By: Cory Cook | Towanda Daily Review | September 15, 2007
SAYRE - The Wyalusing Rams' defense proved they are a force to be reckoned with as they held the Redskins scoreless Friday night with a 21-0 win.
All night the Skins fought hard, but did not convert a first down until the 6:40 mark in the third quarter.
The Rams defense swarmed Sayre quarterback Andy Podolinski all night, forcing the senior to go only 4-for-11. It was a constant struggle all night offensively for the Redskins. Sacks, fumbles and late interceptions killed the Skins' hope of the home victory. The first quarter of play was a classic match of tough defenses and struggling offenses as Sayre began the drive at their own 25, only to fumble the ball away on the third play of the game.
Wyalusing then took over, looking to capitalize on the Sayre mishap, but as the Rams moved the ball down the field, Sayre's Andy Podolinski intercepted a Darren Mahoney pass.
After a sloppy first quarter of play, the Rams found themselves on the verge of pulling away as the second quarter began. It all started with the opening play of the second quarter as Brandon Carr ran in for a six yard touchdown.
The Rams weren't done though, as they marched down field in the closing minutes of the half before junior half back Degan Smith found a hole for a 14 yard score. The Rams rushing attack seemed to be in synch but that was not the case for the Redskins.
Sayre managed only 17 total yards in the first half and their inconsistency really hurt them as three first half fumbles did them in. Sayre, however, has found themselves in this situation before and knew what it would take to get back into the game. The Skins defense made it tough on the Rams offense, forcing them to punt on numerous occasions.
The second half became a battle of field position as whichever team that got into striking range would be able to take control of the game. The Rams defense continued their tough play, stopping sophomore running back Robert Rought and junior Richie Villanti countless times.
Podolinski continued his struggles as the offensive line provided little protection. Podolinski was met in the backfield by charging Ram defenders throughout the half. With time winding down, Wyalusing decided it was time to finish the game as Mahoney completed a 20 yard touchdown strike to David Brown, giving the Rams with a comfortable lead of 21-0.
The nail in the coffin came when Mahoney picked off a Podolinski pass with just three minutes remaining, ending Sayre's hope of a comeback.
Wyalusing was led by their dynamic duo of Degan Smith and Tyler Crawford who combined for 112 yards rushing.
Senior Darren Moheny led the Rams through the air going 7-for-13 with one touchdown. Sayre, who struggled offensively all night was lead by Rought who carried 15 times for 33 yards. Podolinski added 24 yards passing and 11 yards rushing as well in the effort. Sayre's offense only managed three first downs to 12 for the Rams.
The Rams had to overcome 12 penalties for 91 yards for the win to improve to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the NTL Small School Division. Next Friday, the Rams will host another Small School foe in Muncy.
The Redskins, who fall to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the NTL Small School Division, will travel to Wellsboro next Friday.