Wilmington stayed undefeated with a 27-18 over the Hornets.
By BILL ALBRIGHT
HERMITAGE -- After mowing their way through the likes of Linsley, Mercer, Grove City and Slippery Rock, the Wilmington High football team faced its first real test of the season Friday at Hornet Stadium.
After 48 minutes of hard-nosed football, the Greyhounds (5-0) passed their first big exam, downing the Hickory Hornets, 27-18, in a Mercer County Athletic Conference showdown.
The game was anything but pretty as the Greyhounds made their share of mistakes.
He'll take it: However, Wilmington coach Terry Verrelli was quick to admit that winning ugly is definitely better than losing in any manner.
"Between the mistakes we made and the good play on their part, they kept the ball the whole second quarter," Verrelli said.
"I always said the only way to beat a good offensive football team is not let them have the football and that is exactly what happened to us," Verrelli said.
"They have a good team, they played hard, and although it was ugly, we did win the game."
Wilmington got on the board early in the contest as defensive back Matt Krawchuyk picked off a Ross Trimmer pass and returned it 58 yards for a 6-0 lead.
On Wilmington's next possession, the Greyhounds marched 54 yards on six plays, with Brandon Boron going in from 3 yards out for a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter.
Stepping up: With the Hickory (3-2) defense shutting down Brandon Whiting to just 22 yards on 10 carries, Boron took charge with 63 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown.
"Boron played one heckuva game," said Verrelli of his fullback. "He grit his teeth and tonight, he did the job for us.
"I have always said that we didn't get him the ball that much with Whiting and Krawchyk doing most of the running, but he is fast, he is strong and he can run."
Just as Wilmington dominated in the opening quarter, Hickory dominated the second period as they ran 25 plays to just three for Wilmington.
Capitalizing: The Hornets made the most of the possessions, scoriong a pair of touchdowns to cut the Wilmington lead to 14-12 at the half. Quarterback Trimmer scored runs of 1 and 4 yards.
But the Greyhounds came out following the break and regained the momentum they had lost.
On their first possession, Boron picked up six yards, and Krawchyk ripped off a 74-yard run for a score to make it 20-12.
The Greyhounds stretched their lead back to double digits on the first play of the final period when quarterback Tim Hughes, who completed all six of his passes for 106 yards, found wideout Brian Baer for a 5-yard scoring strike.
Trailing by 15 points, Hickory scored a consolation touchdown with a minute to go on a 2-yard run by Trimmer.
For the game, Trimmer was the workhorse of the Hornets offense with 22 carries for 68 yards and three scores.