Southern Streak Snapped by Wyomissing Area
CATAWISSA – Entering Friday night, Wyomissing coach Bob Wolfrum knew his team could potentially have its hands full with a Southern Columbia team that was looking to become a part of history. Not only did the two teams enter the night with a combined record of 10-0, but Southern Columbia was also looking to tie the Pennsylvania state record for longest win streak at 66 consecutive games. It was also the longest active high school football winning streak in the entire nation.
The pressure to snap the streak didn’t get to the Spartans, as the Class 3A school out of District 3 was able to travel to Catawissa and knock off the Tigers by a final score of 41-21. Coach Wolfrum’s team used turnovers and explosive plays to put the Tigers behind early and grab the metaphorical bull by the horns.
“They always say ‘if you want to be a bullfighter, you’ve gotta fight the bull.’”, said Wolfrum. “We found one that was willing to play and I’m glad they gave us the shot.”
Wolfrum’s Spartans jumped out to the early lead just five plays into the game and never looked back. Following a decent kickoff return to open the game, the Spartans worked their way into Southern Columbia territory. On the team’s first play on the plus side of the field, Amory Thompson took a pitch to the left side of the field and beat the Southern defense for a 41-yard rushing score.
Southern had a chance to strike back and the home team did just that. On the ensuing drive, running backs Gavin Garcia and Wes Barnes split the work moving the ball down the field. It was Barnes that eventually broke free and scored a 24-yard rushing score on a run play right up the gut.
A bad snap on the extra point attempt kept the Spartans out front 7-6, but that score didn’t hold long. On the ensuing kickoff, Thompson attempted to field the ball inside his own five-yard line but muffed the catch. As the ball sat near his feet at his own two-yard line, he scooped up the ball and took it 98-yards for a big touchdown to go up 14-6.
Southern’s first three-and-out of the game followed Thompson’s second touchdown, and a blocked punt gave the Spartans all the momentum not even halfway into the opening quarter. Fortunately for the Tigers, the defense held strong and forced Wyomissing to kick a 20-yard field goal for a 17-6 lead in the game. Ian Levering knocked the field goal through. He was perfect on the night with a pair of field goals from 20 and 22 yards as well as five extra points.
Southern Columbia really found itself in a hole in the early second quarter. Following an interception by Wyomissing’s Drew Eisenhower, the Spartans went on a drive that took four minutes off the clock and covered 70 yards for another touchdown. Eisenhower started and finished the drive, earning the interception and then finding pay dirt on a nine-yard run.
Just as Wyomissing went up 24-6 and seemed to be in complete control of the game, Southern struck with a kickoff return of their own. Garcia fielded a short kick and used a few slick cuts to break free and take the kickoff 82-yards for a house call.
Opting to go for two, Barnes took a handoff around the right side and bowled his way into the endzone to cut the deficit to 24-14.
Following a drive where the Spartans turned it over on downs at the Southern 32-yard line came the game’s turning point. With the Tigers driving and within striking distance to score before the half, Matthew Kramer came through with a huge strip-sack of Southern quarterback Blake Wise. The ball rolled around in the backfield before being scooped up by Eisenhower yet again, as he motored 70 yards for another Wyomissing touchdown with just 13 seconds remaining in the first half.
At a crucial point in the game where the Tigers could have scored, Wyomissing came through and scored themselves for the 31-14 halftime lead.
“That play broke their back,” said Wolfrum, “They had just scored their second touchdown and were close to another, but all of a sudden its out the window. We made a big play and got a score.”
Southern Columbia made things interesting one more time in the second half. After deferring to the second half on the opening coin toss, the Tigers started the second half with the ball and scored on a 61-yard run by Garcia on the team’s first play from scrimmage to cut the Wyomissing lead down to 31-21.
As they did all night, the Spartans answered yet again on the ensuing drive. Just two plays after the Garcia touchdown, Charles McIntyre took a pitch to the right 82-yards for yet another long score by Wyomissing.
The Spartans tacked on one more field goal late in the third quarter before heading into clock-burning mode and coming away with a 41-21 win.
Garcia led all backs in the game with 110 rushing yards, the only player to crack the century mark all night. McIntyre led the way for Wyomissing, racking up 97 rushing yards on just four carries, one of which went for the 82-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
In all, the Wyomissing defense forced five turnovers on the night. Eisenhower picked up the fumble on the scoop and score while he also notched an interception. Defensive back Nevin Carter earned a pair of interceptions while linebacker Aiden Mack also picked off a pass.
“It’s a huge win for us, especially in the middle of the season,” said Thompkins. “It was like a playoff atmosphere here tonight. The place was packed. To be able to come in and win is great.”
“I gotta tell you I thought there was a good chance we were going to come in here tonight and get our doors blown in,” added Wolfrum, “I was hoping we could play a competitive game and let the chips fall where they may. I always say, ‘you can’t be afraid to lose,’ so when we scheduled this game we didn’t know what would happen, but we were willing to take it no matter what the outcome. To come out with a win is really special.”
Southern Columbia’s regular-season win streak was also snapped in the loss. Prior to Friday night’s loss, the Tigers had won 93-consecutive regular-season games. A streak that went back to October 28, 2011, when Southern Columbia was topped 22-21 by Mount Carmel in Week 9.
“We were never in the game,” said Southern Columbia Coach Jim Roth. “We just didn’t play well. We had a lot of issues. We didn’t play aggressive football. We knew we couldn’t come out not playing at a high level against a team like this. I’m not sure why we didn’t.”
Wyomissing improves to 6-0 on the season and will take on Twin Valley (4-1) this coming Friday night. Southern Columbia slips to 5-1 overall and takes on Central Columbia (2-3) next week with hopes of bouncing back to their winning ways.
Wyomissing 41, Southern Columbia 21
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Wyomissing 17 14 10 0 – 41
Southern Columbia 6 8 7 0 — 21
W—Amory Thompson 41-yard run (Ian Levering PAT Good), 9:56.
SC—Wes Barnes 24-yard run (PAT No Good), 6:26.
W—Thompson 98-yard kickoff return (Levering PAT Good), 6:07.
W—Levering 20-yard field goal, 3:08.
W—Drew Eisenhower 9-yard run (Levering PAT Good), 7:36.
SC—Gavin Garcia 82-yard kickoff return (Barnes run), 7:19.
W—Eisenhower 70-yard fumble return (Levering PAT Good), 0:13.
SC—Garcia 61-yard run (Isaac Carter PAT Good), 11:39.
W—Charles McIntyre 82-yard run (Levering PAT Good), 10:17.
W—Levering 22-yard field goal, 2:33.
TEAM STATISTICS W SC
First downs 12 8
Total yards 316 212
Rushes-yards 45-283 31-165
Yards passing 33 47
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 4-7-0 8-16-4
Fumbles-lost 3-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 4-30 4-38
RUSHING—Wyomissing: McIntyre 4-97 TD, Eisenhower 15-87 TD, Thomas Grabowski 15-55, Thompson 8-35 TD, J’ven Williams 1-13, TEAM 2-(-4). Southern Columbia: Garcia 15-110 TD, Barnes 7-60 TD, Matt Masala 1-3, Braeden Wisloski 6-1, Blake Wise 1-(-4), TEAM 1-(-5).
PASSING—Wyomissing: Ben Zechman 4-7 33 yards. Southern Columbia: Wise 8-16 47 yards, 4 INT.
RECEIVING—Wyomissing: Aiden Mack 1-11, Eisenhower 1-11, Grabowski 1-6, Williams 1-5. Southern Columbia: Jake Rose 4-26, Garcia 3-17, Barnes 1-4.
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