It was somewhat difficult to comprehend, and in some regards almost painful to watch.
For the last several weeks Hickory High football team’s offense has been playing at a high level. But few could fathom Farrell having the Hornets hang 60 on them Friday night.
“We’ve been in playoff mode since about four weeks ago. We just keep talking about finishing stronger, finishing stronger. The second half we’re comin’ out and finishing so much better,” summarized Hickory head coach Bill Brest following his Hornets’ 60-14 District 10 inter-region rout at Anthony J. Paulekas Stadium.
Hickory (6-1) held a modest 19-0 margin at intermission, but erupted for 35 third-period points.
The Hornets’ unheralded Lou Derloni delivered a game-high 13-carry, 145-yard rushing performance that included 27- and 45-yard scoring sprints.
“Louie Derloni is a great football player in all three facets of the game,” Brest praised. “Louie Derloni did things in the offseason to get himself ready. Louie Derloni could be playing tailback in a lot of (offensive) systems. He carries the ball well, he blocks well, he runs hard, he plays a physical linebacker, and he’s just got a great head on his shoulders.
“We trust Louie Derloni,” Brest added.
Hickory’s big-play offense also included Matt Voytik’s 8-for-17 passing performance that included a 23-yard scoring strike to Andrew Pryts, and De’quan Lewis’ 60-yard scoring sprint.
Also, within a 10-second span of the 3rd quarter, Pryts pilfered a pass, returning it 41 yards for a score, then Jordan Wombacker recovered a Farrell fumble, returning it 9 yards for another TD. Additionally, Charles Carr collected another 5-yard TD run and Nick Cannone tossed a 9-yard TD to Noah Bianco. During the 1st half Wombacker whacked 27- and 25-yard field goals.
In all Hickory harvested 425 total yards, and during its current 5-game skein the Hornets have outscored opponents 247-27.
“Teams are trying to take certain things away, but we’re startin’ to find answers all the way around. The kids are just fighting through adversity, coming together as a team, and, hopefully, we’re peaking at the right time,” Brest said.
“We cleaned some things up this week,” Brest continued, adding,
“We always talk about ... the only people, we believe, that can stop us only is ourselves. And if we continue to focus on the fundamentals, get better mentally, get better physically, get better at the little things, we’re gonna be okay.”
Farrell, facing a 47-0 deficit approximately midway through the 3rd quarter, did not quit.
Dewayne Burns burst 77 yards for a touchdown — the highlight of his team-high 8-carry, 107-yard outing — and Alex Meyers fired a 30-yard touchdown to Deanté Phillips with only 22 ticks to play.
The Steelers shut out Sharon and Kennedy Catholic to commence the campaign, but have dropped 3 of their last 5 games — 3 of which at Lou Falconi Field. In the last 2 weeks Lakeview and Hickory feasted on Farrell (4-3) for 99 points.
Standup Steelers’ skipper Jarrett Samuels said, “Lot of changes. We’ve got about ten guys who won’t be with us the rest of the way, and they didn’t play (Friday) night. They were seniors, but we’ve gotta make some changes.
“No excuses, no alibis,” Samuels insisted. “We’ve got a two-game season to go. We’ve gotta band together. ... I’m not gonna waver. I’m gonna come here Monday and get back to the grind, get ready for Conneaut Area.
“Hickory’s an awesome team, they’ve shown us that the last couple years. ... But, again, we’ve got work to do,” the resolute Samuels continued. “Yeah, we’re stingin’ right now from the last two weeks. But we’ve gotta find a way to get up off the carpet.
“It’s a two-week season. We win two games, we get in(to the District 10 Class A playoffs),” Samuels said.
Samuels said the aforementioned casulaties were the result of disciplinary decisions by him and his staff.
“Again, I’m here to do more than just coach football,” Samuels emphasized. “I know comin’ back (from a 1-year hiatus) I’m taking my lumps, but I have to think enough of these guys that I know they can be coached up.
“It’s my job to make sure — even the guys who aren’t here anymore — I still care about them, I still love them as young men. But I’ve gotta go forward and do what’s best for these (remaining) kids. That’s my mission: Do what’s best for the kids and coach ’em.”
