District 3 “AAAA” Championship – Wilson-West Lawn Preview
The Game: District 3 “AAAA” Championship game
Where: Hersheypark Stadium
When: Saturday, Nov. 29th, 2008, kickoff @ 6 p.m.
Wilson last played in the PIAA championship game in 1989, and their quarterback was Kerry Collins, a player who could throw the ball all over the yard. While Collins and the Bulldogs fell to Upper St. Clair 12-7 at Hershey Stadium, it proved what has become evident for some time since then: Wilson is easily one of the premier football programs in Berks County.
Yes, Muhlenburg had a couple of decent teams and played in some District championship games. Yes, Governor Mifflin owns the Berks County record for points scored in a season, with 542. Yes, Wyomissing was the last Berks County team to play in a PIAA semifinal game in 2006.
But, Wilson is always there, too. Granted, the Bulldogs haven’t played in the PIAA semifinals since 1990, when they fell to Ridley, nor has Wilson won a District 3 championship since 1999, when Chad Henne was the field general.
What Wilson has done, though, is reach the District 3 “AAAA” semifinals each of the last two years, falling to Governor Mifflin in 2006 and Harrisburg in 2007. The Bulldogs had been on the cusp, and now, finally, they’ve gotten over the hump.
Now, can they win the thing?
On the surface, the Bulldogs (13-0) appear to be the favorite. Offensively, they’ve scored 525 points, an average of 40.4 points per game. Wilson averages 345 yards of offense per game, 220 of which come on the ground.
Zacc Groff leads the offense with 1,478 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns. His teammate, Dylan Stopper, isn’t far behind, in terms of touchdowns scored. Stopper has run for 19 touchdowns, adding 543 rushing yards on 87 carries.
Steve Huber, who missed almost a month of the season with an injury, has come back nicely and thrown for 1,115 yards and 10 touchdowns against only two interceptions. His favorite target, senior Alex Fegley, has caught 36 passes for 659 yards and nine touchdowns.
Defensively, Wilson is just as nasty. They’ve only allowed 92 points, an average of 7.1 points per game. And, aside from Manheim Central in Week 2, none of the Wilson opponents have scored more than 14 points. Central scored 15 points, and built a 13-0 lead, before being outscored 20-2 the rest of the way.
Wilson has shut out four teams, and has posted impressive showings in consecutive weeks against pass-happy Muhlenberg (46-0) and multi-faceted Bishop McDevitt (48-6).
In the playoffs, Wilson has won its three games by a combined 129-20.
Now, the Bulldogs get a new challenge – a tough Cumberland Valley ground game which only State College really contained.
Can Wilson win its first title in a decade? Find out Saturday night.
Wilson-West Lawn stats from lancsports.com and the Pennsylvania Football News’ Resource Guide.
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