Wyomissing wears down Boiling Springs, 42-16

WYOMISSING >> The Boiling Springs Bubblers played one wing-T offense this year in Bermudian Springs, so they faced an uphill battle long before taking the field Saturday against the powerful Wyomissing Spartans.

All the Bubblers could do was play hard.

“They played harder than we did,” said Spartans head coach Bob Wolfrum. “It was obvious we had more talent, but those kids kept playing the whole game and gave us a hard time.”

The waves of Spartan running backs methodically wore down the Bubblers in a 42-16 Wyomissing victory. The win moves Wyomissing on to the second round of the District 3 Class AA playoffs. The Spartans won the state championship two years ago.

Senior Thomas Paolini led the Spartans’ attack with 12 carries for 124 yards, along with an interception on defense. Paolini was especially effective in the second half, gaining 59 yards on his final four carries, including a 25-yard TD run that made it 36-6.

Senior Caleb Naylor was next with 10 carries for 60 yards and a TD. Peter Geyer scored twice on his 10 carries for 32 yards, while Sam Weaver rushed four times for 37 yards. When the backups came on, Brandon Workman ran four times for 35 yards.

With runners coming from different directions, Boiling Springs head coach Nate Freier said the wing-T is tough to defend against. He called the Spartans a “tough, physical team” and “a very classy outfit.”

The Bubblers stopped the home team on its first two possessions, but found trouble after a Wyomissing punt pinned them at their 4-yard line. After a chop-block penalty backed the Bubblers up to the 2-yard line, RB Bryan Malone was trapped in the end zone for a safety.

Naylor capped off the ensuing four-play, 48-yard drive with a 21-yard sweep around right end to make it 9-0. After forcing a Bubblers’ punt, the Spartans turned in a nine-play, 80-yard drive to go up 16-0.

With two minutes remaining in the first half, the Bubblers finally broke through when senior John Vaughn took a handoff from his own goal line and broke free, outrunning the Spartans’ defenders for a 96-yard TD.

But Wyomissing responded immediately, going away from its power running game with a 68-yard scoring drive. QB Scott Kuczala went 3-for-3 passing for 48 yards and a 5-yard scoring strike to Naylor.

The second half began with a pair of three-and-outs, with the Bubblers fumbling a punt after they stopped Wyomissing. The Spartans recovered and took three plays to score again for a 29-6 lead.

Wolfrum inserted second-team skill players as the third quarter drew to a close, but put the starters back in after Vaughn scored a TD and a 2-point conversion to make it 36-16.

Freier said the Bubblers, who missed the playoffs the past two years, set a goal to “play football in November” and were satisfied to have accomplished their mission.

“I can’t say enough about how proud I am of them from top to bottom,” he said. “We are back to being the kind of football team we want to be.”

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