By: Ryan McNamara | Towanda Daily Review | November 14, 2015 | Photo courtesy Charlie Berch
MANSFIELD — Third time's the charm for head coach Matt Hildebrand who led Wellsboro to its first district playoff victory in program history in his third season with the Hornets.
"It's great to finally get the monkey off our back," said Hildebrand following the game.
Quinn Henry rushed for a touchdown and threw for another to lead Wellsboro past Muncy 14-0 Friday night in cold and wet conditions at Mansfield University's Karl Van Norman Field. The win sets up a District IV Championship showdown with arch rival North Penn-Mansfield next Friday.
"It's the best feeling and a great win," said Henry. "We came out soft in the first half, then picked it up."
The first quarter was a defensive battle with seven of the first eight drives ending in punts, the other ended with a fumble.
Muncy's first two drives stalled, but a pair of rolling punts inside the 20 pinned Wellsboro deep within their own territory. On their third drive, the Indians ground out the longest possession so far in the game, using eight plays for 34 yards to threaten in the red zone. However, Muncy was backed up by a false start before surrendering the ball on a fumble to Wellsboro's Phillip Straniere on the 20-yard line.
Wellsboro's offense warmed up, moving the chains for the first time on a 15-yard Henry keeper before moving into Muncy territory on a late hit call. The drive stalled after two plays for zero yards and a sack for a loss by Riley Cotner.
Collin Pietropola's punt put the Indians inside the 20 to start the drive and Parker Jones’ sack two plays later had them in the shadow of their own end zone. Ashort punt by Muncy gave the Hornets the ball on the 25 yard line.
Henry needed just one play. The sophomore connected with Chase Moser in the end zone to put Wellsboro on top 7-0.
Wellsboro got the ball back at midfield with 4:24 to play and slowly worked its way into the redzone before a string of penalties worked against the Hornets. Facing a fourth-and-15 on the Muncy 26-yard line, Henry scrambled outside of the pocket under heavy pressure and heaved a pass to the end zone that fell incomplete with five seconds remaining in the half.
In the second half, the Hornets came out of the locker room energetic and ready to put their first-half frustrations to rest. Wellsboro ran the ball twice before Henry bounced the ball outside on a quarterback keeper and ripped off a 60-yard touchdown run down the sideline to give the Hornets a 14-0 lead.
Muncy was forced to punt on its ensuing possession and Wellsboro’s offense continued to roll as it set up a first-and-goal situation from the Muncy six. Three straight Nick Tremper runs put the ball on the 1 inch line, but Henry's QB sneak attempt on fourth down was denied the goal line.
Backed up against their own end zone once again, Muncy was unable to get much going and was forced to punt. The kick was partially blocked by the Hornets who took over on the Indian 24-yard line. However, Muncy's defense held strong, forcing another turnover on downs.
Wellsboro’s defense forced another punt and took over possession with just under nine minutes remaining in the game. The Hornets worked the clock, using eight rushes over a four minute span to sit at the Muncy 14-yard line. Wellsboro's pass attempt into the end zone was picked off by free safety Cameron Good.
Muncy's offense was able to move the ball but it was too little, too late.
Henry rushed 23 times for 179 yards and a touchdown while completing 4-of-11 passes for 49 yards and another score. Temper totaled 18 yards on the ground with Moser and Alex Kozuhowski each gaining 17 yards.
Moser also hauled in 25 receiving yards with Jones adding 20.
Muncy's Coleman Good connected on 3-of-10 passes for 38 yards. Cameron Good led the rushing attack with 49 yards.