It was one of those games where most everything seemed to be going against the Wilmington High School football team.
Last week’s 38-37 win over Western Brown had plenty of indicators that pointed to a Hurricane loss.
Western Brown was coming off a big win over New Richmond, 22-14. The Lions defeated the Hurricane 56-30 in a game that wasn’t nearly that close.
The Broncos also were celebrating Senior Night and held a 37-24 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
But the young Hurricane forged ahead. Guided by a defense that was previously ravaged by WB quarterback Josh Taylor, Wilmington began to stop Western Brown on offense and move successfully against the WB defense.
“We had some break downs but the kids stepped up when we had to and made the plays down the stretch to pull out the win,” WHS coach Scott Killen said. “I was proud of the players because they kept fighting.”
In a season that hasn’t gone the way they expected, being down 13 points in the fourth quarter can be time to look to next week for some teams.
Grant Mayer scored on a big run then Brady Evans tied the game with a short run. Brady Henry executed the tie-breaking extra point in less than ideal conditions for the win.
This week, Wilmington will play at Clinton-Massie. Kickoff at Frank Irelan Field is set for 7 p.m.
“Massie is Massie,” said Killen, who led the Falcons’ defense during their state championship runs before he became the WHS head coach. “They are big and will run, run and run some more.”
Western Brown had no trouble running on the Hurricane, averaging 8.8 yards per carry on 21 attempts. That was primarily WB quarterback Josh Taylor running out of the spread and, many times, when coverage forced him to take off. The Falcons will be different. They’ll just line up and say “Here we come. Stop us.”
Killen and Co. isn’t throwing up the white flag on this week’s game at CM. The WHS head coach knows, however, in order for his team to compete with the team on Lebanon Road hard work and discipline must be improved at Richardson Place.
“There were so many things that happened this year because we weren’t disciplined,” Killen said. “Also, we need to live in the weight room and get bigger, faster and stronger. We played a lot of sophomores this year and another year in the weight room is going to be huge for them.
“We also need to retain players from year to year but we are not going to sacrifice working hard in order to do that. The players in my program, as long as I am here, are going to work really, really hard or they won’t be part of the program. In order for us to improve, the players, parents, administration, and whoever is involved needs to understand the discipline and hard work needs to be THE focus and we must hold each other accountable.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports