By: Terry Pruyne | Towanda Daily Review | August 25, 2018
WESTFIELD – With perfect football weather to start the season, Wellsboro seemed to be at mid-season form with their 49-6 victory over Cowanesque Valley. Karter Witmer and Silas Wagaman led the Hornets through the air while Aidan Hauser led on the ground. HW² accounted for all of Wellsboro's scores.
The Indians began their first drive at their 25 and advanced to midfield before having to punt. Their big play came on an 18-yard pass from Seth Huyler to Owen Fitzwater.
Taking the punt on the 20, Hauser raced down the away sidelines for an eighty-yard touchdown only to have it called back for an illegal block. This set the tone for the night. Not only would Hauser have a big first half, but this would be the first of three long touchdown runs called back.
Starting at their own 10, Wellsboro stalled and turned the ball over on downs near midfield only to have CV return the favor.
Any early rust the Hornets had, they shook off. On the second play of their next possession, Witmer hit Silas Wagaman for a 50-yard touchdown pass. Zach Singer added the extra point.
The Indians then took over on their own 24-yard line. Three plays later Wagaman intercepted a Huyler passed and returned it to the 27.
Witmer hit Wagaman for a 12-yard gain before handing it off to Hauser. Hauser scooted 14 yards to the one and then scored on the next play for a 14-0 margin.
The Hornets defense stopped the Indians when Alex Moore intercepted a Huyler pass at midfield. Three plays later, Witmer pumped faked to an up-man before going deep to Wagaman for a 47-yard score. Singer added another PAT for a 21-0 lead at the start of the second quarter.
Wellsboro's defense stymied Cowanesque Valley on the next series and the Hornets took over at midfield. On the first play, Hauser raced 55-yard for a score only to have it called back for holding.
Hauser then zigged for 25 yards and zagged for 37 on consecutive plays to reach the three. After a procedure penalty and two incompletions, Singer attempted a 25-yard field goal that Norwooded wide right.
After the Indians failed to move the ball, Hauser, on the second play of the series, took the ball to the house from 44-yards for a 28-0 lead.
Cowanesque threatened on their next series aided by a 14-yard scamper by Taaj Dallas and a pass interference call. Forced to punt, they watched Hauser return the ball to CV's 35.
Hauser then scored only to have it called back, but after an interference call, Witmer hit Wagaman for a third time for a score to give the Hornets a 35-0 halftime lead.
Hauser finished the half and the with 15 carries for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Witmer completed 4-for-8 passes for 148 yards for three touchdowns with all receptions and touchdowns going to Wagaman.
"All three played well," said Wellsboro head coach Matt Hildebrand. "Aidan Hauser unfortunately had three touchdowns called back tonight, but he's a dangerous weapon. I'm really happy with our quarterback play. I thought it was pretty good because that was a question mark losing two guys the last few years between (Mike) Pietropola and (Quinn) Henry, so I was real happy how Karter stepped up. He took control of the game when we needed to. He made some throws tonight. Silas Wagaman – he's going to be a weapon for us. Hopefully, we can hide him for as long as we can."
With backups in to start the second half, Wellsboro continued to move the ball. It took four plays before Moore scored on a 26-yard dash for a 42-0 margin.
On their final possession, the Indians avoided a shutout with a nine-play drive – led by Dallas with carries for 4, 21, and 9 yards. Huyler also hit Dallas for a 30-yard reception. Huyler punched the ball in from three yards with just over five minutes left.
However, the Hornets had the last say in the game with a series of long runs. Darryn Callahan for 19. Kanan Keck for 22 and Nick Smith 17. Then Callahan scored from 10-yards for the final tally of 49-6 with a minute left.
Next week the Hornets take on the Troy Trojans in an NTL matchup.