With Wilson players going out of the game almost faster than coach Doug Dahms could replace them, someone needed to make a play.
Up stepped wide receiver TJ Flite.
Flite took a handoff from third-string quarterback Nick Crocona and raced 50 yards for a touchdown on a jet sweep to give Wilson a seemingly comfortable 20-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.
Wilson held on to defeat Central Dauphin 27-21 Saturday night in a rain-delayed season-opening high school football game by recovering an onside kick attempt in the final minute.
“I got the ball in my hands and I knew I needed to make a big play,” Flite said. “I saw a little hole and I had to execute.”
Starting quarterback Brad Hoffman and backup Gannon Brubaker were both out when Crocona was called into the game. He entered with third-string running back Jaison Beckford already in the game due to injuries to starter Jadyn Jones and backup Gavin Lenart.
In addition, Cameron Jones, who returned a punt 70 yards for Wilson’s first touchdown, also was out for the entire second half. But other players just kept stepping up.
“I don’t think it’s anything serious,” Dahms said. “A lot of little dinks and cramps. It was a big, physical game. They’re guys hit, we hit. A lot of guys get dinged and that’s what happens.”
Jadyn Jones ran 1 yard for a touchdown in the second quarter to give Wilson a 13-0 lead. He finished with 110 yards on 16 carries before he was injured at the end of a 20-yard run to the Central Dauphin 2 late in the third quarter.
Lenart, who had left the game earlier, returned on the first play of the fourth quarter to run 2 yards for a touchdown to give Wilson a 21-7 lead. Brubaker threw to freshman Brady Kline for the two-point conversion after Lenart’s TD on a play that showcased Wilson’s depth.
“You get a little worried but we have the mentality that everyone is going to step up,” Flite said. “We got people behind people ready to step up and make a play and that’s what we did.”
Flite’s TD run with 7:11 left in the fourth quarter gave Wilson a seemingly comfortable lead.
But Central Dauphin answered with a pair of touchdown drives and pulled within six points when Tyrell English scored on a 2-yard run with 52 seconds left for his second TD of the fourth quarter.
But Wilson just had to kneel down twice after recovering the onside kick to preserve the win in a battle of District 3 Class 6A heavyweights who have combined to win 11 District 3 championships.
Hoffman, in his first start at Wilson after transferring from Berks Catholic, rushed for 70 yards and completed just 5-of-12 passes for 63 yards.
Central Dauphin quarterback Max Mosey rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown and completed 10-of-16 passes for 130 yards.
For the most part, Wilson avoided giving up the big play until Mosey scrambled and hit David Chase for a 63-yard gain in the closing minutes that set up English’s second touchdown.
Source: Berkshire mont