By Rob Potter
ELDRED September 16, 2003 Visiting Hancock opened up an early lead in Saturdays non-league football game versus Eldred and kept utilizing its running attack throughout the contest.
Hancock, a Section IV Class D school, ran the ball 39 times for 319 yards on the way to posting a 42-15 win over the Yellowjackets.
Both teams were stymied on their first two possessions as a steady rain shower soaked players, coaches and fans in the opening quarter.
But late in the quarter, Hancock (2-0) took over on its own 29-yard line following an Eldred (0-2) punt. The Wildcats then drove to the Yellowjacket 1-yard line in six plays. On second-and-goal, senior Erik Schror scored a on a quarterback sneak to give Hancock a 6-0 lead with 26 seconds remaining in the quarter.
After stopping Eldred on a fourth down play on the ensuing possession, the Wildcat offense took over near midfield. Three plays later running back Jared Wormuth scampered into the end zone on a 23-yard run. Schror then completed a two-point conversion pass to Josh Rice to extend the Wildcats lead to 14-0.
Eldred answered immediately, however.
Senior running back Vinnie Reilly capped an eight-play drive with a 6-yard touchdown run to cut the Hancock lead to 14-6. Taylor Duiguid then booted the football through the uprights for the extra point.
But it took Hancock less than a minute to push its lead back to two touchdowns.
Following the Eldred kickoff, Jared Wormuth broke free down the right sideline for a 49-yard run to set up the Wildcats with a first-and-goal situation at the Eldred 6-yard line. Dustin Mac Rabie then carried the ball into the end zone on the next play. Mac Rabie then ran for the two-point conversion as the Wildcats took a 22-7 lead with 3:52 remaining until halftime.
A Schror to Rice 2-yard touchdown pass and two-point conversion run by Wormuth midway through the third quarter gave Hancock a 30-7 lead.
The Wildcats extended their advantage with fourth quarter touchdowns by Wormuth (a 17-yard run) and Abe Kellam (1-yard run).
Reilly closed out the scoring with a 55-yard touchdown run with 1:54 left in the game. Brian Daboul then caught the conversion pass from quarterback Nick McCormick.
Hancock Coach Walt Smith said he stressed to his players all week in practice that the Eldred game would be a more difficult contest than the Wildcats season-opening 79-0 rout of Odessa-Montour.
[Eldred Coach] Frank [Kean] runs a good program, Smith said. He really gets his kids ready to play and we knew it would be a tougher game.
Smith added that keys to the win were the Wildcats rushing attack and the way his team responded with a quick score following Eldreds first touchdown.
They played well, Smith said of his players.
Kean agreed that Mac Rabies second quarter touchdown run was a turning point in the game.
We came down and scored to get some momentum back, Kean said. But they took it right back with their touchdown.
Kean also noted that his teams nine penalties didnt help matters.
Reilly finished with 114 yards on 24 carries, while Tim Hallock added 48 yards on nine rushes.
Were headed in the right direction, Kean said. Well get there.
A scary moment occurred late in the fourth quarter when Yellowjacket safety Matt Counts tackled Wormuth near the goal line. The collision was so loud that it could be heard across the field. After a few seconds, Wormuth got up and walked along the sideline, but Counts remained on the field. After being attended to by coaches and trainers from both teams, Counts was taken to the hospital by the American Legion Ambulance Corps to be treated for a possible concussion.
Kean noted that Counts made a good, saving tackle on the play.
For Eldred, Corey Proscia was credited with five tackles and a quarterback sack and defensive back Patrick Kean made seven tackles.
Eldred will look to post its first win of the season when it opens Section IX Class D play Friday night. The Yellowjackets travel to Chester for a 7 p.m. game.
Hancock will host Roscoe at 7 p.m. Friday night in a non-league contest.