A battle of unbeaten contenders from Section 4 of the Lancaster-Lebanon League lived up to the billing Saturday as Wyomissing defeated Elco 28-14 on a rain-soaked Bob Wolfrum Field in Wyomissing.
“I thought they were pretty damn good and they played us hard,” Spartans coach Bob Wolfrum said. “We made a lot of mistakes in the first half, and I was really impressed with them. They’re pretty young yet and they just played hard. They played until the end of the game, but I was happy with us when the going got tough there.”
Senior running back Drew Forrey led the way for the Spartans (2-0, 5-0) on offense, scoring three rushing touchdowns and recording 164 yards on 10 carries.
Although, contrary to the many routs Wyomissing has put on on during its 40-game regular season winning streak, Saturday’s contest was very much anyone’s game.
And midway through the third quarter, the Spartans almost let this one slip away.
Misfortune struck when, holding a 21-14 lead, Wyomissing senior quarterback Logan Hyde was intercepted by Elliott Kreider and Elco took over at the Spartans’ 25.
However, on third-and-12 from the 27, senior linebacker Collin Niedrowski came up with a momentum-shifting sack that forced the Raiders (1-1, 4-1) to punt.
“So that exact play we had been studying all week on defense,” Niedrowski said. “When there’s no tight end and there’s no wingback I’m supposed to just go as fast as I can. So I saw that. The opportunity opened up and it was there, and luckily we came out with a huge stop.”
A successful punt pinned Wyomissing to its 2 with just under two minutes left in the third quarter.
Then, the Spartans, in their signature ground-and-pound fashion, went on a 14-play, 98-yard drive that lasted close to six minutes before Chase Eisenhower put it out of reach on a 3-yard TD run with 7:42 left.
“We had the ball in our own 2-yard line or whatever and we had a beautiful drive,” Wolfrum said. “We took it down the field and they couldn’t score it again; ran out of time.
“So that’s a good lesson to learn. Whether you say they played great, which they probably did and we did not, in the end, when the chips were down, we got it done.”
Forrey scored on runs of 54, 24 and 50 yards, and got the Spartans off to a hot start on their first driveas his 54-yard run capped a 7-play, 77-yard drive.
Forrey found a gaping hole up the middle on the play and credited his offensive lineman for allowing him to be mostly untouched on all of his scores.
“I think on all three of my touchdowns I was untouched,” Forrey said. “So that’s nothing I’m doing, that’s just running through the hole.”
Although, as would be the case throughout the game, Elco remained resilient and two drives later star running back Jake Williams scored on a 3-yard run to tie it up with 9:59 remaining in the first half.
After leading 14-7 at the half, Forrey gave Wyomissing some breathing room as he found plenty of space on an outside run and took it 50 yards for his third touchdown on the Spartans’ first drive of the second half.
Williams finished with 133 yards on 24 carries and put the Raiders right back into it at 21-14 when he scored his second rushing touchdown from 25 yards with 6:17 to go in the third quarter.
The Wyomissing defense was able to contain Williams’ usually high production as the senior averages over 200 rushing yards a game and recently broke the school record for rushing yards in a game with 320 in a 49-7 win over Annville-Cleona.
He also scored five touchdowns in that game.
“Today in the first half, I really thought we were struggling,” Forrey said. “Their O-line and fullbacks were firing out very well, and we just had to adjust to how hard they were coming. We (had to) dig our heels in and get low, and tackle the running back who is really good.”
“The game plan was for everyone to come together at once; like single tackling (Williams) obviously wouldn’t help,” Niedrowski said. “I feel like group tackling (was important) and with the weather obviously, it was fairly difficult but I think we did a great job at containing him to a certain extent even though he had two touchdowns.”
Neither the Raiders’ defense nor the consistent rainfall from Tropical Storm Ophelia could slow down the Spartans’ dominant rushing attack. Wyomissing recorded 353 rushing yards, while Elco had 162 rushing yards.
Eisenhower finished with 117 yards on 18 carries and Niedrowski had 32 yards on five carries.
“I thought this game was super fun,” Niedrowski said. “This was our first rain game of the year, and it was awesome. It was a battle and I’m excited to go on next week and the week after that and I’m ready to see what everyone has in store for us.”
“It was especially fun today,” Forrey said. “The coaches kept saying, ‘You love playing in the rain as a kid,’ and you just had to embrace that today.”
Source: Berkshire mont