Wyomissing Area rushes for over 400 yards in 48-27 win over Danville
Photo by Rick Martin
READING – December football has become the standard for Wyomissing football, especially for this senior class. Behind an overpowering rushing attack, Wyomissing defeated Danville 48-27 in the PIAA 3A State Quarterfinals on Friday night at Albright College’s Shirk Stadium.
The Spartan football class of 2024 has now reached at least the State Semifinals in all four seasons they have been members of the team.
“It is amazing to go to the State Semifinals or Finals that many times in a row,” Wyomissing head coach Bob Wolfrum said. “It does not happen very often even with a great program. We are fortunate to have had several great classes in a row and great kids. These kids are just winners, and they are willing to put in the time in the offseason and our staff does a great job getting each class prepared.”
The Spartans (12-1) needed time to fend off a valiant effort from a Danville (12-2) squad that took them to the limit on this weekend one year ago. Wyomissing uncharacteristically had three first-half turnovers which was more than half of their total amount of turnovers (5) that they had since October 6th. However, once Wyomissing got its patented Wing-T offense rolling in the second half, the Ironmen could not keep up.
“Danville is one of those teams where you have to try and control possession the best you can,” Wolfrum said. “My hats off to Danville, they have some tremendous skill players that kept us off-balanced on defense, especially in the first half. Our defense made the plays needed that they did not in the end.”
The Ironmen made an early statement by taking a 6-0 lead on the opening possession of the game when wide receiver Aaron Johnson took a screen pass 50 yards for a touchdown. Ryker Jones blocked the extra point to start a big night for one of those seniors who has played in the month of December all four years for the Spartans.
Derek Macrina nearly got the points back for the Spartans on their first offensive play of the game when he raced 60 yards to set the Spartans up at the Ironmen 25-yard line. Chase Eisenhower punched it in from two yards out a few plays later to tie the game at six following a missed extra point. Jones needed just the first play of the Spartans’ second drive to score as he ran 79 yards for a touchdown while stiff-arming a defender in his path that made it 13-6.
“Our offensive line was amazing tonight,” Jones said. “All of my yards tonight were a credit to their hard work and creating the holes for all of our backs tonight.
Jones, a Princeton commit, rushed for a season-high 155 yards off just nine carries to lead the Spartans attack that rushed for 472 yards as a team, also a season-high.
Danville countered the long touchdown with a good-looking drive of their own to tie things back up at 13 late in the first quarter after Bo Sheptock scored a 2-yard touchdown. The Spartans used another lengthy run to open a drive, this time a 21-yard game from Justice Hardy, to set up their next score from Collin Niedrowski that put them back in front at 19-13 early in the second quarter.
The Spartans seemingly looked to lay an early knockout punch on the Ironmen when they forced a punt, but Ethan Brower muffed the punt to set Danville up inside the Wyomissing 7-yard line. Sheptock added his second score of the game on the ground to knot the score at 19 after the Ironmen had their second extra point of the game blocked.
The muffed punt started a wild sequence of four-straight drives that ended in turnovers between the two teams. Spartan quarterback Logan Hyde was intercepted by Cole Duffy to put Danville at their own 36-yard line. Tyler Niedrowski gave Wyomissing the ball back two plays later when he stripped Carter Raup after a pass completion only to see their drive end when Collin Niedrowski fumbled in the red zone. However, Collin Niedrowski turned the tide of the game when he intercepted Ironmen quarterback Madden Patrick and returned it to the Danville 5-yard line. Eisenhower gave the Spartans the lead for good at 27-19. one play later he scored his second touchdown of the game on the ground.
“We just had to settle and play Wyo football,” Eisenhower said. “We had adversity in our way but none of our guys were phased at any point. The best part of this whole success is living up to the teams that have played at Wyomissing before us, and it is a great feeling for all of us.”
The Spartans were stopped on 4th and 1 at midfield to start the second half but its defense had its best stand against the Ironmen by forcing a three-and-out. Wyomissing put together a decisive 16-play 91-yard drive that took off 7:27 and ended with Jones scoring his second touchdown of the game to extend the Spartans lead to 34-19. Eisenhower added two more scores in the fourth quarter to help lock up the Wyomissing win and crossed 1,000 rushing yards for the season after finishing with 98 yards on 18 carries.
Patrick finished the night 24-of-36 for 221 yards and one interception for the Ironmen with 19 of his passes being completed in the first half. Johnson caught 11 passes for 105 yards while Sheptock crossed the century mark on the ground with 112 yards off 18 carries. First-year Danville head coach Carl Majer picked right up where former coach Mike Brennan left off with 12 wins in 2023 and returns a bevy of talent for 2024 that is headlined by Patrick, Sheptock, and Raup.
Wyomissing will take on unbeaten Northwestern Lehigh next weekend in the State Semifinals after the Tigers dispatched Scranton Prep 27-6.
“Our motivation has not changed from day one in June,” Jones said. “Our motivation is getting a state championship and after what happened last year we feel like we have unfinished business.”
What happened last year was the Spartans suffered a heartbreaking 20-17 loss in the final minute in the 3A State Semifinal to Neumann-Goretti. The 16 Spartan seniors that have once again made it to December football now get the chance with two more wins to etch their names forever in the Wyomissing history books.
|SCORE BY QUARTERS
|Johnson, 50 pass from Patrick (kick blocked)
|Eisenhower, 2 run (kick failed)
|Jones, 79 run (Maher kick)
|Sheptock, 2 run (Hoffman kick)
|C. Niedrowski, 7 run (pass failed)
|Sheptock, 2 run (kick blocked)
|Eisenhower, 5 run (Eisenhower run)
|Jones, 5 run (Maher kick)
|Eisenhower, 1 run (Maher kick)
|Kiersch, 15 pass from Patrick (Patrick rush)
|Eisenhower, 15 run (Maher kick)
Danville: Sheptock 18-112, Madden 4-5, TEAM 1-(-2)
Wyomissing: Jones 9-155, Eisenhower 18-98, Macrina 10-92, C. Niedrowski 9-55, Hardy 6-34, Diaz 2-26, Ma. Armistead 3-14, Sierra 1-0, TEAM 1-(-2)
Danville: Madden 24-36-1–221
Wyomissing: Hyde 2-4-1–20
Danville: Johnson 11-105, Raup 7-33, Duffy 3-48, Kiersch 3-35
Wyomissing: Hardy 1-12, Jones 1-8
Wyomissing: C. Niedrowski
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