The Wyomissing football team was treated to a special guest at its halftime Homecoming celebrations during the Spartans’ 38-7 win over Cocalico Saturday in a Lancaster-Lebanon Section 5 game.
For the second week in a row, Penn State coach James Franklin captured local attention as the Nittany Lions coach paid a visit to Wyomissing’s A Field to see his five-star offensive line recruit, J’ven Williams.
Franklin visited Exeter’s Joey Schlaffer on Sept. 30 at Reiffton.
“It’s amazing for him to be able to come out here and support our community,” Williams said. “He’s, of course, famous so it means a lot to our community and to the kids here. We’re from eastern Pa, so we all love Penn State, and so it does mean a lot. It really does.”
Though his visit was brief, spanning halftime and some of the third quarter, Franklin made the most of his time by signing autographs and taking pictures with kids who were eager to see him.
In addition, Penn State running back and Gov. Mifflin graduate Nick Singleton was in attendance with Franklin and also greeted fans during halftime.
Singleton already is turning heads in Happy Valley, having scored five touchdowns in five games and rushing for 463 yards. Williams, a senior, said he is excited and comforted to know he will have a local connection with guys like Singleton and Schlaffer next year at Penn State.
“Not only does it make me super excited, it makes me a little bit more comfortable and ready to play,” Williams said. “Just because Joey is (lives) 15 minutes down the road, Nick, 10 minutes, and I was able to build relationships with them just because we’re from the same area. So it’ll be nice to be able to connect with them and have something in common with some other guys on the team.”
While Franklin’s appearance provided plenty of excitement off the field, having only arrived at halftime, he and Singleton missed the lion’s share of excitement on the field.
Wyomissing capitalized on early mistakes by Cocalico as the Spartans (4-0, 7-0) recovered fumbles on the Eagles’ first three possessions. Wyomissing scored a touchdown after each of the three turnovers by Cocalico (2-2, 3-4) .
Drew Eisenhower, Andrew Forrey and Chase Eisenhower all recovered fumbles in the first quarter.
Fullback Matthew Kramer scored on runs of 1, 14 and 13 yards to give the Spartans a 21-0 lead after one. Kramer finished with 73 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries.
“We made them give us the ball,” Wyomissing coach Bob Wolfrum said. “I thought obviously, early we got those fumbles, but they really only broke a handful of plays all day. They didn’t have much today and we shut down an option team that has a pedigree for how long they’ve been doing it.
“I watched (Cocalico) against Manheim (Central) and L-S (Lampeter-Strasburg) and both of those teams moved the ball very well. They (the Eagles) didn’t win the game, but they moved the ball and, you know, the fumbles help us of course when they don’t have the ball. I thought we played really good defense.”
On top of the early defensive dominance, Ben Zechman provided an extra threat to Wyomissing’s run-heavy Wing-T offense as the quarterback threw for a career-high 138 yards and two touchdowns, both in the second quarter.
“We air it when we need to,” Wolfrum said. “He (Zechman) throws the ball very well. I think he throws 70% (completion percentage). And I’m sure he was at least at that today. Typically option teams and Wing-T teams are not (high passing) totals but the (competition) percentages are very high and you score a lot; we tend to throw near the goal line a lot.”
Zechman threw his first touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. On second down from the Cocalico 29, Zechman lofted pass over the Eagles’ secondary and connected with an open Ethan Brower in the end zone to make it 28-0.
Zechman threw his second touchdown with 3:46 left in the second, this time an 11-yard throwback screen to William Delp to make it 35-0. He finished 8-of-10 passing and threw competitions to seven receivers.
“We’re not known to throw the ball a lot, but when Coach Wolfrum likes to (pass), we’re trying to be really efficient with it,” Zechman said. “And we did a good job.
“Cocalico is a really good football team. And I think playing and beating a team like this can really show some other teams that we are still a very good football team. … We came together this week, and we played hard, but we still have plenty of things to improve on.”
Wyomissing recorded 164 rushing yards along with Zechman’s 138 passing yards; an unusually balanced offense for a team that came into the game averaging 367 rushing yards per game.
When asked on the possibility of incorporating more of the pass game into the offense, Zechman humbly said he did not want to rock the boat despite his career-high performance.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever have the guts to ask Coach Wolfrum to,” Zechman said about passing more often. “But I think maybe he’ll be more favorable to see that we were pretty efficient today so maybe we can throw it a little bit more.”
In the second half, kicker Ian Leverling closed the scoring for the Spartans on a 19-yard field goal with 4:57 to go in the third.
The Eagles scored their lone touchdown on a 3-yard run with 11:54 left in the fourth.
With the Homecoming festivities out of the way and a Berks County record 32-game regular season winning streak still intact, Williams and the Spartans are focused on continuing to take things week-by-week and hopefully embark on another deep postseason run.
“The goal is to beat the next opponent, one week at a time,” Williams said. “Two years in a row, of course, we lost in the state finals. We want to be able to redeem ourselves and bring joy to this community. So we just want to take it step-by-step, game-by-game, down-by-down, and see what we can do.”
Source: Berkshire mont
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