Spartans roll over Pottsville 49-0
Written by: Mitch Rupert on Saturday, September 3rd, 2022. Follow Mitch Rupert on Twitter.
POTTSVILLE – With just under 9 minutes left in the first half, Wyomissing fullback Matt Kramer planted his left foot in the Veterans Memorial Stadium field and cut back toward the left hash mark. In and of itself, it was a minuscule detail that meant little in the Spartans’ 49-0 win over Pottsville on Friday night.
But in the bigger picture, it meant everything. You see, it was Kramer’s eighth carry of the game. It was also the first one in which he had to make a cut of any kind despite averaging better than 8 yards per carry. The Wyomissing offensive line – apparently a collection of earth movers dressed as high school football players – opened holes with relative ease against a tough, but outmatched Pottsville defense.
Kramer had been one of the beneficiaries of the group’s efficiency. He was giving the chain gang a workout by constantly putting them on the move in the first half. This one particular carry with just under 9 minutes left in the first half, though, well Kramer did a little more than just run through a gaping hole. That little cut toward the middle of the field left a Pottsville defender grasping at air. Kramer drug two more defenders into the end zone from inside the 5-yard line.
That score gave Wyomissing a three-score lead, but it really felt like it ended the game. The writing was on the wall for the outcome of this Week 2 game, and it was written in Sharpie.
“I think this is our own expectation every time we play,” Wyomissing offensive lineman Pacen Ziegler said. “You see on social media people talking about our potential with the size we have, but we cemented that (Friday) against a good Pottsville team.”
“Our offensive line is trapping guys and the defense doesn’t know who is going to hit them on each play,” Kramer said. “But when you combine it with the athleticism and the size our line has, a lot of times I’m making 10 to 15 yards up field before I hit a guy. And it’s fun to make runs like that.”
Jven Williams is the obvious headliner of the group as the No. 2-ranked guard in the country by ESPN. But the Penn State recruit, the teammates around him, is a cog in a machine that seems to be operating at peak efficiency through two weeks of the season.
They confuse defenses on a weekly basis by lining up at different positions in nearly every play. They’ll line up traditionally one play only to line up more unbalanced than a teeter-totter with a kindergartner and a sumo wrestler sitting on it the next play. And regardless of how they line up, they create the same gaps you could drive a dump truck through.
Friday night that led to 245 rushing yards on 26 carries (9.4 yards per carry) in the first half before a running clock was mercifully put in place. Kramer averaged nearly 10 yards per carry. Charlie McIntyre averaged nearly 9 yards a carry. Drew Eisenhower averaged more than 13 yards a carry, including a 40-yard jaunt. And six players had at least one run of 10 yards or better.
“I think they get rolling and they get some confidence,” Wyomissing coach Bob Wolfrum said. “Our offense is all about movement. If you have big guys who can do it, they don’t just get to the spot, they move you when they get there.”
The Spartans set a physical, punishing tone on its first possession and never left their foot off the gas. They needed just six plays to cover 55 yards, four of which produced first downs. Collin Neidrowski punched in the first score.
On Wyomissing’s next possession, it needed just six plays again to cover 58 yards with Kramer scoring the first of his two touchdowns. It was a Wing-T offense which operated with such efficiency and success on the ground, that quarterback Ben Zechman was called on to throw only five times. But he completed four, two of which went for touchdowns, including a 47-yard catch-and-run to Eisenhower which put the running clock in place with only 18 seconds left in the second quarter.
“I think our expectation is we get a first down on every play or score on every play,” Ziegler said. “Theoretically, if it’s blocked correctly we should be able to score on every play.”
“We’ve been doing this stuff since we were in sixth and seventh grade,” Kramer said. “We’ve been doing it so long that it’s just ingrained in their brains.”
The Spartans pitched their second consecutive shutout in part because of the three turnovers it created. They scored off all three of them, each time taking just a little more wind out of the sails of a Pottsville team that still has yet to score a point in 2022.
It was by no means a perfect defensive effort. But it was plenty good enough to complement an offense which could do no wrong. Wyomissing finished with 420 yards of offense. Kramer finished as the leading rusher with 89 yards on nine carries. He’s bided his time waiting for Evan Niedrowski and Tommy Grabowski in the last two years for that featured role as the fullback in Wyomissing’s vaunted Wing-T attack. So far, he’s been just as adept as those predecessors at finding the holes and exploiting them for big yards and touchdowns.
“He’s really shifty. I don’t know that I expected that from him,” Ziegler said. “But he’s a super smart kid and he knows where he needs to go.”
“He’s a tough kid and he makes the good cuts,” Wolfrum said. “Our fullbacks are cut-and-use-the-blocks guys. And the quicker they do it with our inside trapping game, the better off they are. We need him to make that read on time and he did it.”
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