MONTGOMERY With Wellsboro entering Friday's game at Montgomery at 3-3 it appeared to be just a slight possibility and more like a longshot of the Green Hornets playing their way into the Class A playoff picture. In fact, playoffs did not even enter Wellsboro coach Steve Boyce's mind while preparing his team this week.
However, for the Green Hornets to have any shot at a playoff berth, they need to win their remaining four games and get help. Without a win over the Red Raiders to start, four straight wins to end the season would be impossible.
With that as the background, the Green Hornets went out and got rushing touchdowns from five different players while racking up an impressive 338 yards on the ground as Wellsboro ran through Montgomery 46-22. The Green Hornets jumped out to a 26-0 lead in the first quarter and had a 40-8 lead at halftime while dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and holding Montgomery, which is still searching for its first win of the season, to minus-4 rushing yards.
Wellsboro’s Dan Saniga slips out of the grip of a Montgomery defender in first half action in Montgomery.
"We go week-to-week and there's nobody left on our schedule that we can look past so we're just concentrating on that (one game at a time) and if we make playoffs, great, but right now we just want to play well and win games," said Boyce.
"We have people that never played offensive line before until a few weeks ago," said Montgomery coach Randy Boone. "We have one kid who was a tight end who moved to center and another guy who was a receiver moved to guard. We really have a makeshift line and some are undersized going up against kids, juniors and seniors who have been playing on the line and our guys are giving all their effort but sometimes that's just not enough."
Levi Mack led the way for Wellsboro with 111 rushing yards and a touchdown while Jermaine Brooks (79 yards), Wyatt Covert (70 yards) and quarterback Michael Pietropola (62 yards) each had a rushing touchdown. Ben Shaw was credited with just three rushes on the evening but he made the most of them as all three went for touchdowns. Shaw equaled Montgomery's total on the scoreboard by himself as he accounted for 22 points including his four PATs.
"We thought that looking week-to-week, we have a good passing attack and running attack and we thought we could do well with our running attack this week," said Boyce. "I didn't expect five guys to score touchdown, which was nice, but this is really the first year that we have had both (running and passing threats) and can use them in a game situation, which is why I'm confident with what we can do moving forward."
Wellsboro scored on its first three possessions, getting rushing touchdowns from Shaw, Covert and Brooks to go up 19-0. After the Hornets came up a yard short on fourth down at the Montgomery 29 on their next possession, the Red Raiders went three-and-out. Wellsboro got the ball back near midfield and two plays later, Pietropola got free up the middle and went nearly untouched into the end zone from 51 yards out to put the Hornets up 26-0.
Montgomery got on the scoreboard on its next possession at Matthew Boone found Colton Harer for a 32-yard connection and Harer ran in the two-point conversion to cut the lead to 26-8. Harer accounted for all but two of Montgomery's points on the night as he would later score the Raiders' other two touchdowns in the second half.
Wellsboro answered right back and found the end zone on its next two possessions, with those ending in a 31-yard scoring run by Mack and Shaw's second touchdown on the night, this one from four yards out to put the Hornets up 40-8 midway through the second.
The second half featured Shaw's third touchdown of the game late in the third quarter another four-yard run to put the Hornets up 46-8. Montgomery then scored on its next two possessions as Boone found Harer for another lengthy touchdown pass, this one from 36 yards out, before the Raiders recovered an onside kick and then ended that drive with Harer's third score of the night, this one a four-yard run.
"I can't say enough about the effort, the enthusiasm and the hard work from the kids I have," said Boone. "They bust their tails each and every day, each and every night, and again tonight, they never stopped. That was probably the best second half of football we played all year."