HICKORY 0 19 35 6 60
FARRELL 0 0 6 8 14
H — Pryts, 23 pass from Voytik (kick failed)
H — Derloni, 27 run (Wombacker kick)
H — Wombacker, 27 field goal
H — Wombacker, 25 field goal
H — Derloni, 45 run (Wombacker kick)
H — Pryts, 41 interception return (Wombacker kick)
H — Wombacker, 9 fumble return (Wombacker kick)
H — Carr, 5 run (Walters kick)
F — Burns, 77 run (kick failed)
H — Lewis, 60 run (Walters kick)
H — Bianco, 9 pass from N.Cannone (kick failed)
F — Phillips, 30 pass from Meyers (Meyers run)
18 First downs 7
297 Rushing yards 116
128 Passing yards 62
18-9-0 Att-comp-int 11-5-2
425 Total yards 178
1-0 Fumbles-lost 6-3
4-50 Penalties-yards lost 11-53è
Rushing: HICKORY — Derloni 13-145, Sellers 3-63, Lewis 2-58, Carr 5-24, Voytik 5-3, Cannone 1-3, Fox 1-1; FARRELL — Burns 8-107, James Jackson 2-18, Guelledge 6-8, Gavis 4-5, Newel 2-1, John Jackson 3-(-3), Meyers 3-(-12), Team 1-(-8).
Passing: HICKORY — Voytik 17-8-0, 119; N.Cannone 1-1-0, 9; FARRELL — Meyers 7-4-2, 66; Guelledge 4-1-0, (-4).
Receiving: HICKORY — Lewis 4-47, Pryts 2-17, Derloni 1-32, Steach 1-23, Bianco 1-9; FARRELL — Newell 2-40, Phillips 1-30, Burns 1-(-4), Gavins 1-(-4).
It was somewhat difficult to comprehend, and in some regards almost painful to watch.
Breese defends heavyweight title at PIAA Championships
HERSHEY, Pa. — Move over Rod Wright!
Lakeview senior heavyweight star Sam Breese had a goal coming into the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships this weekend at Hershey Giant Center — besides winning a second state crown, that is.
WM knocks off Neshannock in PIAA playoffs
SLIPPERY ROCK — The notion of Trey Staunch sneaking up on opposing teams is laughable. At 6-foot-3 and approximately 225 pounds, the stout Staunch is not sneaking up on anyone.
However after posting a game-high 31-point, 18-rebound performance in West Middlesex High basketball team’s 76-66 PIAA Class AA playoffs opening-round win over Neshannock Saturday night, Staunch said opponents may have been overlooking the Big Reds.
Hickory girls 26-0, oust Johnstown
SLIPPERY ROCK — At Morrow Field House Saturday evening, the Hickory Lady Hornets kept the perfect season alive with a 63-37 state playoff first round win over the Greater Johnstown Trojans from District 6.
“It feels great to get the win (Saturday),” said veterans Hickory coach Jeanette Whitehead. “We’ve been at this place over the last few years and we’ve been sent home in the first round so it was a huge win for us. I’m very proud of our team effort."
KC girls roll past California in PIAA playoffs
SLIPPERY ROCK — Kennedy Catholic High girls’ basketball team was in the ’hood Saturday afternoon.
Led by senior Taylor Hood, the Lady Golden Eagles eased past California, 53-34, in the opening round of the PIAA Class A playoffs.
Lakeview's Breese to defend PIAA title
HERSHEY, Pa. — If you are Major League Baseball player, a .333 batting average is great. But in wrestling at the state tournament — not so much!
Out of the dozen wrestlers that Mercer County sent to Hershey for the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships, only four (.333) will reach the medal stand today — led by Lakeview senior Sam Breese who shoots for a second straight gold medal.
Farrell edges Montour, 60-57, in PIAA opener
Montour High boys’ basketball coach Adam Kaufman lamented another season-ending setback. However there are several hundred coaches across the Commonwealth who envy his program’s recent success and would trade places with him in a heartbeat.
But during Friday night’s PIAA Class AAA playoff opener, Kaufman & Co. could not overcome those streaky Steelers ... those survivin’ Steelers.
