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 ...
Roundup: Sharon rallies to beat WM, 72-56
When West Middlesex High’s wonderful 2013 Final Four run ended last March 22, it was at Sharon’s Tiger gymnasium. And while Tuesday night’s circumstances were considerably less dramatic, they ended similarly.
The Big Reds built a 20-8 first-quarter bulge. Ultimately, however, West Middlesex made 27 miscues, resulting in a 72-56 District 10 inter-region setback at Sharon.
Roundup: WM girls beat UC; Sharpsville, KC fall
ä West Middlesex 52, Union City 27 — At Union City, coach Mike Williams’ Region 1-A Ms. Reds improved to 2-1 with a win over the Lady Bears of Region 4-AA.
Alyson Pierce scored 15 to lead WM, Noelle Murray registered 13 points and Allie Staunch bucketed 10 markers.
Hickory falls to Lions in PIAA Class AA western region final
SLIPPERY ROCK — Brett Brumbaugh brought Bill Brest back to reality.
Brest seemed, Saturday afternoon, momentarily lost in thought when a post-game question was posed. Perhaps it was because it had been 3 months since he had experienced the disappointment of defeat.
Brumbaugh-led South Fayette’s football team short-circuited a splendid season a step shy of the statewide stage for Brest and Hickory High with a 23-20 win over the Hornets in the PIAA Class AA western regional championship game.
SPORTVIEW: Browns, Steelers will both lose
THE CLEVELAND Browns quarterback position has been a revolving door this season, but at least one of the more successful signal-callers is back. Jason Campbell is recovered from a concussion and will start.
Does it really matter?
Roundup: Opening-weekend tipoff tourneys conclude
Kittanning Tipoff Championship
ä Hickory 60, Kittanning 32 — Coach Jeannette Whitehead’s Lady Hornets had an impressive weekend in winning the opening tourney of the season.
“It’s nice to get out of the game with a win,” said Whitehead. “The kids were anxious to get going.”
2013-14 hoops season begins with tipoff tourneys
Farrell Julius McCoy Tipoff Tourney
ä Kennedy Catholic 48, Imani Christian Academy 40 — The Golden Eagles set up an all local rematch with host Farrell by pulling away in the fourth quarter in a tight battle.
For KC, Gerald Zachar and Sam Crow each scored 13 points to pace the victory, Brown had 14 and Southerner 12 for Imani.
Brookfield boys win season-opener against Py Valley
It was a typical season-opener: Too many turnovers, some questionable shot selection, and careless personal fouls. But for Brookfield High boys’ bench boss Bill Kovach, “ ... always happy with a win.”
The Warriors were 7-for-10 from the free-throw line during the 4th frame, and held off Pymatuning Valley, 59-48, Tuesday night.
Hornets advance to semis with win over Central
DuBOIS, PA. — Some people could say the “third time is a charm.” For the Hickory High Hornets it was much more than that. In fact, it was glorious.
After losing in the first round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs the last two years, the Hornets finally nailed down a victory with a 37-27 triumph over the Central Dragons from Martinsburg.
Lakeview falls to Clarion Area in PIAA quarterfinals
SLIPPERY ROCK — In the scholastic athletic arena, “mercy rule” — while not politically correct in hyper-sensitive 2013 society — is a relatively accepted term.
Clarion High’s football had mercy-ruled all 13 prior opponents this season. And the Bobcats seemed bent on continuing their commanding conquests during Saturday’s PIAA Class A quarterfinal-round meeting with Lakeview.
Hickory focused on winning PIAA opener
The calendar reminds us that Thanksgiving arrives a little later than usual this year. But as holiday traditions go, this one has been pretty productive for Hickory High head football coach Bill Brest.
“My wife always has me put up our Christmas tree on the Friday after Thanksgiving ... and the next day, we’ve won. So I’ll be more than happy to help my wife put up the tree this Friday,” Brest related.
During the past 2 years Hickory has won District 10 titles on Thanksgiving weekend. But this year the Hornets harvested their 3rd consecutive crown last week, jettisoning Girard (21-10). Now Hickory (11-1) has a 1 p.m. date in DuBois Saturday against surprising Central-Martinsburg (11-2) in the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals.
Smart move by PIAA to schedule games early this weekend
Congratulations to the PIAA for making a good move that helps teams and fans of high school sports.
Wow, I haven’t been able to say that often enough!
But many of the high school football games this coming weekend will be played in the afternoon which is a real plus for traveling on possibly snow-blown highways at this time of the year.
Hornets 3-peat as D-10 champs with win vs. Girard
EDINBORO — When legendary coach Vince Lombardi said “the only good thing that comes from losing is the desire never to lose again,” he could very well have been referencing the future for Coach Bill Brest and his Hickory Hornets.
Since Hickory lost to Sharon, 14-6, in the 2010 District 10 finals in Brest’s first year at the helm of the team, the D-10 Class AA title game has belonged to Hickory. And Saturday afternoon at Edinboro University’s Sox Harrison Stadium, it was no different as the Hornets topped Girard, 21-10 for a third straight crown.
Sailors beat Devils to capture 1st District 10 title
NEW WILMINGTON — Lakeview may have a long way to go to equal Sharpsville’s success in the sport of football, but the Sailors jump-started the process Friday night.
With Blake Reddick roaring into the record book, the Sailors shut out Sharpsville, 27-0, in the District 10 Class A championship game at Greyhounds Stadium.
Hornets seek 3-peat Saturday vs. Girard
Bill Brest ... buffer?
Hickory High’s head football coach has broad shoulders and that’s necessary, because he’s taking on all distractions as his Hornets prepare for Saturday’s District 10 Class AA championship game.
Hickory (10-1) will attempt to hoist the D-10 trophy for a 3rd consecutive season when the Hornets journey to Girard’s backyard — Edinboro University’s Sox Harrison Stadium — to meet the Yellow Jackets at 1 p.m.
Hickory rolls past Northwestern in D-10 semifinals
SLIPPERY ROCK — They say that “Familiarity breeds contempt.” You can bet the Northwestern Wildcats are feeling a bit of the latter for the Hickory Hornets!
For a third straight season Hickory eliminated the northerners from the District 10 Class AA playoffs, this time by a 52-14 score in the semifinals Saturday night at Slippery Rock University’s Thompson-Mihalik Stadium.
- More Sports Headlines
- Roundup: Sharon rallies to beat WM, 72-56