LOWER GWYNEDD >> After a back and forth first quarter it looked as though Wissahickon had a good grasp on the Pottsville offense and would be able to keep them in check.
Unfortunately for the Trojans, big plays and turnovers killed them for the rest of the game as they fell 35-13 to the out of conference foe.
On defense, Wissahickon just couldn’t manage to stop the Crimson Tide’s passing attack. Quarterback Eric Wapinsky ripped the secondary for 157 yards and 2 TD’s and made them pay for leaving their defensive backs and linebackers on an island.
“They hit a lot of balls in the flat on us,” said Wissahickon head coach Randy Cuthbert. “We struggled covering their backs in the flat and it hurt us a couple of times tonight.”
The ground game worked nicely for the Crimson Tide as well as they tallied 219 yards rushing, 100 of which came from senior running back Darion Jacoby, and punished the Trojans in the trenches.
“For having the road trip, and the heat I thought we looked pretty good,’ said Pottsville head coach Tom McGeoy. “We forced turnovers and showed a little bit of that bend don’t break defense in the first half and turned all that into points which was great.’
Offensively, Wissahickon managed to run the ball effectively, finishing with 241 yards on the night, but the lack of any real passing threat let Pottsville key on their backs and control the pace.
Darryl Baldwin finished the night with 117 yards and a touchdown on the ground for the Trojans and showed that if the team could control the turnovers and big plays against them they could be a solid contender in the SOL American.
The offense looked good early, but just couldn’t sustain it in the long run. After a first quarter Pottsville touchdown they drove the field and faced a crucial 4th and 8 from their opponents 40. Schoenleber delivered a beautifully thrown ball to Antaun Lloyd and watched as his slot receiver took it the distance to make it 7-6 early in the second quarter.
Less than a minute later Wapinsky hit Tyler Timberlake on a perfectly timed wheel route and from there on out the Tide controlled the game.
After that play, it seemed like whenever the Trojans decided to go to the air they would end the drive in a turnover, as three first-half interceptions from Schoenleber gave Pottsville the edge they needed to get out of Ambler with the win.
“It was sloppy, we had a lot of turnovers,” said Cuthbert. “We have to get better in that department, that’s two weeks in a row with absolutely critical turnovers. I like the way our kids fought but we have to get better at taking care of the ball.”
Next week is a big week for the Trojans as they begin conference play with a matchup against Quakertown.
A season that started with a convincing win against Martin Luther King has seen them drop two straight, and they know that in order to be successful, things have to change.
“Defensively and offensively too we have to play as a team,” Cuthbert said. “We can’t have one or two guys make an error every play because that catches up with you and that has to be the focus. We’ve done some good things and made some progress in some areas but the penalties and turnovers are critical and we haven’t made progress in those areas.”