a score of 7-0.
The third quarter statistically for the Wolverines the past four years has been the best quarter of scoring, with the Wolverines outscoring their opponents in those years by more than 80+ points. That outburst carried into this game as well. Two scores in the quarter, one by Luca Botti from 65 yards out on the receiving end of a pass by Andrew O’Brien, and one by Donavin Chambers on a screen pass for 8 yards from O’Brien helped Ellwood take the lead. The first PAT attempt was blocked, so the Wolverines went for the 2 point conversion on the second attempt. O’Brien handed the ball off to Rick Pitrelli who scampered into the endzone to give the Wolverines a 14-7 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was a back and forth battle by both defenses. Both teams had less than 200 yards of offense till late in the fourth quarter. Rushing was a premium at the time as both primary running backs had less than a 3 yard per carry till late. In fact, average per game for both teams was low – Ellwood averaged 4.3 per gain, and Hopewell 3.8 per gain.
Hopewell added a score early fourth quarter as a key turnover by the Wolverines gave the Vikings a short field. A pass play by Mason Colvin was caught by Michael Kovacic who was able to scamper into the endzone making the score 14-13 EC. The PAT attempt was blocked by Luca Botti, preserving the lead for the Wolverines…for now.
Hopewell received another favor mid fourth quarter as a fumble recovery helped the Vikings set up with a short field. However, the Wolverines Luca Botti was able to break through the line once again as a long 32 yard field goal attempt by Samantha Hysong was blocked and preserved the lead for the Wolverines…for now.
Another week of turnovers is what did the Wolverines in – another fumble led the Vikings to move the ball down the field with 5 minutes left in the game to the Wolverines 15 yard line. The Vikings lined up once again for the field goal as Samantha Hysong came out on the field to kick. The snap was good, the hold was good, and so was the kick. Samantha Hysong’s 32 yard field goal would prove to be the final score on the night as the Vikings took a 16-14 lead with under five minutes in the quarter.
The Wolverines did have one more attempt to win the game, and almost seemed like they would be able to prevail. However, a late fumble once again gave the ball back to the Vikings at their on 44 yard line as the Wolverines had no timeouts left and the clock showed 2 minutes. The Vikings held onto the ball and was able to kill out the clock, preserving a hard fought win by the Vikings.
Stat leaders for the Wolverines were as follows:
- Passing: Andrew O’Brien – 7/10 1 INT 117 Yards 2 TD Passes Long of 65 Yards
- Rushing: Rick Pitrelli – 15 Carries 67 Yards Long of 20 Yards
- Receiving: Luca Botti – 5 Carries 114 Yards 1 TD Reception Long of 65 Yards
- Defense: Coulton Cunningham – 9 Total tackles 1 Tackle for loss 1 Fumble recovery 1 Pass broken up 1 interception
You can check out stats from last night’s game as well as season stats on our stats page today!
NOTES ON THE EVENING
DEFENSE: The Wolverines’ defense proved worthy enough to keep themselves in the game. The Wolverines held the Vikings to 100 rushing yards on 35 carries, 93 yards passing on 11 attempts for a total of 174 yards given up on 46 plays. Average per gain for the Vikings was 3.8 and statistically Ellwood won most of the defensive categories against the Vikings.
TURNOVERS: 4-2 – Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. They kill drives and lose games. Ellwood’s 4 turnovers all occurred during pressure moments and proved the falter of the Wolverines on the evening.
STREAK: The streak continues to 14 as Ellwood continues to fight for that first win to break the streak.
INJURIES: Injuries continue to hurt the Wolverines as a few starters still have not seen the field. We will keep you posted for any updates throughout the week.
NEXT WEEK: The Wolverines take on the Beaver Falls Tigers who are surprisingly 0-2 (0-1) on the year. Ellwood will have to amp up their offense to put up points against Beaver Falls defense this upcoming week.
Be sure to check out stats, standings, and our week 3 preview this upcoming week on our website. Till then, GO BLUE!
Article provided by Bradly Windhorst