“ ... Hey, survive and move on,” summarized Steelers’ skipper Roland Shannonhouse following Farrell’s 60-57 win at Sharon High.
GCC ousts Mercer in 1st round of PIAAs
The Mercer Lady Mustangs were outscored 16-4 in the final quarter of the first round of the state playoffs by the Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions, ending their season Friday night 56-31 at Sharon High School.
Senior Lexie Arkwright had a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double performance for the Lady M’s. She also snagged three steals. Adelyn Cook and Haylie Glass each added 4 points for Mercer.
5 area matmen to quarterfinals in Hershey
HERSHEY — Mercer County matmen had mixed results on the opening day of action in the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center.
Only 5 of the county’s dozen entries — led by defending state champ Sam Breese of Lakeview (285) — won their preliminary matches to move into the tournament quarterfinals which begin at 9 a.m. today. However the other 7 lost their first matches, although 3 are still alive in the consolations heading into this morning’s action.
Coach Chad Mild's Big Reds are road warriors
West Middlesex High boys basketball team did not play its first home game until after the first of the year, but competing at New Castle, Farrell and Youngstown’s Covelli Centre has served it well.
Witness West Middlesex’s 55-54 win over Fairview in last weekend’s District 10 Class AA championship game — at Edinboro University’s McComb Field House.
Boys PIAA basketball preview boxes
Who: Farrell (22-3) vs. Montour (16-8).
What: Opening round.
When: 7:30 p.m. today.
Where: Sharon High’s Tiger Gymnasium.
Hickory, Mercer, KC girls PIAA playoff boxes
Who: Hickory (25-0) vs. Greater Johnstown (11-14).
What: PIAA Playoffs, 1st round.
When: 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Slippery Rock University.
Shannonhouse's Steelers set for statewide stage
With the approaching spring, a young man’s fancy turns to ... what else? The PIAA playoffs. And when Shenango Valley scholastic basketball aficionados think of the postseason they think of Farrell.
Recently at E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium, the banners above were blowing in the breeze — ’52 ... ’54 ... ’56 ... ’59 ... ’60 ... ’69 ... ’72 — swaying as sprinting players created a vacuum of air rising from the floor. Melodramatic maybe, but there’s a feeling at Farrell that harkens back to the heyday when playoff success was a rite of passage.
Breese eyes repeat at state mat tourney
There is no doubt that winning a state championship in wrestling is a difficult thing to do. Winning two is even tougher.
“There’s a target on your chest,” pointed out Lakeview High coach Tom Tingley in preseason this year, referring to his star wrestler Sam Breese who won a state heavyweight crown as a junior last year.
Obviously that target hasn’t bothered the Sailors big man who is a perfect 32-0 this season as he attempts to become only the 12th Mercer County matman to win multiple titles.
WRESTLING NOTEBOOK: It's a young group of county matmen headed to state
THERE’S definitely a youth movement in Mercer County wrestling as demonstrated by the group of 11 matmen who are advancing to the PIAA State Class AA Championships on Thursday.
Eight of the locals are underclassmen. The only seniors are Lakeview’s Sam Breese (285), Reynolds’ Levi Stoyer (145) and Jamestown’s Mohamed Messai (182).
Breese and Stoyer are the only returning state place-winners. Breese, who has verbally committed to Kent State University to wrestle next season, won the heavyweight class and is seeking a second gold medal. Stoyer placed 7th at 145 and wants to climb much higher on the medals stand.
Kennedy boys forfeit win, are out of playoffs
The PIAA basketball playoffs do not begin until Friday, but Mercer County already lost a team.
Kennedy Catholic High disclosed Monday the discovery of an academically-ineligible player, who competed in last Friday’s District 10 Class A consolation contest.
Kennedy Catholic edged Eisenhower in double-OT, 66-62, earning a berth in the statewide tournament. The Golden Eagles were to meet District 9 champion Ridgway Friday at Clarion University’s Tippin Gymnasium in the opening round; instead, Eisenhower will represent D-10 as its 3rd-place team.
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- Breese defends heavyweight title at PIAA Championships