By: Rich Rogers | Towanda Daily Review | November 4, 2017
WELLSBORO — The Wellsboro Hornets' undefeated dream season came to an abrupt and painful end last night as they lost 14-13 to Line Mountain in the first round of the District IV AA playoffs.
The Hornets suffered a huge set back as their star QB Quinn Henry left the game with an injury in the third quarter and never returned. Although the offense was able to rally and score the tying TD, a mishandled snap led to a blocked extra point and the one point difference in the final score.
In an evenly matched and well played game, the Eagles' defense had the first opportunity to shine, stopping the Hornet high-powered offense on the opening drive. After moving 32 yards on short runs, the drive stalled on an incomplete pass at the Eagle 32.
Following a three and out, the Hornets again put together an 11-play march, but the Line Mountain defense again rose to the occasion stopping Henry on a fourth and eight from the 19.
From there, the Eagles' offense got untracked, moving 81 yards in 10 plays, highlighted by a 17-yard completion from Even Herb to Breven Derk. On second and 10 from the Wellsboro 40, Herb again connected with Derk, this time for the 40-yard score. Jaron Renn's PAT was good, and at 10:05 of the second quarter Line Mountain led 7-0.
Following a three and out, the Eagles would add to their lead, traveling 79 yards in six plays. Again, a perfect pass from Herb, this time to Brendan Cregger would cover 54 yards for the score. Renn's extra point was true and the lead was 14-0 at 6:56.
The teams traded punts before Wellsboro began driving. But Gavin Shaffner stepped in front of a Henry pass to end the threat at the 30.
The Hornets would pay back that favor immediately, as Collin Pietropola stole a Herb shovel pass and returned it to the 49. From there, Henry ripped off a 20-yard run, before his Hail Mary pass to end the half fell incomplete.
Line Mountain received the second half kickoff and drove to the 42 before being forced to punt. On the return, Henry took a reverse handoff and weaved his way 85 yards through the Eagle defense for the score. Nic Ingerick's PAT was true, and the score was 14-7 at the 8:44 mark.
The Hornet defense then forced a punt which pinned the offense deep in their own territory at the 11. From there, Henry would cough up the football, with the Eagles recovering at the 18. They were not able to capitalize, fumbling the ball back only two plays later.
The next series brought the fateful injury as Henry attempted to pick up the first down on third and one from his own 35. After punting the ball back, Hunter Brown intercepted Herb and returned it to the Eagle 34. From there, Hornet sophomore Aidan Hauser caught fire, ripping off runs of 11, six, and 21 yards before plowing in for the score from one yard out. The PAT was blocked, and Line Mountain held the slim 14-13 lead with 9:34 left.
After forcing a three and out, the Hornets again climbed on the shoulders of Hauser, who carried for nine, 11, two and four yards. But on fourth and four from the 32, Brent English's pass fell incomplete.
Line Mountain's defense sealed the victory by stopping Wellsboro on four downs on each of their last two possessions.
The Hornets finish their season 10-1 while Line Mountain advances to take on Mt. Carmel next week in the District Semifinals.