While it wasn’t always pretty, Wilson earned its first win of the football season on Monday night.
With the Bulldogs leading Cheltenham by 26 points, play was suspended early in the second quarter on Saturday night due to lightning. Following another weather delay on Monday, play eventually resumed and Wilson hung on for a 40-26 win over the Panthers in a non-league game at Gurski Stadium in West Lawn.
In total, the game featured 26 penalties for 271 yards, five turnovers, 35 incomplete passes, 133 offensive plays and lasted more than three hours.
“It’s a W,” Bulldogs coach Doug Dahms said. “We’ll look at it, we’ll build off it and go from there.”
The biggest bright spot for Wilson was senior wide receiver Edison Case, who returned from injury and finished with six catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns in his first game of the season. On Monday, he had two catches for 17 yards.
“It was hard to watch the first two games from the sidelines,” Case said. “It really felt good to get back out there.”
With the Bulldogs (1-2) leading 26-0, play resumed on Monday with just over eight minutes left in the first half following a 45-minute lightning delay. Wilson extended its lead just over three minutes into game action, as quarterback Tom Hunsicker ran for an 8-yard touchdown to make it 33-0 after the extra point.
Cheltenham (0-2) got on the board 44 seconds later when running back Tre McLeod broke free for a 34-yard touchdown run. McLeod, a senior, finished with eight carries for 36 yards and the score.
On the Bulldogs’ opening drive of the second half, McLeod forced a fumble, scooped up the ball and ran it 89 yards for a TD to cut Wilson’s lead to 33-13. The ensuing extra point was no good.
The Bulldogs responded on their next drive, as Hunsicker ran for a 25-yard touchdown with just over seven minutes remaining in the third quarter to make it 40-13 after the extra point. A senior, Hunsicker finished 21-for-27 passing for 291 yards and two touchdowns and had 46 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries.
“He was gritty,” Dahms said. “He’s progressing.”
The Panthers did not go away quietly, however, as quarterback Jonathan Ingram capped an 80-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown run to make it 40-19 with more than five minutes remaining in the third quarter. The ensuing two-point conversion was no good.
A senior, Ingram finished 12-for-40 passing for 148 yards and had 23 rushing yards and the score on 10 attempts.
Cheltenham cut further into Wilson’s lead in the fourth quarter when McLeod returned a punt 81 yards for the touchdown to make it 40-26 after the extra point. McLeod averaged 45 yards per punt return and 53 yards per kick return.
“We did some nice things, but our special teams still got to get to work,” Dahms said. “We eased up. We gave them a big play there (on special teams). We gave them a big play off a fumble return.”
The Panthers recovered the ensuing onside kick, but the Bulldogs sacked Ingram on 4th-and-20 late in the fourth quarter to seal it.
“You got to get one under your belt,” Dahms said about the win. “We’ll build on that.”
With the victory, Wilson heads into its league opener on Friday night against Reading High with confidence following a crazy few days.
The Bulldogs were scheduled to play Martin Luther King Friday at Benjamin L. Johnston Stadium in Philadelphia, but that game was canceled Wednesday when the Philadelphia Public League opted to not play its Thursday and Friday games due to last week’s heat wave.
The Cheltenham game was scheduled Thursday, then suspended Saturday before ending as a victory on Monday.
“We know we couldn’t get to 0-3,” Case said. “We know that we have to pull through. We needed to feel a win. It feels great.”
Source: Berkshire mont