LANDISVILLE >> Wilson's record-breaking win sounds an awful lot like a broken record.
In an effort replete with veteran savvy, the Wilson Bulldogs earned their league-record 53rd Section One victory in a row with a come-from-behind, 15-9 slugfest at previously undefeated Hempfield High School Friday night.
Following the game-winning score with 2:13 remaining, the Hempfield offense managed just 24 yards in nine plays before senior linebacker Foday Jalloh sacked Black Knights' quarterback Sam Kramer at the Wilson 48-yard line for the clinching play.
"I had the blitz on," Jalloh said after the game. "I went out a little bit and cheated-in. It was a great play-call; I just executed it."
The sack allowed the Bulldogs (3-0 Section One, 5-1 overall) to celebrate not only the victory, but also a record six years in the making.
"It's great just to be a part of history and contribute to a program that's meant so much to all of us," summed up receiver and safety Jon Fox, whose 29-yard touchdown grab in the second quarter opened the scoring. "It's great to go out there and be able to get the win and get the record."
"Fifty-two is great (but the players) don't want to share a record like that," said head coach Doug Dahms on surpassing Manheim Central's 52-game streak set in 2006. "You want that to yourself. And they got it. Now, all we can do is hope to build on it, put it further up in the stratosphere where it's going to take something incredible to beat."
The Black Knights (2-1, 5-1) nearly pulled-off something incredible, getting big plays throughout the game from their defense and special teams.
First came Will Blair's 90-yard kick return for a touchdown following Fox's touchdown that left both teams tied at the half.
In the third quarter, Ben Sahd tackled Wilson's punter in the end zone following a high snap, giving the Black Knights their 9-7 lead that looked strong after Darnell Lathon intercepted Bulldog quarterback Collin Powers (13-for-25, 124 yards, TD, INT) in the end zone with 7:49 remaining.
"You have to carry out and take advantage of every situation you have," said Hempfield coach Ron Zeiber. "(We) forced them to drive the field in most cases, created turnovers, all the things you want your defense to do, we just missed too many opportunities (on offense) to take advantage."
While Hempfield was unable to add to the lead following the safety — league-leading rushers Blair (16 rushes, 52 yards) and Kramer (18-78) bottled up by Wilson's hard-hitting defense — the Bulldogs' offense never lost confidence in their ability to pull off the victory.
"Never can have that (doubting) mindset," set Jalloh. "We just kept on going and it's just how we do it. Coaches and everyone positive. We just kept on rolling."
A 9-play 60-yard drive driven by first down runs by Bailey McElroy (18-126) got the Bulldogs to the Hempfield 8-yard line, Wilson eventually taking the lead on Alex Twiford's 3-yard direct-snap run and setting-up the defensive stand.
"I think it's a fun game because everyone is just pounding each other, but it's also a physical game," said Fox. "We just have to play tough and that's what we did tonight and we came out with the win."
Wilson 15, Hempfield 9
W — J. Fox 29 pass from C. Powers (N. Hark kick)
H — W. Blair 90-yard return (C. Kosmela kick)
H — Team safety (C. Uhrig tackled in the end zone)
W — A. Twiford 3-yard run (J. Gehman pass from C. Powers)
WHFirst downs1711Rushes-yards35-15043-157Passing13-25-14-16-0Passing yards12424Total yards274174Punts6-185-36.4Fumbles-lost3-01-0Penalties-yards5-453-15
Rushing — W - B. McElroy 18-126, J. Fox 4-35, J. Gehman 3-23, T. O'Brien1-7, A. Twiford 2-1, A. Close 1-1, C. Powers 5-(-24);
H - S. Kramer 18-78, W. Blair 16-52, D. Lathon 5-14, A. Green 3-9, B. Flores 1-4
Passing — W - C. Powers 13-25-1-124;
Receiving — W - J. Fox 3-62, J. Gehman 3-25, B. McElroy 3-9, F. Jalloh 1-16, A. Close 1-8, A. Twiford 1-7, B. Ritter 1-(-3), Team-(-19);