Call it the zone option ... the spread ... the read option ...
How ’bout the speed option.
With Matt Voytik orchestrating the offense for Hickory High’s football team, there’s no more accurate description.
Voytik victimized Sharon for 460 total yards Friday night, as the visiting Hornets humbled the Tigers, 38-7, in Region 3-AA.
After allowing a 21-0 margin at intermission dissipate into a 22-21 defeat to Greenville, Hickory (4-1, 5-1) has won 4 consecutive conquests by a composite 187-33 differential.
The ‘Stingers stunned Sharon for 595 total yards — that, considering Hickory had a trio of turnovers and a dozen penalties for 104 lost yards.
“It definitely put everything in perspective,” Voytik replied regarding the loss to Greenville. “You can’t take teams lightly, you’ve gotta go to practice every day and work hard, which we have been, and take the coaching. Do everything you need to do, bond together and succeed.”
Voytik ran for 5- and 1-yard scores to commence the 1st- and 2nd-half scoring, sandwiching a 62-yard touchdown toss to De’quan Lewis, part of a 12-for-19, 309-yard passing performance.
Lewis later sprinted 58 yards for the final score on a jet sweep around left end, while Lou Derloni dashed a dozen yards for a 4th-frame score. Jordan Wombacker went 5-for-5 on PATs and also added a 28-yard field goal.
“ ... We’ve all gotten quicker,” Voytik understated, later relating,
“That was Coach (Jason) McElhaney’s plan from the beginning: throw the ball, run the ball, zone option, outsize zone, all that stuff, and we’ve got the guys to do it.
“As long as we keep doin’ it, we’re gonna be unstoppable.”
In addition, it was a virtual shut out of Sharon for the ’Stingers. Hickory permitted only 153 total yards, sacked Sharon signal-caller Andrew Tomko a handful of times (Austin Aikins 1 1/2, Daulton Linton 1 1/2, and Wombacker and Zach Cirillo 1 apiece), and pilfered a pair of his passes (Andrew Pryts and Kenny Ezi-Ashi).
The lone score for Sharon (3-2, 3-3) was Curtis Seay’s 85-yard return of Voytik’s 2nd-stanza fumble. At the time it tied the tilt at 7 with 5:43 remaining to intermission.
From that juncture Hickory had its way.
“ ... Our team speed really showed up (Friday) night,” began Hickory head coach Bill Brest. “I think Matt Voytik did a great job orchestrating the offense, and he has a lot of weapons.
“I think (Sharon head coach Jim Wildman) said he was gonna try to stop most of the weapons, but not all the weapons.
“I’m proud of every, single one of them,” Brest continued. “There was a little bit of adversity that we went through this week (senior Davon Tindall was dismissed from the team, owing to a legal situation), but I’m proud of them, and it’s all about those kids right there.
“I think because (Sharon) is an emotional game, I think it got the best of us,” continued Brest, regarding the plethora of penalties. “We preach fundamentals and I’m not happy about (penalties) — that comes back to me, but other than that ... boy, oh boy!
“The physicality of our kids playing defensively, Technically that was a shutout defensively ... the offensive line’s jelling together ... special teams — it was just a total team effort.”
While Wildman was impressed with Hickory — Pryts pulled in a handful of passes for 155 yards, while Lewis lent a trio of catches for 105 and Anthony Cannone caught 3 more for 39 — though not pleased with his club’s performance.
“I said beforehand, and I’ll say now: Matt Voytik runs the show, he’s a great athlete — he’s proven that in track and last year during football season. He can run the ball, he can get out of trouble, he can throw the ball. If you’re wearing red and white, he’s an exciting guy to watch. ... He’s got escapabilityy, good head on his shoulders obviously.
“He wasn’t a one-man show, but he directs the show.”
“We’re in the hunt, and that’s gotta be the theme for the next four weeks,” Wildman continued. “The first goal is five-hundred (won-loss record) and the second goal is getting into the playoffs.
“We’re hopin’ to have a place at the table, and that’s what we’re working for,” Wildman concluded.
“We like where we’re at. We feel we control our destiny, and we’re very comfortable with where we at right now,” Brest said. “One of the biggest things we learned — and (Greenville’s) a very good football team — in week two was we didn’t finish. I think we’ve learned how to finish. I think the last couple games ... I think you saw the second-half team that we are. We’ve really been playing well in the second half.”
Note: Regarding Tindall, Brest said, “We defer everything to superintendent Dr. Dan Bell. But we love the kid, we miss him, we hope he does well.”
HICKORY 7 7 10 14 38
SHARON 0 7 0 0 7
H — Voytik, 5 run (Wombacker kick)
S — Seay, 85 fumble return (Gill kick)
H — Lewis, 62 pass from Voytik (Wombacker kick)
H — Voytik, 1 run (Wombacker kick)
H — Wombacker, 28 field goal
H — Derloni, 12 run (Wombacker kick)
H — Lewis, 58 run (Wombacker kick)
22 First downs 9
286 Rushing yards 56
309 Passing yards 97
19-12-0 Att-comp-int 16-10-2
595 Total yards 153
12-104 Fumbles-lost 0-0
4-3 Penalties-yards lost 4-34
Rushing: HICKORY — Voytik 20-151, Lewis 4-68, Derloni 10-60, Carr 3-7; SHARON — Johnson 9-48, Hawkins 12-22, Thompson 2-7, Rudolph 1-6, Tomko 6-(-27).
Passing: HICKORY — Voytik 19-12-0, 309; SHARON — Tomko 16-10-2, 97.
