Wellsville tops rival Knights

TORONTO – Wellsville scored twice in the first quarter and that was all it needed, but the Tigers tacked on a field goal and two fourth period touchdowns for good measure, as they downed Toronto 31-6 last night.

The victory gave veteran coach Rich Wright his first win since he got back into coaching this year at Wellsville. Wright coached 14 years at Beaver Local earlier in the decade, but got out of coaching in 2012.

While Wright was happy about the win, he didn’t feel his Tigers played as well as they could.

“We had to go under center more than we planned because some guys got winded and cramped so we had to make some adjustments,” Wright said. “But I’m happy. I’ll take a win.

“I thought Toronto played extremely hard, but it is tough in this (hot, muggy) weather. Our backups really stepped up and we had some special team errors. We had some penalties that stopped some drives, but other than that I thought we played pretty well.”

The Wellsville defense was stingy and made the Red Knights one dimensional. The Red Knights ran 56 total plays and sophomore quarterback, Blaze Glenn either passed or threw the football 47 of those plays. Toronto’s longest gain was a 36-yard pass and run from Glenn to Nate Stewart late in the fourth quarter after Wellsville scored its final touchdown.

“We need to be a big-play team, but when you play a team that is veteran like that and big up front it is hard to break those big plays,” Red Knight coach, Eric Meek explained. “Wellsville is a veteran team with a tremendous senior class. I think our kids played about as hard they could and I’m proud of that.

“I wish we could have gotten a few more scores. We were down there a couple of times and had a penalty. We couldn’t get it in when we got in the red zone. So we have to work on our red zone offense, but I think we played hard and Wellsville’s a very good, veteran football team.”

Zack Mellott got the Tigers on the board first with a 37-yard dash to the end zone down the right sideline. Cavan LeMasters, who was successful with his extra point kicks after all four of Wellsville’s touchdowns and booted a 30-yard field goal through the uprights as the first half clock ran out, made the score 7-0 with 4:48 left in the first period.

It appeared the Red Knights would retaliate quickly when Charles Ross III took LeMasters’ kickoff at his own 5 and dashed all the way to the Wellsville 13 before being hauled down from behind. However, Toronto was forced to put the ball in play at their own 15 due to a penalty on the kickoff return. Instead, the Red Knights went three-and-out and were forced to punt.

Wellsville began the drive inside Toronto territory at the 45 and marched to the 24 with the help of a Red Knight pass interference penalty.

Senior Tiger quarterback, Jordan Sloan hit tight end Seth Bradford for a 24-yard touchdown that proved to be the game winner.

The Red Knights got on the scoreboard late in the second quarter when Blaze Glenn hit Stewart, who was on a fade pattern to the right corner of the end zone from five yards out.

Danny Zdinak’s kick was off the mark and when LeMasters kicked his 30-yard field goal, the Tigers held a 17-6 lead at the intermission.

The third quarter was scoreless, but the Tigers scored on the first play of the fourth period when Sloan found Camden Douglas open with a 10-yard scoring toss to hike the score to 24-6.

Douglas intercepted a Blaze Glenn pass on Toronto’s next possession to set up Wellsville’s final score.

The Red Knights received a nice return of the LeMasters kickoff by Sophomore Cody King from the Toronto 39 to the Wellsville 33, but three plays later, Douglas picked off the Glenn aerial at his own 30 and ran it back to the Wellsville 49.

That set up a 37-yard Marcus Moxley touchdown run on a power sweep to the left side. Moxley led the Wellsville rushing game with 92 yards on eight carries. Sloan completed half of his 10 passes for 101 yards.

Blaze Glenn also completed half his passes (15 of 30) but all were of the short variety as he netted just 82 yards in the air. He ran the ball 17 times for 81 yards.

The Red Knights return next Friday for what Meek termed a “very important game” against Bridgeport. The Tigers return to the home turf next week to host Southern Local.