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HICKORY VS. SHARON Hornets feel the sting of a Tigers' comeback

By Bill Albright

Saturday, October 13, 2001

Down 21-7, Sharon rallied for 22 unanswered points in the last eight minutes.
HERMITAGE, Pa. -- For Sharon, it was a matter of bouncing back from a tough 13-12 loss to Reynolds one week ago, while for Hickory, it was a devastating loss in a game that simply got away.
Trailing 21-7, the Tigers clawed their way back to score 22 unanswered points in the final eight minutes to turn what appeared to be a certain loss into a 29-21 win over the Hornets at Tiger Stadium.
"I would like to say it was great coaching, but I don't know if I had a lot to do with it," said an exhausted Sharon coach Jim Wildman.
Tough loss: No defeat is easy to take, and for coach Phil Annarella, the loss to the Tigers (5-2) was extremely difficult to deal with.
"The kids played extremely hard for the whole game," said Annarella, whose team lost for the third time in a row, first to unbeaten Wilmington, then to once-beaten Sharpsville and now to Sharon.
The two teams exchanged touchdowns in the second quarter for a 7-all deadlock at intermission, but that is when both teams picked up the tempo.
In the third period, Hickory quarterback Ross Trimmer appeared to have taken control of the game as he engineered two drives and scored a pair of touchdowns on runs of 25 and 77 yards to give the Hornets (3-4) the 21-7 lead. For the game, Trimmer rushed 16 times for 117 yards to lead all rushers.
However, little did the fans know that Trimmer's effort only set the table for the heroics of Sharon quarterback Mike Schneider and fullback Justin Schweiss as the two controlled the action down the stretch.
Schweiss was the workhorse of the Sharon offense with 92 yards on 30 carries, while Schneider rushed for 63 yards and passed for another 72 to lead his team to the win.
Battling injuries: Schneider figured directly in all four Sharon touchdowns as he rushed for three and passed for the fourth. With four starters out of the lineup with injuries, Wildman knew that other people had to step up.
With his team facing the 14-point deficit, Wildman also knew if his team got one big play in a hurry, it would have a chance to pull the game out.
As for the comeback, Schneider hit Jake Braymer with a 14-yard scoring pass with 8:03 on the clock, and the 6-foot-3-inch, 215-pound quarterback took over on the ground as he sprinted for 12 and 21 yards for the final two scores of the game.
Following the 12-yard run to paydirt, Wildman chose to go for two points and the win, and Schweiss delivered with a run off the right side of his offensive line to make it 22-21 with just over four minutes left.
With the Tigers clinging to a slim 22-21 lead and time running out, Schneider's final six-pointer came with only 29 ticks of the clock.