Receiving: HICKORY — Pryts 5-155, Lewis 3-105, Cannone 3-39, Derloni 1-10; SHARON — Austin 5-81, Hawkins 2-(-4), Johnson 1-8, Moseley 1-6, Vanderslice 1-6.
Call it the zone option ... the spread ... the read option ...
NFL NOTEBOOK: Ex-Sharon star Austin hopes to spark Lions' defense
THE TALENTED — albeit underachieving — Detroit Lions commence camp July 27 in Allen Park, Mich. as the National Football League prepares for the 2014 season.
Racing to fight cancer
Former Hickory High athlete Amanda Budzowski is on the run — the run to raise money to fight cancer.
Budzowski is part of Team in Training, an organization that has raised more than $1.4 billion for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since forming in 1988. Her division is known as IRONTEAM and she is currently training for the 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon in Mont Tremblant, Canada, in August.
SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians need fast start after All-Star break
SO FAR, so good. I’m referring to the start of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians after the All-Star break on Friday night.
Both teams rallied to win. The Buccos beat the Colorado Joints — err, I mean Rockies — by coming from behind in the 8th inning. Since they legalized marijuana sales in that state, it gave new meaning to John Denver’s song “Rocky Mountain High.”
Rutters earn spot in national motocross event
The brother-sister racing duo of Elijah and Dannah Rutter of Mercer are set to travel to Hurricane Mills, Tenn., to compete soon in the prestigious 33rd annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships presented by AMSOIL at Loretta Lynn Ranch.
Elijah, 18, and Dannah, 16, earned a ticket to the event with their performances at qualifiers and then regionals and are among the top 5 percent of riders in the U.S. Overall, 20,000 hopefuls from across the U.S. competed and there are only 1,446 qualifying spots at nationals.
Notebook: Sharon football greats meet, reunite at inaugural golf scramble
Mid-July, with the temperature 80-plus degrees at Avalon at Buhl Country Club; however, it felt like a fall, football Friday.
The inaugural Sharon Football Boosters 4-man golf scramble took place recently, and served as a Who’s Who in the Tigers’ triumphant tradition.
SPORTVIEW: All is right with the world - LeBron has come home!
HAPPY DAYS are here again. The prodigal child has returned!
The announcement that “King James” is returning to Cleveland has created a level of euphoria not seen since the Browns won the city’s last major sport championship a couple of years ago.
What’s that? Oh, yeah — make that 50 years ago (1964).
Full text of LeBron's essay in SI
LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday in an essay that he wrote for Sports Illustrated. The following is the full text of that essay.
Snyder, Gordon, Popatak named to All-State team
Grove City High’s David Gordon, Sharpsville’s Greg Popatak and Lakeview’s Logan Snyder recently were named to the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.
Synder was selected 1st-Team in Class A as a designated-hitter, while Gordon was honorably-mentioned in Class AAA and Popatak similarly was honored in AA. Gordon gained his laurels as a pitcher; Popatak as a 3rd baseman.
Oprah lands first interview with Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Matthew
Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, is breaking his silence for the first time since his father's 2012 conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, sitting down with Oprah to tell his story.
Little League Tournaments
Sharon won the District 2 Major Division (12-year-olds) Championship, while Greenville 9-10 and West Middlesex 11 teams notched tournament victories in recent action.
Hermitage Brennan Chiropractic won the Mercer County 14-under championship recently.
Following are game reports:
The First Tee of Sharon celebrates 15th anniversary
Professional golf star John Cook has received many honors and awards in his illustrious career, but probably none mean as much as those similar to the one he received Monday afternoon at The First Tee of Sharon.
During a special ceremony to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the local program, a permanent plaque was unveiled in his honor describing the contributions he has made to junior golf.
SPORTVIEW: John Cook here Monday for First Tee; other celebs on July 11
THE RETURN of Tiger Woods to a PGA event sparked a lot of interest this past week. The return of John Cook to Buhl Farm Golf Course Monday will do the same locally.
Cook, a standout on the Champions Tour and outstanding TV golf analyst, will conduct a clinic at 11 a.m. Monday at the course to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of The First Tee of Sharon program.
It is open to the public at no charge.
Hickory honors Tri-Athletes
Hickory High honored its 2013-14 tri-athletes in a recent ceremony, the latest installment in a program that began in 2003-04.
Fifty student-athletes (grades 9-12) were cited for having competed in at least one sport in the fall, winter and spring while maintaining a minimum B (85 percent) grade-point-average during the first three 9-week grading periods of the academic year.
SPORTVIEW: Ex-Greenville man to enter Bedford County Hall
HUGHEY TATE was the greatest baseball player that ever lived — hitting 10,000 home runs and never making an out in 50 years on the diamond.
OK, that’s not true of course. But that’s the way Hughey would have told it before bursting into laughter.
Tate, a Greenville man who was as good at spinning a yarn as well as he was in hitting home runs, will be inducted posthumously into the Bedford County (Pa.) Hall of Fame Saturday. Some of his relatives from this area will attend the ceremonies.
Wilson wins Herald-Tamie Jr. golf crown
It was a case of family history trumping golfing history!
Hickory High golfer Billy Colbert had a chance to become only the second player ever to win the Herald-Tam O’Shanter Golf Championship four times. But he missed the final round of the tourney Wednesday along with his brother Colbert to attend his great-grandma’s funeral in Pittsburgh.
“I kind of wish he was here,” said the 2014 champion Jacob Wilson, a Kennedy Catholic High player who lost in a sudden-death playoff to Colbert last year. “But you play whoever is here. And in golf, you play against yourself too.”
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