CATAWISSA >> Bob Wolfrum has coached the Wyomissing football team to 328 wins.
It’s safe to say that the Spartans’ 41-21 victory over 11-time PIAA champion Southern Columbia on its home field ranks among his finest.
“This program is special and he’s a special coach,” Wolfrum said of the Tigers’ Jim Roth. “It was really special to play them. To be honest, I had no idea whether we’d get our butts kicked.
“I was hoping we’d play a good game. As it turned out, we played a great game.”
Amory Thompson and Drew Eisenhower each scored two touchdowns and the defense forced five turnovers as Wyomissing (6-0) snapped the Tigers’ 65-game winning streak, the longest active streak in the nation.
Southern Columbia had not lost since the 2016 PIAA Class 2A championship game against Steel Valley. The Tigers had won 93 consecutive games in the regular season before losing Friday night in a meeting of state powers, Southern in 2A and Wyomissing in 3A.
“It’s great,” Thompson said. “The atmosphere here is insane. Some people said it was like a playoff atmosphere. The place was packed. We were totally aware of their winning streak. We’ve been talking about this for two years.”
Thompson, a 6-1, 185-pound senior, set the tone with a 41-yard touchdown run on the Spartans’ first possession and a 98-yard kickoff return a few minutes later. He made sure that Wyomissing never trailed.
“The linemen did their job perfectly (on the TD run),” Thompson said. “We’ve been practicing all week. They executed very well and made the biggest hole I could run through. And I hit it.”
A few minutes later, after Southern Columbia (5-1) scored on its first possession, Thompson bobbled the kickoff at the 2-yard line, watched his blocking develop, made two cuts and outran the Tigers to the end zone.
“I might get in a little trouble for muffing that one because we practiced kick return all week,” Thompson said. “We had a perfect blocking scheme. It was just wide open.”
Southern closed within 24-14 on an 83-yard kickoff return by Gavin Garcia and a 2-point conversion run by Wes Barnes. The Tigers defense made a rare stop before driving to the Wyomissing 26 in the final minute of the second quarter.
On first down, linebacker Matthew Kramer blitzed and knocked the ball out of quarterback Blake Wise’s hand. Eisenhower scooped it up and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown with 13 seconds to go in the half.
What might have been a three-point game at halftime turned into a 17-point lead (31-14) for the Spartans.
“That play was all Matthew,” Eisenhower said. “Matthew just came in and clobbered the kid. I saw the ball jumping around and picked it up and thought, ‘Why not score?’ That play was great.”
Even though Garcia ran for a 61-yard touchdown on Southern’s first snap of the second half, Charlie McIntyre answered moments later with an 82-yard sprint down the right sideline for a 38-21 lead. The Tigers never threatened again.
Nevin Carter intercepted two of Wise’s passes, Eisenhower had one and so did Aiden Mack. Wise was playing for injured senior Liam Klebon. The Wyomissing defense was superb, holding Southern to 219 total yards. Garcia rushed for 115 yards on 16 carries.
“Our defense was fantastic as it has been all year,” Wolfrum said. “I didn’t know if we’d be able to stop that back (Garcia). He’s hard to tackle. He still scored twice, but I thought we did a great job on him.”
Wyomissing’s running game was dominant, especially on the outside where it took advantage of its speed. The Spartans finished with 337 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
“He told us to come up here and play our game,” Eisenhower said of Wolfrum. “We don’t go anywhere expecting to lose.”
The 20-point victory came against a team that has won the last four PIAA 2A titles and against a coach, Jim Roth, who has 461 wins, tops in the state.
“Some people said earlier in the year that they didn’t think we could go as far as last year (when Wyomissing reached the state finals),” Thompson said. “They said they didn’t think we could beat Southern Columbia. We opened some eyes tonight.”
Source: Berkshire mont