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MCAC 'Hounds need OT to beat Sharon

By Bill Albright

Saturday, October 20, 2001

Wilmington edged Sharon when the Tigers failed on a conversion attempt.
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa -- It was a classic Friday night as the Wilmington High football team outlasted Sharon for a 21-20 overtime win in a crucial Mercer County Athletic Conference game.
"It was just a great game between two good teams," said Wilmington coach Terry Verrelli. "It is nice to win those games."
Game-winner: Wilmington (8-0) scored first in the extra period on a 5-yard pass from Tim Hughes to Brian Baer. Kicker Jason Montgomery added the PAT.
Sharon responded with a 4-yard run by quarterback Mike Schneider, and Sharon coach Jim Wildman chose to go for two.
On the conversion attempt, Schneider took the snap, rolled to his right, but was swarmed under by the Greyhounds' defense.
"Our kids played their hearts out and we were at the point where we had stuck with a good football team for 52 minutes," said Wildman. "I felt that it was just time to roll the dice. That is the character of this football team. They wanted to go for it, I wanted to go for it and I'll take the heat because I have taken it before."
Montgomery may have scored the biggest two points of his career.
"We have two soccer style kickers and the thought of going for two never entered my mind," said Verrelli. "The other kid can kick too, so that is why we decided to use him."
The two teams traded scores in the first period as Sharon marched 75 yards on 12 plays, with Justin Schweiss going in from 5 yards out for the score.
On its next possession, Wilmington's Matt Krawchyk scored from 46 yards out to tie the score.
Differential: The Tigers used a ball-control offense in the first half, running 34 offensive plays to just 10 for the Greyhounds. With those numbers, Verrelli was happy to be tied.
"I suppose we were fortunate to be tied at the half," said Verrelli. "They are so big and strong and that is probably the biggest team we will play. Coming in, our biggest concern was that they might be able to drive us off the ball and they did that with the big fullback [Schweiss] and big quarterback [Schneider]."
The Tigers regained the lead on their second possession of the fourth period when Schweiss again scored from 5 yards out with 8:56 remaining. Wade Vogan intercepted Hughes' pass and returned it to the Greyhound 5-yard line to set up the score.
Wilmington came back to drive to the Sharon 5-yard line on its next possession, only to lose the ball on a fumble by Vogan.
Following the turnover, the Tigers managed one first down before the Wilmington defense stiffened and forced a punt.
With good field position at the Sharon 47, the Greyhounds wasted no time at all getting the equalizer.
Hughes shook off the earlier interception by completing two straight passes to wideout Baer, the first for 31 yards and the second one for a 16-yard touchdown and reserve kicker Montgomery's extra point tied it at 14.
"[Hughes] is only a sophomore, but he is very poised for a young kid," said Verrelli. "They understood that he is a better passer [than Nick Sheehan] so we had to go with him at the end of the game. He just did a great job."
Wilmington closes out its season next week at Reynolds. Sharon will play at Slippery Rock.