Stallworth

Farrell’s Anthony Stallworth carries the ball against Wilmington during Friday's Region 1 contest at Greyhounds Stadium.

NEW WILMINGTON – Farrell’s fury and the Steelers’ speed was greater than the Greyhounds of Wilmington’s will.

Anthony Stallworth sprinted for 224 yards, including 44-, 50- and 57-yard touchdowns, forging Farrell to a 54-0 Region 1 rout of Wilmington.

For Farrell (5-0 region, 5-0 overall) it was vindication for 4 consecutive setbacks to the Greyhounds, including a trio a year ago.

Five-time District 10 Class 2A kingpin Wilmington had won 27 consecutive games at Greyhounds Stadium before Friday night’s Farrell foray.

“Oh, my gosh, we talked about this for a year,” Steelers’ skipper Amp Pegues admitted. “Last October (the Greyhounds) ended our season, and that’s all we talked about for a year – try to get here, try to get over this one game.”

Stallworth surpassed the career 4,000-yard rushing plateau and now has scored 52 scholastic TDs – and he had a 77-yarder negated by a holding penalty. According to archives at The Herald he came into this campaign with 3.053 yards. He is pursuing Christian Lewis (4,313) for the proud program’s precipice.

“Ahhh ... you see what type of kid he is. He puts in the work, he’s strong, fast. And the funny thing about it is, he never asks for the ball,” related Pegues. “He’s never, like, ‘Coach, just gimme the ball.’ ... He’s just one of those kids who’s very special. He puts in a lot of work in the offseason, he gets it done in the classroom ... top back in the state. You know what I mean? Just very impressive.”

For all of his accomplishments, Stallworth – a returning Pennsylvania Sports Writers’ All-State selection – recalled the Steelers’ 2020 disappointments, rather than dwelling on 2021’s success. The Steelers have outscored 5 foes 276-6 and have yet to punt entering mid-October.

“We definitely came out with a chip on our shoulder. Last year (the Greyhounds) beat us three times in-a-row. And,” Stallworth emphasized, “little do people know, but they kept me to twenty-seven yards last game (2020 District 10 championship, won by Wilmington, 19-14). So I was emotional this whole week. Coming into the game I knew what I had to do, we knew what we had to do, all the coaches knew what we had to do, and they put us in the right position, and we came out victorious.”

Besides Stallworth – who praised his offensive linemates – the Steelers’ other splash plays included Taidon Strickland’s 36-yard scoop ‘n score; Trian Holden’s 33-yard scoring strike to Dwight Allen; Kylon Wilson’s 79-yard run off a reverse, and Rondell McClinton’s 12-yard TD run. Also, QB Kabron Smith spiraled 8 completions in 9 attempts for 69 yards as Farrell finished with 441 total – about 13 per play.

“You’ve gotta tip your hat to the Farrell Steelers’,” Wilmington Head Coach Brandon Phillian praised. “They’re a great football team, a great program. Coach Pegues and his staff did a great job, and Farrell’s players did a great job. I tip my cap to them and the effort they gave out here. They played a terrific football game.

“Anthony Stallworth is a special player, he’s a complete back,” Phillian continued. “He’s got that combination of speed and power. And not only is he fast and powerful, he’s got great vision. He sees things very clearly and makes decisive cuts. He’s a special football player, and you can see what a talented young man he is.”

Augmenting Farrell’s offense and spearheading the Steelers’ defense were linebackers Anthony Jackson and Strickland. Jackson set the tone early with a pair of ferocious tackles for lost yardage, while Strickland recovered a pair of fumbles.

“We told Taidon, ‘You didn’t play in the game last year (he was ejected from Farrell’s semifinal win at Albion against Northwestern; thereby per PIAA regulations ruled ineligible for the D-10 title tilt).’ But you can see what kind of player he is,” Pegues praised. “Two-time All-State linebacker – best linebacker in the business. He will put a hit on you.

“He’s our ‘thrasher,’ you know what I mean? He’s our guy comin’ in bruised and givin’ us big hits and and big plays, and he’s the fullback (blocking) for Stallworth. A lot of those yards (for Stallworth), he was the guy in there doin’ it, so a very special player,” added Pegues, who also cited the speedster Wilson and Omar Stewart, who hauled in 5 and 3 receptions, respectively. One of Stewart’s was his specialty – out-leaping a defender in the corner of the end zone for a 2-point PAT.

“Kylon Wilson, he’s special. ... That kid is so fast and he’s fearless,” Pegues praised. “Not the biggest kid, but he’s athletic. He should definitely be getting more (college) looks, but those’ll be comin’ up for him. He’s a special kid.”

At this point, Farrell faces a 3rd canceled contest. It already had Reynolds cancel owing to COVID, and with West Middlesex merging with Sharpsville, last week was another bye. Next week’s opponent, Pittsburgh City League’s University Prep, already has cancelled, so Pegues said he will transition from head coach to AD as he seeks an opponent.

Summarizing the Steelers’ shutout, Pegues said, “This was one of the games we had to get off out back, and this puts us ahead in the region, which is our first goal – the region, D-10, then a state championship. So it’s a good game to get us goin’.” 

For Phillian and Wilmington (4-1, 4-2) it’s “ ... a matter of focusing on your vision, not your circumstances. The loss is a circumstance – obviously wish the outcome would’ve been different,” Phillian said. “But you’ve gotta focus on your vision, and part of that vision is growing, improving, getting better every day. One thing I know, there’s gonna be a lot of learning opportunities to come from this football game. There’s gonna be a lot of things, when we look at the film, that we can study and improve on. 

“So our charge to our guys is, how fast can we improve on those things. What do we do when we get back to the practice field Monday to make the corrections and the improvements so we can grow and become a better football team as we move forward,” Phillian concluded.

While the Steelers serenaded Pegues’ wife, Lisa, with their rendition of Happy Birthday, he said, “Like I keep sayin’, it’s early in the year. We’ll definitely see ‘em again (Wilmington) – I’m pretty sure. But we’re just excited to be out here playin’ football. It’s just exciting to be out here playin’ football.” 

———

FARRELL        16   22   6   8   54

WILMINGTON    0     0   0   0    0

Scoring plays

F — Stallworth, 44 run (Stallworth run)

F — Stallworth, 57 run (Stallworth run)

F — Stallworth, 50 run (pass failed)

F — Strickland, 36 fumble return (Stewart pass from Holden)

F — Allen, 33 pass from Holden (Stallworth run)

F — Wilson, 79 run (Holden run)

F — McClinton, 12 run (Samuels run)

Team stats

FARRELL                  WILMINGTON

16     First downs              10

343     Rushing yards          106

98     Passing yards           32

10-9-0     Att-comp-int          11-6-0

441    Total yards             138

2-1     Fumbles-lost            5-2

7-70       Penalties-yards lost     4-43

Individual stats

Rushing: FARRELL — Stallworth 14-224, Wilson 1-79, Chambers 4-30, Strickland 1-5, Holden 1-3, Samuels 3-2; WILMINGTON — Edwards 15-59, DeCaprio 8-27, Miller 8-24, Mikulin 2-1, McConahy 2-(-3), Team 2-(-3)

Passing: FARRELL — Smith 9-8-0, 65; Holden 1-1-0, 33; WILMINGTON — McConahy 10-5-0, 18; McCallister 1-1-0, 14.

Receiving: FARRELL — Wilson 5-49, Stewart 3-16, Allen 1-33.; WILMINGTON — Miller 2-19 Edwards 2-5, Book 1-6, McCallister 1-2.

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