Lowellville quarterback Alex Harklerode threw three touchdown passes and ran for 141 yards as the Rockets knocked Wellsville from the ranks of the unbeaten Friday night in a 27-21 victory.
Harklerode distributed his scoring passes to three different receivers. He threw touchdown passes of 56 yards to Phil Ginnis and 21 yards to Nick Lucente in the first half as Lowellville (5-1, 3-0 Inter Tri-County League, Tier Two) took a 20-0 halftime lead over previously unbeaten Wellsville (5-1, 2-1).
Robert Ciccone scored the Rockets’ first touchdown on a 1-yard run early in the first quarter. The TD pass to Ginnis came with 12 seconds left in the opening period and made it 13-0. Harklerode found Lucente for another score on the final play of the first half.
But the Tigers made a game of it in the second half. Wellsville sandwiched two touchdowns around Harklerode’s third scoring pass — a 37-yard strike to Van Vanover — in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 27-14. The Tigers got a 3-yard run from Brendon Carr and a 20-yard from quarterback Jordan Sloan.
Sloan also threw a 22-yard TD pass to Marcus Moxley midway through the fourth quarter as Wellsville made it a one-score game.
But Lowellville — celebrating Homecoming at Paul Menichini Field — held on for its eighth victory in nine games dating back to 2012, when the Rockets closed the regular season by winning their last three games.
Lowellville’s defense helped secure the victory with three interceptions. Sloan was 8 of 18 for 69 yards. He ran for 141 yards on 14 carries.
The teams combined for 605 rushing yards on 87 attempts. The Tigers ran 46 times for 310 yards. The Rockets finished with 295 rushing yards on 41 carries.
Lowellville visits unbeaten Western Reserve, ranked second in Division VII in the most recent Associated Press state poll, on Friday.
Wellsville plays at Sebring the same night.