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RECAP: Wilson (3) outlasts Spring-Ford, 33-22

Tagged under: District 3, Game Photos

| September 8, 2018


The Wilson Bulldogs improved to 2-1 on the 2018 season after a 33-22 victory over the visiting Spring-Ford Rams, who dropped their first contest and fell to 2-1. The home team got on the board early thanks to twin TD tosses from senior QB Anthony Futrick to junior WR Brady Gibble, one each in the 1st and 2nd Quarters. Bulldogs senior RB Elijah Morales also chipped in a score as Wilson built a 21-0 halftime lead. The score at the break was misleading as Wilson scratched and clawed for much of the first 20 minutes to earn a 7-0 cushion before pushing it to 21 with a couple quick scores just before the teams went to their locker rooms. Those late strikes were pivotal as it was Spring-Ford, not Wilson, that came out firing on all cylinders to start the 3rd Quarter.

The Rams quickly got on the board at the start of the 3rd when Spring-Ford QB Ryan Engro connected with WR Noah Baker for a 26-yd score, making it 21-7. The Rams defense did what they needed to do, forcing a Wilson punt. Offensively Spring-Ford had found a rhythm and marched down the field once more, capping the scoring drive when Engro scampered across the goal line from 14 yards out. A successful PAT made it 21-14 Wilson and the red and white faithful were getting nervous. Thankfully for Bulldogs fans the young men in pads squashed their fears.

Bulldogs senior RB Elijah Morales finds his way into the endzone against the Spring-Ford Rams at Wilson’s John Gurski Stadium on Friday, September 7th, 2018.

Just before the end of the 3rd Quarter, the Wilson offense rediscovered their moxie and drove down the field and completed their series with a 6-yd TD run by junior RB Avanti Lockhart. Sophomore kicker Jack Wagner’s PAT was wide left leaving the score at 27-14 favor the Bulldogs. A bigger sigh of relief would be heard at Gurski Stadium a few minutes later. Following a strong defensive effort to force a Rams punt, Wilson’s punt return team set up blocks to spring sophomore Troy Corson 74-yards to the endzone and a 33-14 lead with 10:15 left in the game. (The Bulldogs 2-point attempt failed). Spring-Ford’s potent offense would answer with Engro hitting WR Dante Bonanni for a 12-yard score plus a 2-point conversion to make it 33-22 but a Wilson onside kick recovery essentially sealed the outcome in favor of the home team.

Despite the quick strikes in the early 3rd Quarter, Wilson’s consistently strong defense got the better of the Rams spread offense for the third straight season. The Bulldogs defensive front seven was constantly in the Rams backfield, disrupting rushing plays and sacking the passer on six occasions. Senior LB Cam Magalotti, despite his small stature, was all over the field contributing 6.5 total tackles with four of them for loss, two of which were sacks. Sophomore DE Ethan Capitano chipped in 1.5 sacks and junior OLB Nate Hoekstra had one as well.

The Bulldogs (2-1) make their first of two trips to the Manheim, PA area next Friday evening when they will face off against Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 2 powerhouse Manheim Central (3-0) in the League mandated “crossover game”. The Spring-Ford Rams (2-1) will play another Berks County team, this time tackling the Exeter Eagles (2-1) at McNelly Stadium in Royersford on September 14th.

KEY STAT: 44. While it won’t appear on any stats sheet, that number belongs to Wilson senior TE/LB Nick Johnson. The undisputed leader of the team was lost for the season during the Mifflin game last Friday due to two broken bones in his leg. Senior teammate Isaiah Gilmore shunned his normal #5 jersey to wear Johnson’s 44 during the game in honor of his friend. Contributor/Reporter Joe Mays is a 2003 Wilson High School alum and has been covering the Bulldogs football program since 2010. He rebooted the old WilsonTV program, The Bulldog Hour, prior to the 2015 football season and maintains a volunteer position with the team as Social Media Strategist/Outreach Coordinator/Historical Preservation Officer. Want to talk more about Wilson football or the Lancaster-Lebanon League? Find him on Twitter @CoachJoeMays or the podcast @BulldogHour.

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