By Jim Flick
In a game that started out as a wild shootout between conference rivals, Wellsville defeated McDonald 35-14 on Friday night.
Marcus Moxley, Wellsville’s sophomore tailback, hit the target most often, gaining 220 yards on 24 carries. Moxley scored three touchdowns, on jaunts of 75, 64, and 23 yards.
In the first quarter, Moxley fired the first volleys for his team, gaining 159 yards on five carries, including a 23-yard dash for a touchdown and a 39-yard run.
“I was hellbent that we were going to run the ball tonight,” said Wellsville coach Dave Skinner. He said he told his running backs in warmups, “One of you guys is going to have the hot hand, and you’re getting the ball.
“Moxley said, ‘I got the hot hand, coach, give it to me.’ We had some pretty good blocking there for him, but he’s got another gear once he gets around that edge. He showed it tonight.”
Skinner said he also told his offensive line, “You’re going to win it for us tonight or you’re going to lose it, and they won it for us tonight. ”
The Tigers also took advantage of McDonald mistakes, recovering four fumbles and snagging an interception.
Wellsville fired the first shot of the night, recovering an onside kick on the game’s opening kickoff. The Tigers recovered the ball at McDonald’s 35-yard line. Moxley gained 11 yards on the first play.
Two plays later, Moxley dashed 23 yards into the end zone to complete the drive. Sophomore Cavin LeMasters kicked the extra point.
McDonald evened the score on its first possession, scoring a touchdown when quarterback Christian Rusinowski lofted a 42-yard touchdown pass to junior Stephen Vidman. Freshman Bill Woofrom added the extra point to tie the score.
When McDonald kicked off, Wellsville freshman Zack Mellott returned the ball to the Blue Devils’ 46. Moxley then gained 41 yards on two carries before sophomore Brendon Carr dived in from a yard out. LeMasters’ extra point gave Wellsville a 14-7 lead.
The Blue Devils struck back on freshman Randy Walters 9-yards score, ending a nine-play, 61-yard drive. Woofrom’s extra point tied the score at 14.
But Wellsville needed only a single play to regain the lead. On the first play after the kickoff, Moxley dashed 64 yards for a touchdown. LeMasters’ extra point gave the Tigers a 21-14 lead.
Then, under heavy pressure from the Tigers defense, Rusinowski tossed a desperation pass, which Wellsville linebacker Seth Martin intercepted and returned 55 yards for a touchdown. After LeMasters’ extra point, Wellsville led 28-14 at the half.
Wellsville (3-4, 2-2 Inter Tri-County League) scored the only points of the second half, when Moxley dashed 75 yards for a third quarter touchdown. LeMasters’ extra point closed the scoring.
“We got to regroup, come back next week, and work hard,” said McDonald coach Dan Williams. “We got three more games to go and we got to finish strong.”