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Wilson Warriors Rallies from Seventeen Point Deficit to Down Notre Dame-GP. @WHSfootball21 @NDGP-FOOTBALL

Written by: on Sunday, October 31st, 2021

 

Cayden Stem, Zack Gillen Damian and Damon Simpson Spur Second Half Comeback to Secure Playoff Spot.

EASTON- The Wilson Area Warriors got a late start out of the gates Saturday in their Schuylkill/Colonial League showdown with rival Notre Dame Green Pond falling behind 24-8 in the first half, but three touchdowns in the closing twelve minutes clinched a 4A District XI playoff spot with a 42-34 victory over the Crusaders.

Colin Quintano made his return to quarterbacking Notre Dame after missing several games with an injury and played well early in his return by driving his team on its’ initial possession leading to a Josh Ludlow eight yard score just two minutes into the contest for a 7-0 lead.

The Crusaders then made it 10-0 on a Nick Garrido 27 yard field goal completing a 6 play 55 yard drive.

Wilson then drove deep inside Crusaders teritory, but a Stem pass was picked off by Ethan O’Neill who returned it to the Wilson 40. Quintano then hooked up with Jayden Becker for a ten yard score to push the lead to 17-0.

But then the tide seemed to turn on the ensuing kickoff as Damian Simpson picked up the bouncing kick at his 11 and ran though a couple of would-be tacklers at the twenty and slashed down the home sidelines for an 89 yard return, Stem then found Damon Simpson for the two-point conversion making it 17-8.

In the second quarter Logan Castellano capped off a Crusaders drive by going in from four yards out making it 24-8 with 7:30 before half.

Damian Simpson scored from a yard out to cut the lead to 24-14. Stem tossed his second interception of the half as the clock wound down by Notre Dame-‘s Josh Ludlow in the end zone to leave the score 24-14 at intermission.

Wilson got the ball to start the second half and they didn’t take long to score on the third play from scrimmage and the ball on the Warrior 31 Zack Gillen took off zig-zagging his way to a 69 yard jaunt making the score 24-20 with 9:48 left in the quarter.

After both teams punted on their next two possessions, Notre dame had the ball on the Wilson 37 but could not convert it into a touchdown and settled for a 43 yard Garrido field goal instead making Crusaders 27 Warriors 20.

Stem, who threw for over 300 yards in the game then connected with Damian Simpson on a nine yard score with 11:55 left in the game, with the two point conversion gave the Warriors their first lead of the night 28-27.

Just over a minute later Stem struck again with Damon Simpson on a 16 yard pass the extend the Warriors lead to 38-27 after the conversion with 10:33 left on the clock.

After another exchange of punts Ryan Frinzi scored for Notre Dame from nine yards out with 7:59 left to get the score to 36-34.

Damian Simpson then pretty much sealed the deal for Wilson Area as he ripped off a 67 yard score nearly coming out of his shoes as he stumbled down downfield for the score with 7:11 to play and a 42-34 lead.

Quintano and company would get one more chance to try to tie the game but a fourth down pass was incomplete and after Wilson took over and took a knee the Warriors student section stormed the field to celebrate the win.

Notre Dame Green Pond finished the regular season at 7-2 and will host Jim Thorpe(6-4) Next Friday in the first round of District XI 3A Playoffs. The Crusaders defeated the Olympians 49-21 back on September 27. Wilson(7-3) will be on the road in the 4A District XI playoff as they make a tripto top seeded Northwestern Lehigh(10-0) Friday night. The Tigers won the first meeting 42-0 on October 2nd.

Wilson head coach Chris Labatch and quarterback Cayden Stem spoke about this win and the upcoming rematch with Northwestern.

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