By: Chris Manning | Towanda Daily Review | August 27, 2016
CANTON — No matter who ran the ball for Wellsboro Friday they seemed to be going down hill.
Whether it was quarterback Quinn Henry, Alex Kozuhowski or freshman Aidan Hauser the Hornet offense just chugged out yards, which gave Wellsboro a 46-0 win in NTL Large School football action.
"It feels great," Henry said about the victory. "We didn't play exactly how we wanted to but a win's a win. Our linemen, not the biggest but a tough group of guys and they always give it their all."
While the stats say the Hornets had 282 rushing yards on 38 carries it was their defense that did a lot of the damage.
Wellsboro held Canton to just 33 total yards on offense and three first downs, two of which came on the Warriors' opening drive.
All of those 3-and-outs just wore down a Canton defense that bent in the first half and broke in the second.
"We never got the field position," Canton coach Tyler Sechrist said. "We couldn't get our offense going and that hurt our defense. We came out fired up, we played tough the first quarter and a half I think. We're just thin on both sides of the ball on the line and it just wore us down. That's how it happened."
Henry lead all rushers with 113 yards on 13 carriers with a score, while the newcomer Hauser had 101 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns.
Kozuhowski added 53 yards on five carries and a touchdown. He also had 57 yards and a score on three receptions to give him over 100 total yards on the day.
Henry was 6-for-11 for 12 yards and a touchdown.
The Canton defense did do a good job on big target Parker Jones, holding him to just one catch for 24 yards but Jones also got a pass interference call to his credit that set up a Hornet score.
Jimmy Bowman led Canton offensively with 13 carries for 34 yards.
Through the air Ridge Moore was 3-for-9 for seven yards and a pick.
Early on the Warriors looked like they had come to play.
After watching the new induction of their football Hall of Fame Bowman ran the first play from scrimmage 10 yards down field for a first down.
They got another first down by drawing Wellsboro offsides but things fizzled from there.
The Hornets had a big play on their first play from scrimmage as Henry hit Kozuhowski for a 20-yard gain.
They would be forced to punt but the pass was big as it switched fields and Canton was pinned in deep at their own 9-yard line.
It seemed like they were down there for the rest of the first half.
The Warriors went 3-and-out and Wellsboro got the ball back but gave it back on a fumble on the ensuing drive.
Canton returned the favor as two plays later Moore's pass was picked off by Kozuhowski, who returned it to the Canton 35-yard line.
Henry followed that with a 27-yard run inside the Warrior 10, then hit Kozuhowski on an 8-yard touchdown pass for the first score of the game.
Nic Ingerick hit the point after to make it 7-0 Wellsboro with 4:53 left in the first quarter.
The turnovers continued as Canton gave it back to Wellsboro on their first play from scrimmage on the ensuing drive.
However, three plays later the Hornets handed it back over as Henry fumbled after a 35-yard run to inside the Canton 5-yard line.
Once again with their backs to the wall on third-and-long Moore looked to pass from his own end zone but was sacked as he tried to get away for the safety.
The Hornets now led 9-0 with 2:00 left and due to get the ball on Canton's kick-off.
Canton was able to manufacture another break as they forced Henry into a another fumble, recovering on their own 33-yard line.
But once again the Hornet defense held and forced a 3-and-out.
With the turnovers behind them Wellsboro then went on an 8-play, 63-yard drive that ended on a Henry 28-yard touchdown run to pay dirt.
Ingerick added the point after and the Hornets led 16-0 with 7:58 left in the half.
Wellsboro forced Canton into another 3-and-out, then went on another long drive; this time it was 55 yards on six plays. Hauser ended it on a 6-yard touchdown run.
Ingerick hit the point after and Wellsboro began to pull away, up 23-0 with 3:11 left in the half.
The Hornets then forced Canton into their fifth punt of the half, getting the ball back on the Warrior 33.
Canton would force them into a third and long but a 30-yard pass play from Henry to Kozuhowski down to the 10-yard line set up Wellsboro at first and goal with eight seconds left.
The Warriors kept them from scoring a touchdown but with no time remaining Ingerick hit a 27-yard field goal to make it a 26-0 Hornet lead at the half.
Wellsboro got the ball to start the second half but it ended on a missed field goal.
Canton got the ball on their own 20-yard line but once again struggled to do much with it. On fourth and inches they went for it but a fumbled snap turned it over on downs.
From Canton's 29-yard line Wellsboro wasted little time, taking six plays to get to the end zone, this time on a Hauser 10-yard run.
After the Ingerick kick it was 33-0 with 5:16 left in the third quarter.
The Hornets forced Canton into another 3-and-out, then on their ensuing drive Kozuhowski went 37 yards to the end zone.
Jacob Singer added the point after for Wellsboro to make it a 40-0 game with 3:14 left.
"Anybody on this team can make plays," Henry said. "We'll just give it to whoever is feeling it at the moment and we trust that they can make a play and put it in the end zone."
The Hornets then got a score late as Billy Lechler bounced off would be tacklers to rumble in from 11 yards out with 1:03 left in the game.
The extra point was no good and it finished 46-0.
Despite the outcome Sechrist believes Canton can build on this as they focus for Wyalusing next week.
"I think we're just going to go back to the basics," he said. "It's one game out of a 10-game schedule. They played hard, I like the effort, but the execution wasn't always there. So I think we just need to get back to the basics and work hard and forget about that one and start anew."
It wasn't all perfect for the Hornets as they struggled with penalties all game long — 10 flags for 75 yards — and the turnovers in the first half.
"We were very sloppy to start," Henry remarked. "Offensively I fumbled the ball once and three, four turnovers...just easy turnovers and simple mistakes."
But if they can continue to play defense like they did this week, Sayre is going to have their hands full next Friday.
"Shutout football is nice," said Henry. "And just holding a team to 3-out every time is definitely great. Our defense is top notch."