Published: Sunday, November 26, 2006
Wilmington jars Fairview to win District 10 title
The Greyhounds won, 23-6, to stay undefeated and advance in the playoffs.
By BILL ALBRIGHT
SLIPPERY ROCK They didn't do anything fancy. They simply took care of business on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
That was the approach Wilmington High took Saturday night as the Greyhounds defeated Fairview, 23-6, to capture the District 10 Class AA championship.
"It always feels good," said Wilmington coach Terry Verrelli. "You just hope that your team can get there and when the kids play hard enough to accomplish that, it means a whole lot to them. And obviously it means a lot to me as a coach as well. They [district titles] never get old, I'll tell you that."
After holding the Tigers to a three-and-out to begin the game, the Greyhounds promptly mounted a 63-yard, seven-play drive, culminated by a 1-yard run for the score by David Bruno. Nick Riggall's PAT made it 7-0.
Following Bruno's score, the defenses for both teams took over, forcing a turnover and five punts until the 'Hounds took over on their own 37.
Reiber leads another drive
From there, Wilmington quarterback Jake Reiber engineered another scoring drive, moving his club for the 63 yards on seven plays. Fullback Forrest Minteer bulling his way to the end zone from 1 yard out and Riggall made it 14-0 at the end of the first half.
Verrelli was quick to point out the importance of his team being able to get on top early.
"We try to do that and most games this season, we have been able to do that," he said. "The past couple of weeks, we haven't been able to do it and field position plays a big role in that. We have a good kicker who can get the ball deep and if we can hold them and get good field position, it makes that much easier to score."
The Greyhounds gave themselves a little more space on their first possession of the third period as they moved 67 yards on eight plays, with quarterback Jake Reiber scooting in from 3 yards out for the score.
Beatty leads defense
Wilmington's defense, led by Jeremy Beatty, held the Tigers scoreless through three periods before giving up a touchdown in the final period. Beatty had an interception and blocked kick to go along with numerous tackles.
"We worked hard all week and had a good week of practice," said Beatty. "It just feels great to have won the championship and right now, I am just excited about the whole thing. I love all of these guys and right now, we are a great team."
Now the Greyhounds (13-0) will move one more notch in the state playoffs against an opponent to be named at a time and place to be determined by the PIAA.
"There is always pressure there because they want to win, but you try to not think too much about it," said Verrelli. "It comes down to a bunch of kids scrapping for everything they can get and I try to keep that self-inflicted pressure off of them because it is no good. Play the game, enjoy it, and if another team is better than you are, they are just that, better than you."