Millionaires rebound

After a disheartening loss last week to Delaware Valley, Williamsport coach Chuck Crews wanted to see a response from his team. He didn’t get the response he wanted in the first half as the Millionaires were down at halftime for just the second time this season as Coughlin led 21-20.

But in the second half, the Millionaires rolled.

Williamsport held Coughlin to 136 second-half yards, Isaiah Hankins and Treyson Potts had two second-half touchdowns apiece and the Millionaires outscored Coughlin 29-7 in the second half as Williamsport bounced back from last week’s loss with a 49-28 win over Coughlin.

Williamsport (7-1) clinched a home field playoff game for the first time this century.

“At halftime we looked each other in the eye and said it’s time to play football, let’s stop messing around. Coughlin came up here with intention of getting the victory and they proved that in the first half. We had to meet their energy level and succeed it and I think our guys did that in the second half,” said Crews.”We don’t like losing streaks. We don’t want to get used to losing. It looked like there for a while, we had our heads in the clouds. But we came out in the second half and got together.”

Coughlin did a nice job of holding the ball and keeping it out of the hands of Hankins and the rest of the Williamsport offense. The Crusaders ran it 47 times and passed just once. After going 3-and-out on its first drive, Coughlin scored three straight touchdowns as Williamsport answered with three of its own. But on Coughlin’s three touchdown drives, it held the ball for a combined 15 minutes, including a seven-minute drive on its second scoring drive that ended with a Vincent Todd (14 carries 114 yards 2 touchdowns) five-yard touchdown that gave Coughlin a 21-20 lead. Todd and Jake Cole (22 carries 135 yards 2 touchdowns) combined for 176 rushing yards in the first half but were held to 71 second-half rushing yards.

“Our tailback (Cole) played hurt, he was hurt the whole game,” said Coughlin coach Ciro Cinti. “He played his (butt) off. He gave it everything he had and I wasn’t sure if he was even going to play today. That’s the kind of kid he is.”

The Williamsport offense picked up where it left off last week as Hankins led the Millionaires on an 11-play 79-yard drive. The senior went 5-for-7 with 70 yards passing on Williamsport’s opening drive as he found Treyson Potts on a halfback screen for the 15-yard touchdown pass. Potts had four catches for 63 yards, including two big 3rd down conversions on the drive. Hankins found Tristan Connor on the next drive for a 39-yard touchdown pass to give him 50 passing touchdowns in his career. Hankins passed for 250 yards and three touchdowns while running for 116 yards and a touchdown. His third and final touchdown pass went to big-play receiver Dante Wright, who caught a 32-yard bomb late in the third quarter.

“Senior leadership, what you are seeing is him blossoming as a football player and it’s a beautiful sight to see,” said Crews. “I’m so proud of him. I’m just proud of him and I can’t wait to see how his future plays out.”

The Williamsport defense, after playing a rough first half with missed tackles and getting pushed around up front, played much better in the second half as it forced a fumble on Coughlin’s first drive and everything changed from there. The Millionaires scored three straight touchdowns as it scored 22 third-quarter points.

“That was the difference in momentum. They scored right right away but we came right back and scored, we got the ball, we started moving again and we fumbled,” said Cinti. “That was a huge momentum changer right there.”