The Greyhounds can clinch the league crown with a win next week.
By RICK ELIA
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- Let's put a disclaimer on this one: "Any resemblance to a late-season battle between bitter rivals with championship implications is purely coincidental."
It may have been viewed by some as a titanic clash. It turned out to be more like the clash between the Titanic and the iceberg, only this time it was the Sharon High football team that was sunk, 42-7, by Wilmington Friday night.
The Greyhounds (8-0, 5-0) clinched a tie for the District X Region 3-AA league title. A victory next week over Northwestern will give Wilmington the crown. Sharon (6-2, 3-2) lost its second game in a row after opening the season with six straight wins.
"We're very happy with the way the kids are playing," said Wilmington coach Terry Verrelli, who has a career record of 199-98-3. "My concern is defensively, and defensively they're just getting better every week. Tonight I think was a good sign of that. That was solid defense."
Solid might be an understatement. Wilmington held the Tigers to 21 total yards and one first down and forced four turnovers: an interception and a fumble recovery by defensive tackle Clint DeRosa and interceptions by Chris Burns and Collin Fulkman.
Good field position
Wilmington's first three possessions of the game started at the Sharon 12, 26 and 38, thanks to DeRosa's interception and fumble recovery and a 6-yard Tiger punt. They set up a 24-yard field goal by Nick Riggall, a 4-yard touchdown run by Forrest Minteer and a 7-yard scoring pass from Jake Reiber to Burns.
"On the interception our other D-tackle, Lou Campbell, batted it up in the air, and I guess I was in the right place at the right time," DeRosa said. "On the fumble, Lou caused it, and I recovered it."
"When you come down here against a team like that you cannot start games off the way we did tonight," Sharon coach Bob Fromm said. "Even if things aren't going the way you want them to go you have to be able to move the sticks just a couple times to kind of regroup offensively, get any type of confidence you can get and give your defense a little bit of a rest."
Sharon defensive lineman Jesse Kimmel returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown to cut the Greyhounds' lead to 17-7 with 9:07 remaining in the second quarter, but Burns' 19-yard scoring run and Reiber's sneak from 4 yards out pushed the advantage to 29-7 at the intermission.
Wilmington added a 17-yard scoring run by Minteer and a David Bruno 3-yard touchdown run in the second half to complete the game's scoring.
The Greyhounds racked up 357 yards of total offense and 23 first downs. Burns rushed for 100 yards and two scores on 12 carries; Minteer added 78 yards and a pair of tallies on 10 carries; Reiber hit 6-of-12 passes for 69 yards and a touchdown, and Nate Reynolds caught four passes for 41 yards.
Justin White had kickoff returns of 42 and 58 yards for the Tigers.
Sharon lineman Antonio Johnson was taken from the field on a stretcher in the second half. Fromm said he sustained a left leg injury.