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TRANSFER, PA. Reynolds pulls off 'upset 2'

By Bill Albright

Saturday, October 27, 2001

The Reynolds' coach said he thinks Friday's win will erase doubts about his team.
TRANSFER, Pa. -- Officially, it is known as the Reynolds Raider football team.
However, after Friday night, the Raiders might be labeled the Mercer County Athletic Conference "Giant Killers" as they followed up an earlier 13-12 win over Sharon with a 7-6 upset win over previously unbeaten Wilmington.
"This game was about six seniors," said Reynolds coach Roger Shoaff. "They have spent four years here, and they did what they had to do to turn this program around. They were here four years ago when we were 0-9; they are here today, and they just gave themselves one of the greatest gifts they could have given themselves."
As for his team suffering its first defeat, Wilmington coach Terry Verrelli took the loss in stride.
"It is just a part of the game," said Verrelli. "The loss, the weather conditions, because you have to play in them. You have to be able to get through all types [of weather] and tonight it was miserable out there."
Doubts erased: Even with the win over Sharon, many football "buffs" might have still had their doubts as to just how good the Raiders were. But after the win over Wilmington, the Raiders left little doubt.
They became the first-ever MCAC team to defeat both Sharon and Wilmington in the same season.
"People had their doubts about us and I don't blame them," said Shoaff. "When you get your first big win like that [over Sharon], they wonder if you are for real or not. Sharon wasn't the only good football team we beat, so I think they have to know now how good we are."
After a scoreless first half, the Greyhounds scored on their first possession of the third period when they marched 60 yards on 11 plays, with quarterback Nick Sheehan sneaking in from 1 yard out for the score. However, the snap for the PAT was fumbled.
Play of game: Four changes of possession following the Wilmington score, the Greyhounds were faced with poor field position at their own 10-yard line, when the Raider defensive unit came up with the play of the game. Joel Davis pounced on a loose ball at the Wilmington 20. Six plays after the turnover, Tim Crawford bulled in from the 1. Placekicker Steve Weary split the uprights with the PAT, and with 4:43 left in the game, the Raiders had completed the scoring, 7-6.
"In games like this one, you are at the mercy of the weather and there is not much you can do about that," said Verrelli.
Both teams finish the regular season with an 8-1 record. Both squads will now enter the District 10 playoffs, Wilmington in Class AAA and Reynolds in Class AA.
"That [a loss] is a tough way to end the season, but you have to overcome all types of adversity if you want to win," said Verrelli. "We'll go back, work hard and we'll be ready for next week."